Information for Homeschooled Students

Homeschooled students have been welcomed into the Houghton College student body for a number of years. Our commitment is to encourage the enrollment of homeschooled students and to make our admission process as friendly to this talented group as possible. We hope to see the number of homeschoolers increase, because we believe Houghton College to be a good college match for the backgrounds and aspirations of this group of students.

Houghton Homeschoolers answer “Why should a homeschooled student consider attending Houghton?”

  • "The class size is encouraging, because you don’t feel miles away from the professor, and the classrooms themselves are small and not intimidating."
  • "Most homeschooled students have come from a strenuous learning background, and Houghton College continues this process."
  • "One of the reasons I chose Houghton was because I thought it would stretch me and challenge me academically, and I have not been disappointed."
  • "It is a small college with a strong sense of community."

Profile of Houghton’s Homeschoolers

  • 40-50 in each entering class.
  • Wide array of majors represented, including art, biology, education, English, history, physics, to name just a few.
  • States represented: Florida, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Vermont.
  • Homeschoolers are active on campus. Here’s a sampling of positions and organizations from the past few years: Student Government President, Class Senator, Chamber Singers, College Choir, captain of the cross country team, captain of the women's soccer team, Shakespeare Players, class officer, ROTC, Sunday school teachers, etc.
  • Among homeschooled students who responded to a recent survey, their average number of years of homeschooling is about eight.

Encouraging Conclusions

Homeschoolers are doing very well here academically. Based on the data we collected about homeschoolers in our sophomore, junior and senior classes, we can say that homeschooled students are thriving in our student body, and the data lead us to these conclusions:

  • Based on standardized test scores, homeschooled students as a group score above our incoming class average (which is well above the national average).
  • Homeschoolers achieve academically in college slightly above the level of our overall student body.
  • Homeschoolers seem to stay in college at Houghton at a greater rate than the norm.
  • Homeschoolers have received Houghton’s top academic scholarships and places in our highly competitive Houghton Honors Program.
  • Homeschool graduates from Houghton have gone to medical school and Ph.D. programs.

An informal survey was sent to these students to solicit their opinions about their preparation for college. Some conclusions drawn from this survey data:

  • Our homeschooled students believe that they are well prepared for college.
  • An eclectic approach to curriculum was used by parents of a large portion of our homeschooled students, but specific curricular programs were also used, e.g.: A Beka, Christian Liberty Academy; Saxon (especially for math); Bob Jones, Calvert; etc.
  • Houghton’s homeschoolers categorically declared the Houghton admission process friendly to homeschooled students and their parents.

General Advice from Houghton’s Homeschoolers

  • Get as much preparation as possible in subject areas such as mathematics, lab science,writing more research and theme papers, and foreign language.
  • Take some courses at a high school or college to get the feel of a classroom situation and to prepare you for the adjustment of education in a college setting.
  • We encourage all Houghton applicants to participate in extracurricular activities or organized sports while in high school.
  • Enjoy the freedom of your homeschooling, but be disciplined; the process of developing self-discipline will be a great help in college.
  • Take the standardized tests (SAT and ACT) a couple of times so that this data can validate the good academic work you have done in your homeschooling.
  • Concentrate on your strengths, but don’t neglect your weak areas in your high school academic work.  Especially don’t neglect developing strength/competence in math and science.

Transfer of College Credit

Many of our homeschooled students bring college credits with them earned at local universities, community, or Bible colleges. This can be a great strategy for saving money, providing flexibility in future course schedules, and impressing an admission committee. As mentioned earlier, these classes can also offer a nice introduction to the college classroom setting. As you consider this possibility, please keep in mind that you should focus on courses at the 100 (introductory) level at an accredited institution. It’s also a good idea to confirm transferability of course work with us to assure that the course taken will meet a Houghton College curricular requirement.

Preparation for Admission

In some cases, homeschoolers have an official transcript from a homeschooling agency or extension school. If this is not the case, we ask for the parent (or guardian) to submit a list of courses, course descriptions, and grades received. The summer before a homeschool student enters Houghton, he/she should send a final high school record, which includes the date that the high school program was completed.

Homeschool Curricular Template

Financial Aid Eligibility

All homeschooled students seeking to receive federal financial aid (PELL, etc.) and New York residents wishing to receive state need-based financial aid (N.Y. State TAP) must demonstrate “Ability to Benefit” (ATB) to be eligible for these funds. There are several methods to establish ability to benefit and more information can be found via the links below.

Learn More about Ability to Benefit

Please note: students are eligible for Houghton College financial aid without meeting the ATB requirement. However, demonstrating ATB is now required for eligibility for federal student aid (e.g. PELL grants and access to federal student loans) as well as New York State aid (NYS TAP).

Contact the Admission Office for more information at 800.777.2556 or