Have you noted any trends regarding financial aid for home-schooled students applying to college in recent years? I’m thinking about resources targeted for home-schoolers, prevalence of home-schoolers and the ability of home-schoolers to succeed against traditionally schooled students for merit-based financial aid at elite schools. Thanks. I appreciate you sharing your thoughts.
— Chris Lansford
Home-schooled students are eligible for federal student aid and private scholarships, the same as students who graduate from a public or private secondary school.
Home-schooled students should take the Preliminary SAT exams, as it is the qualifying test for the National Merit Scholarship competition. They should also take the SAT or ACT, as it allows scholarship providers to benchmark their performance against students from secondary schools. Home-schooled students can also take CLEP and AP tests to earn college credits and enhance their resumes.
The Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 amended the Higher Education Act of 1965 to clarify that home-schooled students are eligible for federal student aid, so long as they satisfy any state requirements for home-schooled students. However, while such home-schooled students remain eligible for federal student aid, the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2012 ended the ability of new college students enrolling in college for the first time on or after July 1, 2012 to qualify for federal student aid by taking an ability-to-benefit test. Only a high school diploma or the equivalent (including a diploma from a home school) or a G.E.D. will qualify new students for federal student aid.