Who should I use as recommendations for my application?

Homeschoolers come from a wide variety of backgrounds—if you’ve taken online classes, worked with tutors, or taken classes at a local high school or college, those teachers might be able to provide letters of recommendation for you. If you don’t have those kinds of educational references, you might consider asking a mentor, supervisor, or someone else in your community who knows you well and could speak to your strengths. Since the “counselor recommendation” often comes from a homeschool parent supervisor, we encourage you to look to someone outside your family for the other letters if possible. If your learning is taking place outside of a traditional classroom, talk to those out-of-classroom people who’ve been part of your learning process!

What are the high school requirements to attend COA?

We expect you to have studied a broad range of topics: math, science, and foreign language should accompany the study of literature and history. For context, most students entering COA have at least two years of history and foreign language, three years of math and science, and four years of English. However, if you have taken a different trajectory, we would love to hear about it in your essays and curriculum description.

Sand Beach

We review applicants as potential students, as well as potential community members. We value the experiences that you have had, regardless of how they have been evaluated by others.

In order to be eligible for federal financial aid, students need to have a high school diploma or a recognized equivalent such as a General Educational Development (GED) certificate. This includes completing a high school education in a homeschool setting approved under state law (in your home state). For a student who has not completed a credential, or if you have any questions about these requirements, please contact our financial aid office (financialdaid@coa.edu).

How should I present my learning? What if I didn’t receive traditional grades?

We generally are looking for a record of the things that you have learned in high school and the rigor of your coursework. In your transcript, we ask that you be thorough in outlining topics covered, books read, the evaluation process used in assessing work, and progress made over the year. Narrative comments can be very valuable in place of grades. If you have done mostly project-based learning, you might include a portfolio with descriptions of your learning, and if you did more formal classes you might have a more traditional high school transcript. We look forward to reading about your intellectual, social, and extracurricular pursuits!

Will I still be considered for merit-based scholarships as a homeschooled student?

Yes, all applicants will be considered for scholarships—simply complete your application for admission to COA. These merit-based awards are available for incoming students based on both academic achievement and citizenship qualities. The amount of the awards vary.