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List of secular colleges and universities?


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#1 outnumberedhomeschooler

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Posted 06 August 2013 - 10:38 AM

I've seen tons of list for homeschool-friendly colleges and universities...but most have a religious background. Any lists for secular colleges and universities with understanding admissions? Or can we start a list here?

 

Thanks in advance!



#2 SkateLeft

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Posted 06 August 2013 - 11:18 AM

I think it would be far easier to list the very small number of schools that don't accommodate homeschoolers. Only a handful of universities continue to have severely restrictive policies for homeschooled applicants. None of them are top tier schools.

 

My daughter applied to secular public and private engineering schools and had no admission issues with any of them.

 


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#3 Dotwithaperiod

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Posted 06 August 2013 - 02:49 PM

Same here. Homeschooled from K to 12,  no issues with any schools, public and private.



#4 creekland

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 05:49 AM

Emory required SAT II tests (2) from homeschoolers and not from regular applicants.  They would not substitute AP or DE.  That alone had my high stat middle son deciding to cut them from his list of schools to consider.  He didn't even want to visit on a trip when we were in Atlanta (left that bad of a taste in his mouth after ALL other schools he was interested in had no problems with his qualifications).

 

Pitt accepted him, but then sent a letter saying they needed an accredited transcript.  I wrote a bit more of specifics about it - do a search for Pittsburgh with me as author and the thread(s) should show up.  I copied the letter in one of the threads.  Pitt ended up being his second choice (nice neuro program) and I think it would have worked out with his stats/grades, etc, but it was annoying.  My guy ended up at U Rochester and is really enjoying it there - absolutely nothing extra needed from homeschoolers...



#5 nancy in nj

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 09:42 AM

Actually, Emory requires 3 SAT II tests from homeschoolers. My daughter had 2 SAT II's (Math 2 and World History) and 4 high AP scores (Euro, English Lang, both Economics) and they would not budge on the 3rd SAT II. She ended up taking the English Lit Sat II in October of her senior year just to satisfy Emory as it was her 1st choice college. She got accepted at Emory but without any significant non-loan financial aid so she opted to attend UNC Chapel Hill instead.

However, I would say that the most homeschool unfriendly college we encountered by far was Wake Forest. Interviews are strongly recommended at Wake and my daughter's interviewer (who was a 2011 Wake Forest) grad was clearly anti-homeschooling. He had not bothered to read my daughter's application before the interview and his demeanor visibly changed when she told him she was homeschooled. He definitely couldn't seem to grasp the fact that my dd's PA Homeschoolers classes were truly interactive and that her teachers who wrote her recommendations could truly know her work having never met her. Idiot! My daughter's comment comment after the interview was priceless. "Well, let's just say that he could not possibly be less impressed with me as I was with him. If he is an example of a WFU graduate that the Admissions department would choose to represent this school then I want no part of it." Her only regret was that she did the interview after she had spent time on and submitted their 7 essay application! She does know other homeschoolers who had other interviewers whose Wake interview experience was not as unpleasant as hers. I would strongly encourage any homeschooler thinking of applying to Wake Forest to do the interview the summer before senior year to determine whether it is worth doing the cumbersome application.
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#6 hsmamainva

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 12:08 PM

Virginia Tech, Radford University, and the University of Mary Washington in Virginia also require SAT-II subject tests from homeschoolers...Virginia Tech & Radford want 2, Mary Washington wants 3....but they are willing to waive them if the students have college credit --- my oldest took classes at the community college via dual enrollment and all three were satisfied with that -- she chose to enroll at Mary Washington.



#7 Sebastian (a lady)

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 12:19 PM

Virginia Tech, Radford University, and the University of Mary Washington in Virginia also require SAT-II subject tests from homeschoolers...Virginia Tech & Radford want 2, Mary Washington wants 3....but they are willing to waive them if the students have college credit --- my oldest took classes at the community college via dual enrollment and all three were satisfied with that -- she chose to enroll at Mary Washington.

 

FWIW, a friend of ours was accepted to VA Tech without SAT subject tests.  He'd done calculus through a local college and his family used Crossroads Christian School for their official transcript.  (Crossroads is open on their website about serving homeschoolers, but the application might not have looked like a typical homeschool application.)

 

I'm not using Crossroads, but I can see why some people would use such a service.  What makes me scratch my head is that such a service doesn't ensure quality, only that certain boxes were checked with respect to hours or work samples. 

 

Now another school this student applied to suggested he resubmit a family created transcript instead of Crossroads, because they would consider him more favorably as a standard homeschooler.  (He was not in the end admitted to that school, but I found the suggestion interesting.)



#8 Sebastian (a lady)

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 12:22 PM

Virginia Tech, Radford University, and the University of Mary Washington in Virginia also require SAT-II subject tests from homeschoolers...Virginia Tech & Radford want 2, Mary Washington wants 3....but they are willing to waive them if the students have college credit --- my oldest took classes at the community college via dual enrollment and all three were satisfied with that -- she chose to enroll at Mary Washington.

 

It looks like Tech encourages the subject tests for homeschoolers, but does not require it.  Did you have a different experience? (AT the bottom of the requirements for incoming Freshmen)

 

Home Schoolers and Others in Non-Accredited Programs

In order to be competitive for admission to Virginia Tech, students from other than accredited schools (including home-schooled students whose programs are not accredited) must provide the following documentation for review by the admissions committee:

  • Application for admission
  • Application fee
  • Transcripts
  • Grades (level of performance)
  • SAT Reasoning Test scores and/or ACT Plus Writing scores

Students are encouraged to provide:

  • SAT subject test scores in math (level Ic or IIc) and a second area of study to be chosen by the applicant, or grades from dual enrollment courses in math and a second area of study of your choice completed at an accredited college or university.

Virginia Tech attracts highly competitive students nationwide and from over 100 countries. An increasing number of these students have unique educational backgrounds that require additional evaluation. The university administration recognizes that students from other than accredited schools may not study in the traditional classroom environment and that they are unable to provide the traditional documentation needed to evaluate their academic performance. Virginia Tech believes that providing this population the opportunity to demonstrate proficiency in their college preparatory curriculum through the above-listed documentation will be beneficial to both the student and the university.

Please be sure to include with your application package transcripts of any college course work you may have completed. If you plan to take the two SAT subject area tests described in the policy above, make arrangements to have those submitted as soon as available.



#9 creekland

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 01:58 PM

We came across many schools that had suggestions (like SAT II tests) for homeschoolers, but of the schools that made my guy's "potential app" list, Emory was the only one that would not budge and substitute other (very) credible things - hence - why I consider them homeschool unfriendly.  Those that were willing to look at different things are reasonable IMO.  He opted to stick with reasonable schools, but it was his choice.  We had time to sign him up for the tests.  He just didn't want to do them for ONE school when ALL the rest said he was just fine, esp when that one only required the tests of homeschoolers - not all applicants.

 

If he'd ever had an interviewer who was anti-homeschooling I'd have had him send a note to the school president informing them of why he chose not to apply (or was withdrawing his app).  The school may not know what the interviewer is doing... or maybe they do.  I don't know.  Fortunately, all of his interviewers were 100% ok with homeschooling.  They all asked him about it, but definitely not in a judgmental way.  (He never had an interest in Wake Forest though, so no experience there.)



#10 Sebastian (a lady)

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 02:06 PM

Creekland,
Did you end up communicating with Pitt on why your son chose to attend elsewhere?
I'm always curious if schools care why they lost strong applicants.

#11 Gwen in VA

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 02:20 PM

I think it's possible to have an anti-homeschooling experience even though the school itself looks very favorably on homeschooling.

My eldest's worst college interview ever was with an elderly alum who couldn't grasp the idea of homeschooling. The entire interview consisted of dd explaining for the fifteenth time that it's legal and yes, she can take AP exams, and yes, homeschooling is not an easy option for high school flunkies. After the horrible interview, unsurprisingly, dd did not get into the school even though it seems VERY open to homeschoolers.

One school we are dealing with seems very favorable to homeschoolers, but dd had a dreadful interview with the admissions person in charge of homeschoolers. (I don't know how long she has had the position.) The interview consisted of her drilling my dd on her academic record, with no interaction at all. Apparently she just asked question after question after question, and all of the questions were about how we did academics, not about anything personal. After the interview, the interviewer came out and told me, "She passed!" !!!!! (Too late I've thought of various responses to that, but at the time I think my jaw just dropped!) I'm still flabbergasted by the interview, but since the school is dd's current first choice, all we did was smile. Complaining wouldn't help -- dd is hoping for merit aid, and I doubt complainers get merit aid!

All of this is to say that colleges can BE generally homeschool-friendly, but a given interaction may be quite negative. Oh well!

#12 creekland

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 03:45 PM

Creekland,
Did you end up communicating with Pitt on why your son chose to attend elsewhere?
I'm always curious if schools care why they lost strong applicants.

Well, my guy chose U Rochester because he liked them better than Pitt.  Specifically, he liked having a smaller school of more accomplished students who were very research focused and all coupled with oodles of research options in specific fields/areas he liked.  Pitt came across as having a nice program, but in a larger school of more "traditional" students focused on sports and other such things.  He'd have found his niche, I'm sure, but the fit was definitely better at URoc.  Additionally, URoc has a true campus.  Pitt is considerably more urban.  So, I couldn't exactly write that he chose a different school because of the letter, but he did include it as one of the reasons he chose elsewhere on a survey they later sent.  I don't know what they do with those.  Perhaps it would make a difference.  Perhaps not. 

 

IF Pitt had been #1 (or if URoc had been unaffordable) then we'd have continued to pursue a written "ok" prior to committing or he truly would have chosen a different option (#3).  I'd have definitely let them know why and would have taken it up the chain a bit in the process, but it didn't seem right to do that when he had a different #1.  They did accept him a couple of weeks after receiving the letter  - it was just conditional.  The letter implied we had to do things to be accepted.  That didn't seem to have been the case.

 

All of this is to say that colleges can BE generally homeschool-friendly, but a given interaction may be quite negative. Oh well!

Very good point.  When some unexplainable things happen I think 'tis best just to figure what wasn't meant to be is that way for a reason...



#13 In The Great White North

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 03:51 PM

 

 

Actually, Emory requires 3 SAT II tests from homeschoolers. My daughter had 2 SAT II's (Math 2 and World History) and 4 high AP scores (Euro, English Lang, both Economics) and they would not budge on the 3rd SAT II.
The guy running the session said that, although generally three subject tests are "strongly recommended," for homeschoolers the number that they would want to see would jump to FIVE OR SIX! 

Looks like Georegtown has replaced Emory as the "most obnoxious to homeschoolers" school.



#14 Sebastian (a lady)

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 04:13 PM

Well, my guy chose U Rochester because he liked them better than Pitt.  Specifically, he liked having a smaller school of more accomplished students who were very research focused and all coupled with oodles of research options in specific fields/areas he liked.  Pitt came across as having a nice program, but in a larger school of more "traditional" students focused on sports and other such things.  He'd have found his niche, I'm sure, but the fit was definitely better at URoc.  Additionally, URoc has a true campus.  Pitt is considerably more urban.  So, I couldn't exactly write that he chose a different school because of the letter, but he did include it as one of the reasons he chose elsewhere on a survey they later sent.  I don't know what they do with those.  Perhaps it would make a difference.  Perhaps not. 

 

IF Pitt had been #1 (or if URoc had been unaffordable) then we'd have continued to pursue a written "ok" prior to committing or he truly would have chosen a different option (#3).  I'd have definitely let them know why and would have taken it up the chain a bit in the process, but it didn't seem right to do that when he had a different #1.  They did accept him a couple of weeks after receiving the letter  - it was just conditional.  The letter implied we had to do things to be accepted.  That didn't seem to have been the case.

 

Very good point.  When some unexplainable things happen I think 'tis best just to figure what wasn't meant to be is that way for a reason...

 

I can understand why you decided just to let it lie.  On the other hand, it might be worth letting them know that it was a mark against them.

 

Funny, we stopped at a McDonald's in Breezewood last weekend and there were a couple tables of guys in really obnoxious Pittsburgh shirts.  I finally realized that the shirts referred to the college team, not the professional teams.  My immediate reaction was, oh yea, that's the school that doesn't like homeschoolers.



#15 Sebastian (a lady)

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 04:22 PM

Looks like Georegtown has replaced Emory as the "most obnoxious to homeschoolers" school.

 

I wonder if the Georgetown counselor was trying to draw a distinction between what was required and what successful applicants tend to have. 

 

I know that is a balancing act that I have to walk with regard to USNA.  I will point students to things like the middle 50% for SAT scores and remind them that they want to be above the 25% mark, not below the 75%, especially if they live in a competitive area.  I will point out things like class rank, sports participation and extracurricular leadership experience. 

 

With homeschoolers I do tend to be more blunt.  It can be hard to explain just how competitive admissions can be.  And I know that homeschoolers are often in the position of doing course selection and guidance counseling in addition to "just" homeschooling.  So in a way, they can be in a position to have more effect on their academic path than public schooled students, who sometimes get trapped into course availability or prerequisites.

 

It's possible that he wasn't trying to say that they needed to see 5-6 subject tests in order to be convinced that a homeschooler was adequate, but that it was so competitive overall, that 5-6 subject tests was what had helped homeschoolers stand out in the past.



#16 In The Great White North

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 05:08 PM

 

 

It's possible that he wasn't trying to say that they needed to see 5-6 subject tests in order to be convinced that a homeschooler was adequate, but that it was so competitive overall, that 5-6 subject tests was what had helped homeschoolers stand out in the past.

 

Possibly but I'm not buying it.  I suspect that successful Georgetown applicants have great AP/IB scores, college credits (not CC), math contest wins, original research, etc that would more than adequately show aptitude and achievement.  5-6 subject tests wouldn't even improve the file.



#17 creekland

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 05:23 PM

I can understand why you decided just to let it lie.  On the other hand, it might be worth letting them know that it was a mark against them.

 

He did mention it on the survey they sent him ("Why didn't you choose us" type of survey"), but again, it was one of many things and he wanted to be honest about all of them.

 

Another homeschool mom also sent the link to the thread here to someone there (after asking my permission) - and never heard any response.

 

If anyone pursues an application there in the future, I'd love to know if they modified things at all. 

 

I keep mentioning Emory (including on college confidential) to both warn homeschoolers and encourage Emory to catch up with the majority of schools when they see how out of touch they are compared to their peer schools.  I do the same with Pitt when homeschooling comes up (as I did here), but at least they did accept my guy even if the whole thing was bizarre (esp when they made the initial "apply" list by claiming to not need anything extra from homeschoolers - Emory failed that "test.").  It may not make a difference to either school, but sooner or later, it might.

 

Ditto that if more folks list more things about other rare homeschooling issues w/colleges.



#18 Gwen in VA

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 08:48 PM

It's also funny how schools can change how homeschool-friendly they are very quckly. My ds1 applied to Pitt in 2008. The process was wonderful, he was awarded a full-tuition scholarship, and he was asked to come interview for the full ride. The interview he had at Pitt was one of the most memorable positive experiences of his life! He won the full ride, and saying no to Pittsburgh was one of the harder decisions he has ever had to make.

So maybe UPitt will swing back and be homeschooler-friendly in the next year or two!

#19 Kareni

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 11:07 PM

However, I would say that the most homeschool unfriendly college we encountered by far was Wake Forest. Interviews are strongly recommended at Wake and my daughter's interviewer (who was a 2011 Wake Forest) grad was clearly anti-homeschooling.

 

My daughter applied to and was accepted by Wake Forest back in 2009.  She never interviewed nor did she visit. 

 

She applied based on the strength of their need-based financial aid and their Latin/Classics program. This was not a school that did much communicating; her application was never acknowledged and she was quite surprised to get that acceptance come April 1.

 

This school offered the best financial aid package of any of her eight acceptances; however, I felt that some of their advertising as regards financial aid was deceptive. Feel free to ask me for more details.

Regards,
Kareni
 



#20 creekland

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Posted 08 August 2013 - 04:58 AM

It's also funny how schools can change how homeschool-friendly they are very quckly. My ds1 applied to Pitt in 2008. The process was wonderful, he was awarded a full-tuition scholarship, and he was asked to come interview for the full ride. The interview he had at Pitt was one of the most memorable positive experiences of his life! He won the full ride, and saying no to Pittsburgh was one of the harder decisions he has ever had to make.

So maybe UPitt will swing back and be homeschooler-friendly in the next year or two!

As I mentioned, my guy was admitted to Pitt.  He also got significant merit aid that likely would have been higher had we sent them his junior ACT score.  They had his sophomore scores since we sent them with his free score report in order to get on their mailing list.  We had plans on sending his higher scores, but didn't get around to it due to receiving the letter and contemplating whether we even wanted to pursue the place.  Even so, their merit aid and total package made Pitt essentially the same price as U Roc - I'm not even sure which one would have been technically cheaper  as they were that close.  We received his acceptance and merit aid offer without even responding to the letter - it totally surprised us as we thought we had to respond to the letter first.  They appear to be such a big school that one end didn't know what the other was doing IMO, but it's nothing like Emory's prejudice IMO.

 

Pitt is just, well, bizarre with what they added.  I've heard the other state related schools (Penn St, Temple) also have the same letter - or at least did that year.  I haven't heard from anyone applying since.  Through the grapevine I heard it was PA Homeschoolers that lobbied the state to get the "accredited transcript" need... apparently, it is good for their business for people to think they need an accredited high school.  One doesn't need one, of course, but if people think they do... more $$ to them.



#21 Pawz4me

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Posted 08 August 2013 - 06:26 AM

However, I would say that the most homeschool unfriendly college we encountered by far was Wake Forest. Interviews are strongly recommended at Wake and my daughter's interviewer (who was a 2011 Wake Forest) grad was clearly anti-homeschooling. He had not bothered to read my daughter's application before the interview and his demeanor visibly changed when she told him she was homeschooled. He definitely couldn't seem to grasp the fact that my dd's PA Homeschoolers classes were truly interactive and that her teachers who wrote her recommendations could truly know her work having never met her. Idiot! My daughter's comment comment after the interview was priceless. "Well, let's just say that he could not possibly be less impressed with me as I was with him. If he is an example of a WFU graduate that the Admissions department would choose to represent this school then I want no part of it." Her only regret was that she did the interview after she had spent time on and submitted their 7 essay application! She does know other homeschoolers who had other interviewers whose Wake interview experience was not as unpleasant as hers. I would strongly encourage any homeschooler thinking of applying to Wake Forest to do the interview the summer before senior year to determine whether it is worth doing the cumbersome application.

 

I've had just a bit of recent experience with Wake Forest.  My oldest (homeschooled 5-8 then public high school) has Wake near the top of his potential colleges list.  We did the campus tour last fall and he did the interview earlier this week.  In asking about their approach to homeschoolers both during the tour and (very briefly) of my son's interviewer, I didn't get the impression at all that they were homeschooler unfriendly.

 

Regarding the interview requirement and the application--I could be wrong, but my impression is that Wake isn't playing the numbers (rankings) game that most of the colleges do nowadays.  I believe they truly want to make sure that the applicants who apply really want to be there, thus the interview requirement and the lengthy application.  As I said, that's strictly based on my impression, and I certainly could be wrong.  If I'm right and they're not playing the rankings game, then I say good for them.



#22 nancy in nj

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Posted 08 August 2013 - 12:13 PM

I would absolutely agree that Wake Forest seems homeschool friendly based on the general tour/information sessions and informal discussions with the admissions staff. Wake was at the top of my daughter's list in the spring of her junior year (April 2012). Wake does have a reputation (see college confidential) of having some horrible interviewers who just shoot questions at the applicant, take notes without responding and then fire the next question. My daughter definitely got unlucky with getting an interrogator rather than a normal interviewer, but in addition, there was definitely a anti-homeschooling vibe to the interview. Even though he was clearly going down the standard questions list, there was a hostile tone to his questions. Instead of asking "How do you see yourself dealing with the rigorous academics at Wake?" she was asked "How could YOU possibly deal with the rigorous academics at Wake?" Had he bothered to glance at her application before the interview, he would have seen that she was academically more qualified than 95% of Wakes students and he could lose the attitude! The interview was so bad that she seriously considered withdrawing her application in protest of the interviewers attitude toward homeschooling (note...this was an employee of the admissions department, not an alumni interviewer). Since she had lost a weekend of her life writing the application and paid the application fee, she was inclined to make the Wake admissions staff waste time reviewing her application. She had no further interaction with Wake, and we were rofl when they actually wait-listed rather than outright rejected her.

Luckily, between the spring of junior year and senior year my daughter had decided she wanted a bigger school with a more diverse student body and both Emory and UNC Chapel Hill had surpassed Wake as my daughter's top college picks well before the interview.


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