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.
Browse the topics below to find information to help you on the road to college. The BigFuture website also has useful tips on finding colleges, getting financial aid, and exploring careers.
Homeschoolers and AP
AP Exams: If you get a qualifying score on an AP Exam, you could earn college credit, advanced placement, or both at thousands of colleges nationwide. Homeschoolers can usually take AP Exams at a local school that administers them.
Contact AP Services for Students at 888-225-5427 or complete this form 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, 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 and Preparation for the digital SAT and PSAT/NMSQT: The PSAT/NMSQT will transition to a digital format in fall 2023. The SAT will be digital starting in spring 2024. One of the best ways to prepare for the digital SAT or PSAT/NMSQT is to download the Bluebook Testing App, take a full-length practice test, and review your results. Then, use Official Digital SAT Prep on Khan Academy®. It’s free, it’s online, and it gives you a personalized practice plan.
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 3 college credits or more and costs a fraction of the average cost of a 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.
BigFuture Scholarships: These scholarships reward all eligible students—including homeschoolers—for taking specific actions that move them closer to college and careers. There are no application fees, GPA requirements, or essays to write.
Homeschooled students can earn money for college by doing things like starting a career list, building a college list, and submitting the FAFSA®. With each step you complete, you could earn scholarships a chance to win $40,000 or $500. The more steps you complete, the more chances you have to win. Learn more about BigFuture Scholarships.
Other scholarships opportunities: Enter your information to find matches from over 6,000 programs, totaling over $4 billion in scholarships. Start your search for scholarships here.