College Planning

College Planning Help for Homeschoolers

If you’re a homeschooled student, you can get ready for college the same way students at traditional high schools do: by taking challenging coursework, studying hard, and asking your instructor for help when you need it.

You can also take advantage of the same College Board programs and services, like the AP Program, the SAT, and the BigFuture Scholarships.

Browse the topics below to find information to help you on the road to college. The BigFuture™ website also has useful tips on finding schools, getting financial aid, and exploring careers. And if you’re looking for hard-copy college guides and study resources, you’ll find them at the College Board Store.

Homeschoolers and AP

AP Exams: If you get a qualifying score on an AP Exam, you could earn college credit or advanced course placement at thousands of colleges nationwide. Homeschoolers can usually take AP Exams at a local school that administers them.

Call or email AP Services for Students at 888-225-5427 or [email protected] to get contact information for local AP coordinators who can help you arrange to take the exams.

AP courses: If your homeschool provider wants to offer a course that can be officially labeled “AP,” they’ll need to give the College Board information about the course so we can make sure it meets AP standards. To do this, they’ll need to submit an AP Course Audit form. Learn more about the AP Course Audit and get more information for homeschool providers.  

Once the College Board approves the course, your homeschool provider can request free copies of the AP course and exam descriptions (CED) for the subjects they’re teaching. They can also download the CEDs and official AP practice exams you can use to prepare for the tests.

Homeschoolers, the SAT, and the PSAT/NMSQT

Taking the SAT: The SAT is a college admission test that most U.S. colleges use to help them decide which students to admit. Homeschooled students can register for the SAT online or on paper, just like any other student. Anywhere you’re asked for your high school code on the registration form, use code 970000.

Taking the PSAT/NMSQT: The Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®) is given each year in October. It measures the same knowledge and skills as the SAT and is the qualifying test for entry to the National Merit® Scholarship Program. To take the PSAT/NMSQT, you’ll need to contact a high school near you that’s administering the test. We recommend contacting them several months before the test date. Learn more about homeschoolers and the PSAT/NMSQT.

Free Practice for the SAT and PSAT/NMSQT: One of the best ways to prepare for the SAT or PSAT/NMSQT is to use Official SAT Practice on Khan Academy®. It’s free, it’s online, and it gives you a personalized practice plan based on your scores on a previous SAT or PSAT/NMSQT or on short quizzes you take on Khan Academy.

You can also take official SAT practice tests on Khan Academy or download them from the College Board website.

Learn more free SAT practice resources.

Learn more about free PSAT/NMSQT practice resources.

Homeschoolers and SAT Subject Tests

SAT Subject Tests are college admission tests that focus on specific subjects. You can arrange to take an SAT Subject Test by contacting a counselor at a local high school.

Some colleges and universities require or recommend that homeschooled students include Subject Test scores as part of their application. This is because Subject Test scores help college admissions staff evaluate whether a student is academically ready for college.

Even if the colleges you’re interested in applying to don’t require Subject Tests, you may still want to take them. Depending on your score, you might be able to fulfill basic college requirements or get credit for introductory-level courses.

Learn how to register for SAT Subject Tests.

Homeschoolers and CLEP

College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) are computer-based tests in 34 subjects that cover content similar to what you’d learn in corresponding intro-level college courses. Taking one or more CLEP exams is a great way for homeschooled students to earn college credit at over 2,900 colleges and universities.

It’s also a great way to save money: each CLEP exam could earn you up to 3 college credits and costs $89, a fraction of the average cost of a 3-credit college course. There are also free online courses to help you prepare for the exams. See all the ways you can practice for CLEP exams.

CLEP scores: There’s no one passing CLEP score that’ll earn you credit; qualifying scores vary by college and exam. Most colleges that grant credit for CLEP exams publish their qualifying scores online, so visit college websites for the most accurate information. Learn more about CLEP scores.

Homeschoolers Who Need Test Accommodations

Testing accommodations like large-print test books, extra breaks, or using a computer to write an essay are available to homeschooled students who have a documented disability and a documented need for the accommodation.

To find out how to request accommodations for any College Board test, visit our Services for Students with Disabilities page.

Homeschoolers and Scholarships

While there aren’t any scholarships for homeschoolers exclusively, homeschooled students can qualify for many of the same scholarships as traditionally schooled students.

College Board Opportunity Scholarships: This scholarship program rewards all eligible students—including homeschoolers—for taking specific actions that move them closer to college. There are no application fees, GPA requirements, or essays to write.

Homeschooled students can earn money for college by doing things like building a college list, practicing for the SAT, and submitting the FAFSA®. With each step you complete, you could earn scholarships worth $500–$2,000; if you complete all the steps, you could earn a scholarship worth $40,000. Learn more about the College Board Opportunity Scholarships.

Other scholarships opportunities: Homeschooled students can use the College Board CSS Profile online application to apply for scholarships and nonfederal aid from over 400 U.S. colleges. Learn more about CSS Profile.