If you’re a parent of a homeschooled child who dreams of attending an Ivy League College, don’t worry – getting your student into one of the eight private schools included in the Ivy League is possible. If you run an Internet search on the question of whether homeschooled students are eligible for acceptance to Ivy League schools, you’ll find many articles by homeschooled students who attended and successfully graduated from, an Ivy League school.
The important question to ask yourself when faced with completing the Ivy League application process with your child is – “Will this school be a good fit for my student or are we applying solely based on the ‘Ivy League’ name?” Many people are not aware that the Ivy League is not the name of a block of highly ranked private or public colleges, but the name of an athletic conference. Yes, the Ivy League schools are prestigious and excellent institutions, but remember – just because a college is in the Ivy League athletic conference doesn’t mean it’s the best choice for your student.
The good news is – even though homeschooled students are traditionally under-represented at Ivy League colleges, every one of the eight colleges included in the League does accept applications from homeschoolers.
Here’s the college-by-college “quick” breakdown in terms of general application requirements for homeschoolers:
Brown University – Brown’s class of 2020 acceptance rate was 9.01%. Brown received 32,390 applications and accepted 2,919 new students. Brown’s “Home-Schooled Applicants” web page verifies that the “evaluation process is the same for all first-year applicants, but home-schooled applicants may have to present some of the required documents in a different format than what would be provided by traditional students.” Admitted students for the class of 2020 come from a record 1,840 high schools: 59 percent attended public schools; 33 percent attended private schools, and 8 percent are from parochial schools. (No specific figures available for homeschooled applicants.) (https://www.brown.edu/admission/undergraduate/admission-process-different-home-schooled-applicants )
Columbia University – Columbia’s class of 2020 acceptance rate was 6.04%. Columbia received 36,292 applications and accepted 2,193 new students. Columbia’s homeschool admission policy “gives homeschool applicants the same evaluation as they give other students. In each case, admissions officers are weighing many components of a candidate’s background: academic achievement, intellectual curiosity, extracurricular distinction, special talents and abilities, and many others.” Columbia’s Class of 2020 Profile does not include a breakdown of which types of schools accepted students came from but does indicate, among other admissions statistics, that 90% of accepted students were in the top 10 of their graduating class. (http://undergrad.admissions.columbia.edu/classprofile/2020 )
Cornell University – Cornell’s class of 2020 acceptance rate was 13.96%. Cornell received 44,966 applications and accepted 6,277 new students. Cornell’s website clearly indicates that there is no single admissions formula and asks students to consider “Have you challenged yourself with the highest-level courses? How have you demonstrated your passions for learning?” The school’s 2020 admissions profile shows that 62.8% of enrolling students for the class of 2020 came from public schools; 19.9% from private/parochial schools; and 18.2% came from “other” schools including charter schools and home schools. (https://admissions.cornell.edu/sites/admissions.cornell.edu/files/Class%20Profile%202020.pdf )
Dartmouth College – Dartmouth’s class of 2020 acceptance rate was 10.52%. Dartmouth received 20,675 applications and accepted 2,176 new students. Dartmouth’s web admissions page notes that the school “receives a number of applications from home-schooled students each year, so there is no need to worry that we are not accustomed to home-schooled applicants.” The school’s paper, Dartmouth News, reported that, in the class of 2020, “51.6 percent are students of color, including African American, Asian American, Latina/o, Native American, and students who self-identify as multiracial. A growing number of Dartmouth students come from public schools. This year, 63 percent of admitted students are public school students, up from 60.8 percent last year, with 25.4 percent this year from private schools, and 11.6 percent from parochial schools.” (https://news.dartmouth.edu/news/2016/03/2176-students-offered-acceptance-class-2020 )
Harvard University – Harvard’s class of 2020 acceptance rate was 5.2%. Harvard received 39,041 applications and accepted 2,037 new students. Harvard does accept homeschooled applicants. The pool of homeschooled applicants is in the hundreds each year. Harvard’s policy is to hold homeschooled applicants to the same standards as any other applicant. All freshman applicants—both international and U.S. candidates—must complete the Common Application, the Universal College Application, or the Coalition Application along with the required supplements. Harvard’s Admitted Students Profile does not break down admittance statistics by type of high school applicants attended. (https://college.harvard.edu/admissions/admissions-statistics )
Princeton University – Princeton’s class of 2020 acceptance rate was 6.46%. Princeton received 29,303 applications and accepted 1,894 new students. Princeton does accept homeschooled students and states that it does recognize that homeschool students may have to document their academic preparation activities differently than other applicants. Although homeschooled applicants still make up a “very small portion” of the applicants’ pool, applications from homeschooled students have been increasing. Princeton’s Admissions Statistics web page indicates that 59.8 of students accepted came from public schools; 16.7% from independent day schools; 14.0% from religiously affiliated schools; 9.2% from independent boarding schools; .2% from the military; and .1% of accepted applicants were homeschooled. (https://admission.princeton.edu/how-apply/admission-statistics )
The University of Pennsylvania – Penn’s class of 2020 acceptance rate was 9.41%. Penn received 38,918 applications and accepted 3,661 new students. Penn does accept homeschooled applicants. Penn’s admissions site says that “in terms of academic credentials, our primary focus is on the high school transcript, but we also take a close look at standardized test scores, correlating them with high school performance.” In reference to homeschooled students, Penn “understands that for many homeschooled students there is not as clear a distinction between academic and non-academic activities as there might be for students in a traditional high school.” Penn’s Incoming Class Profile does not break down admittance statistics by type of high school applicants attended.(http://www.admissions.upenn.edu/apply/whatpennlooksfor/incoming-class-profile )
Yale University – Yale’s class of 2020 acceptance rate was 6.27%. Yale received 31,455 applications and accepted 1,972 new students. Homeschooled applicants to Yale complete the same application as other students and must also fulfill the same testing requirements. Yale provides a short list of suggestions for homeschooled applicants and states that “We look for evidence of social maturity from all our applicants and especially from home-schooled students.” Yale’s Freshman Class Profile shows that 60.4% of the incoming freshman class matriculated from public schools; 22.3% from independent day schools; 9.5% from boarding schools and 7.7% from religious schools. (https://admissions.yale.edu/sites/default/files/files/class_profile_2020_8-29.pdf )
Finally, as a parent working with your homeschooled child, always remember that college admissions policies change all the time. You should be reviewing application policies and requirements at least a year in advance and again during the same year, your student is applying. Homeschoolers should always check with the Admissions Office of each college they have selected for application purposes.