As a college graduate who relied on scholarships, I know firsthand the challenges of finding scholarships. As a homeschooling mom, I know it can be difficult to navigate the scholarship world when you don’t attend a traditional school. But I’m here to tell you that it’s not impossible. Homeschoolers can get scholarships; there are plenty of opportunities if you know where to look.
Homeschoolers can apply and qualify for scholarships, just like any student from a traditional school. The process may be a bit different, but it is possible. Looking for possibilities early is always good since scholarships are usually first-come-first-serve.
One of the biggest misconceptions about homeschoolers is that we don’t have access to the same resources as traditional students. While it’s true that we may not have guidance counselors or college fairs to attend, there are still plenty of ways for us to find scholarships. Many organizations specifically offer scholarships for homeschoolers, recognizing the unique challenges we face and the hard work we put into our education. I have a list of some scholarship programs to look at and how to apply for them. Ready? Let’s do this.
Homeschool Students Can Get Scholarships
As a homeschooler, you might be wondering if you are eligible for scholarships. The good news is that there are many scholarships available for homeschoolers. Some scholarships are exclusively for homeschoolers!
One thing to remember is that scholarship eligibility requirements vary depending on the scholarship. Some scholarships may require you to meet certain academic or extracurricular criteria, while others may be open to anyone who meets the basic eligibility requirements.
It’s also important to note that homeschoolers may have to provide additional documentation when applying for scholarships. This may include transcripts, course descriptions, and standardized test scores.
However, many scholarships recognize the unique educational experiences of homeschoolers and consider this during the application process. Overall, homeschoolers can get scholarships. With some research and preparation, you can find scholarships that fit you and your educational goals.
Requirements for Homeschoolers to Get Scholarships
As a homeschooler, I know that getting scholarships can be challenging. However, it is not impossible. Here are some requirements that homeschoolers need to meet to be eligible for scholarships:
- Transcript: Homeschoolers need to have a transcript that shows their academic achievements. The transcript should include the courses taken and grades received. Some scholarships may require a minimum GPA, so it is essential to have a transcript that reflects the student’s academic performance.
- Standardized Tests: Many scholarships require students to submit standardized test scores, such as the SAT or ACT. Homeschoolers must take these tests and submit their scores and scholarship applications.
- Extracurricular Activities: Homeschoolers must participate in extracurricular activities to show they are well-rounded individuals. Extracurricular activities can include community service, sports, music, or any other activity that demonstrates the student’s interests and passions.
It is also important for homeschoolers to research scholarships that are specifically designed for them. Many organizations offer scholarships for homeschoolers, which may have different requirements than traditional scholarships. For example, the Homeschool Education Recognition Organization (HERO) offers the Craig Dickinson Memorial Scholarship, which requires an autobiography, homeschool transcript, and selected test scores.
Homeschoolers should also be aware of the deadlines for scholarship applications. Many scholarships have early deadlines, so planning and submitting applications on time is essential. Additionally, some scholarships require essays or letters of recommendation, so it is important to allow enough time to complete these requirements.
Overall, homeschoolers can get scholarships but must meet certain requirements and be proactive in their scholarship search. Homeschoolers can increase their chances of receiving scholarship awards by having a strong transcript, participating in extracurricular activities, and researching scholarships.
Types of Scholarships Available to Homeschoolers
Some types of scholarships that are available to homeschoolers include the following: academic scholarships, merit scholarships, need-based scholarships, subject-specific scholarships, diversity scholarships, career-specific scholarships, and community service scholarships.
Just because a child is homeschooled does not limit the types of scholarships they can get. There are several they can apply for. Here are some types of scholarships parents and their kids can look into so they can decide which type their child is capable of acquiring.
Academic scholarships are awarded to students who have excelled academically. Homeschoolers can apply for academic scholarships just like traditional students. These scholarships are based on academic merit and can cover tuition fees, books, and other expenses related to education. Some academic scholarships require a minimum GPA, while others require a certain score on standardized tests.
These are usually the route most traditional school students aim for, but a homeschooled child can also get this type of scholarship. This is an award-based achievement, so research what type of documents are needed to prove the child’s success in the academic field.
Exam scores for SAT or ACT are examples of documents parents might find helpful when applying for these scholarships.
Athletic scholarships are awarded to students who excel in sports. Homeschoolers who participate in sports can apply for athletic scholarships. These scholarships cover tuition fees, books, and other educational expenses. Homeschoolers can participate in sports through local clubs or homeschool sports organizations. Athletic scholarships are awarded based on merit and may require a minimum GPA.
If your homeschooler is interested in athletic scholarships, they will likely fare better if they’re on the school team. This begs the question: Can Homeschoolers Play Sports for Public Schools? The short answer is yes. But don’t miss the long answer at that link.
Community Service Scholarships
Community service scholarships are awarded to students who have demonstrated a commitment to community service. Homeschoolers who have volunteered in their communities can apply for these scholarships.
These scholarships cover tuition fees, books, and other educational expenses. Community service scholarships are awarded based on the number of hours of community service completed and the impact of the service on the community.
Many homeschoolers do a lot by contributing to their community back home. Being homeschooled allows children to help in their neighborhood more since they spend most of their time in their community. Scholarship grants might be available if a child has a good record of helping people out. So, please keep a lookout for them.
Keep an eye out if your child is looking for a high-demand career. Some organizations offer scholarships for courses such as teaching and nursing. In addition, it’s a good idea to talk with children about their career paths and what parents can do to help them achieve this.
Creative Arts Scholarships
Creative arts scholarships are awarded to students who excel in creative arts such as music, dance, theater, and visual arts. Homeschoolers who excel in these areas can apply for creative arts scholarships. These scholarships cover tuition fees, books, and other educational expenses. Creative arts scholarships are awarded based on artistic merit and may require an audition or portfolio submission.
In today’s world, being culturally aware and diverse is a big thing. Accepting members of diverse backgrounds into the majority and protecting the rights of those with marginalized histories is part of our culture and society, and that’s reflected in the educational system.
These include members of the LGBTQ+, racial or ethnic minorities, or persons with disabilities. If a child falls into any of these groups, consider looking for this type of scholarship.
FAFSA is not technically a scholarship. FAFSA stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid. So not everyone will qualify for FAFSA, but if your income is within the range, your child could benefit from government grants (which don’t need to be repaid, so it’s almost like a scholarship).
To qualify for FAFSA, you must fill out a form to help parents and children know if they qualify. We can get the form from the official government Student Aid. All we need to do is to let our child create an account and apply for aid. They will be given on-screen instructions, and the parent or guardian must fill in some information.
Pro tip: fill out the FAFSA form from the government’s site. There are a lot of scams out there that can be avoided by going directly to the .gov source or site.
Is your child gifted in music? Have they performed recitals or won any awards for a particular talent? A merit-based scholarship will be given to students who excel in the arts, such as music, sports, or community service.
If parents want to send their kids to college but don’t have the funds, they should consider getting a need-based scholarship. This type of scholarship looks at the family’s financial standing, and they offer to help pay for the child’s tuition.
Some require a higher GPA, and others might only need a child to maintain a passing or satisfying score in their subjects. Some require having a say in the child’s career path, so it’s a good idea to check out what you are applying for first.
These are often granted to students who excel in a particular subject, usually academics. So, be sure to have the proper documentation to prove the child’s eligibility for this scholarship.
Scholarships Not Granted by a School
While there are scholarships that the schools provide, there are also scholarships granted by different organizations or non-profit organizations. Keep an eye out for them, and make sure to apply before the deadline.
Usually, parents will also be given a list of requirements when their child tries to apply for them.
I’ve seen scholarships given out by toothpaste companies, big box name stores (like Walmart and Target), and even local companies give out scholarships occasionally.
Trade School Scholarships
Trade school scholarships are awarded to students pursuing a career in a trade such as plumbing, electrical work, or carpentry. Homeschoolers who are interested in pursuing a career in a trade can apply for trade school scholarships. These scholarships cover tuition fees, books, and other educational expenses.
Trade school scholarships are awarded based on financial need and academic merit.
How to Find Homeschool Scholarships
Parents can find scholarship programs online or go to the schools and inquire about scholarships their child can apply for.
Parents can check out this site to start looking for potential programs. It’s also important to sit down and talk with the homeschooler as both must decide which colleges they should apply to. Once they have decided, these are the usual next steps in the process.
I start by researching homeschool scholarships on websites like Scholarships360 and Scholarship Institute. These websites have a list of scholarships that are available to homeschoolers. I also check with local organizations such as the Rotary Club or Lions Club to see if they offer scholarships. I read the eligibility criteria and requirements for each scholarship before applying.
Applying for Scholarships
I recommend that you apply for as many scholarships as possible. Follow the application instructions and provide all the required documents.
I also recommend you write a compelling essay that showcases my strengths and achievements. I would suggest you ask your parents or a teacher to proofread an essay before submitting it.
Please keep track of the application deadlines and submit my applications before the deadline. This is a perfect moment to use a spreadsheet!
Tips for Winning Scholarships You Find
- Focus on maintaining a high GPA and participating in extracurricular activities to increase my chances of winning scholarships.
- Volunteer in my community and demonstrate leadership skills.
- Request letters of recommendation from teachers, mentors, or community leaders who know me well.
- Practice for interviews and make sure to dress professionally.
- Thank the scholarship committee for considering my application.
Overall, finding homeschool scholarships requires research, diligence, and effort. By following these tips, you can increase your chances of receiving scholarships to help you achieve your educational goals.
How to Apply for Scholarships: The Process for Homeschoolers
Once a scholarship is found, the application process is simple: follow the steps outlined in the scholarship form while paying strict attention to detail, due dates, and exact wording on the forms.
Request admissions information
If parents search online, the school’s webpage usually has admissions information. Then, they can have their child complete the request form following the on-screen instructions and submit the document.
The school will then email the admissions information by postal mail. In the information kit, parents will learn about the required documentation.
Parents can also request this documentation if they decide to visit the school. However, they will likely tell them to do the above process online. Still, this is not a bad idea, especially if they want to visit the campus.
Take Required College Exams
Usually, applicants will be required to take an exam, and the child’s score or placement will determine if they are eligible for a scholarship. Schools that do not require their entrance exam often require SAT or ACT exam scores for admission and eligibility for scholarships.
Keep a Transcript of Records
Homeschoolers’ transcripts usually come from various sources. As parents, we must keep track of where to obtain these records. If a child is a student of a homeschooling co-op, the co-op will typically have an official copy available upon request.
If parents want to get their children an academic scholarship, co-op records are one of the key documents they need.
Get Letters of Recommendation
Traditional students will usually be given a letter of recommendation from a professional at the school; the homeschooling alternative is to ask for this letter from members of the community who know about the child’s growth in academics or other talents.
Write the Essay
Make sure that the child does their best on this essay, especially if they are trying for a scholarship with their writing skills. This is probably their best shot to impress the school board enough to give them that scholarship.
This is a personal essay or statement that the child must accomplish. Topics and length may vary from school to school, but all the information should be given to them in the application kit.
Complete and Submit Your Application
Before parents submit everything, they should ensure that their child’s application is properly filled out. This is usually a personal data sheet that homeschooled kids must fill out with their names and other details.
In this section, parents can also tell the school that their child is homeschooled so the process won’t be delayed.
Wait and See
Once you’ve submitted your application, you’ll have to wait and see if you get it. You won’t get every scholarship you apply for, so that’s part of why I recommend applying to every scholarship you qualify for. That way, you increase the odds of getting enough scholarships to cover your educational expenses.
Frequently Asked Questions about Scholarships
This article is dedicated to helping you understand and have the right information. Next up, let’s answer some FAQs. If we haven’t answered your question yet, we hope to do so here! If we miss your question, please let us know on our contact us page. We’ll do our best to respond directly to your emailed question – and update this article so that other readers get their answers, too.
Do Scholarships Have Any Costs or Fees for Homeschoolers?
Usually, applying for scholarships does not cost anything. But most of them come with strings attached. For example, it is a normal requirement for the child to retain a certain grade in school, yet some scholarships only require the student to pass their subjects.
Some scholarships also require your child to be in a specific course, which limits their ability to transfer if they decide to try a different career path. But these things can usually be handled with the organization granting the child’s scholarship.
How Many Scholarships Can Homeschoolers Get?
Homeschoolers can get the same number of scholarships as traditional students. So, the only limit is whether they qualify for the scholarships they applied for. It is a good idea to apply for as many scholarships as possible to increase the chances of receiving one.
Some scholarships may limit people to only accepting one, but that is extremely rare. It’s hard to win a scholarship, so they usually don’t limit how many people can apply for them.
Since winning scholarships isn’t a money-paying endeavor, the money a homeschooler is given for the scholarship is always sent directly to the school to pay for your child’s tuition fees and other needs, such as textbooks.
Are There Any Scholarships That Homeschoolers Can’t Get?
Generally, homeschoolers can get the same scholarships as traditionally schooled kids. Parents only need the right documentation for their child to apply for one. However, there may be specific requirements that may prevent a homeschooler from getting the scholarship.
For example, some scholarship programs require a student to attend a certain number of years in school or a recommendation letter. Usually, there are alternative requirements for homeschoolers, so it’s a good idea to ask when scouting for possible scholarships.
Where Else Can Homeschoolers Go to Get Scholarships?
Many schools offer their own scholarships, so parents should talk to their children and inquire about their dream college. The school might be open for scholarship grants. Of course, if none seem to fit the bill, parents can search online for organizations offering scholarships.
Tips for Homeschoolers Applying to Scholarships
Students in traditional schools apply once they begin their senior year. This is because slots for scholarships are limited and have a deadline. They must remember to start scouting for colleges and find out what scholarships they can apply for once they feel ready to start at the university.
So, parents should let their children start looking for grants early. Are you letting your homeschooler handle their applications? If so, here are some helpful tips to remind them about.
Starting early also allows students to think about how they’ll write their application essay since it will give the organization a pretty good idea of who to gift the scholarship to.
Starting early also allows parents to acquire all the needed documents more easily. In addition, they can start considering who to ask for recommendation letters from and if documents are missing.
Be Yourself in the Essay
Writing an essay allows students to prove themselves as individuals worth the organization’s investment. Make sure the intelligence of the child is shown in their essay. Please encourage them to start writing it early so they can refine it later.
Make Standardized Tests a Priority
Parents should remind their students to do well on standardized tests such as SAT and ACT. These are important tests, and if they know they can affect their future and chances to go to their dream school, they might work a little harder to score above average.
Nurture their Talents
As parents of homeschoolers, we should encourage them to improve and nurture their talents. If we see our students as terrific in an art form or sport, we should tell them that many opportunities can come up if they put their energy into it.
Since a homeschooler will be doing most of the application requirements, remind them to double-check them with a checklist. They might have missed something, or there may be some fine print they might have overlooked. It’s always a good idea to double-check their application before submitting it.
Also, tell them to be mindful of deadlines. Scholarships only have a window for their application period so that they can announce the winners of their grants as soon as possible.
Getting scholarships is important, but homeschoolers can still get the financial help they need. You must know where to look, apply to every scholarship you can, and be meticulous about the details. Hopefully this helped you do just that – so good luck to you, my homeschooling friends!
Learning from your own experience is important, but learning from others is also smart. These are the sources used in this article and our research to be more informed as homeschoolers.
- Freedland, L. (2023, March 10). Top 15 Scholarships for Homeschoolers in March 2023. Scholarships360. https://scholarships360.org/scholarships/scholarships-for-homeschoolers/
- Homeschool Student College Scholarships. (n.d.). http://www.collegescholarships.org/scholarships/homeschool.htm
- Is there a limit to the number of scholarships that one can take out in order to pay for school? (n.d.). Quora. https://www.quora.com/Is-there-a-limit-to-the-number-of-scholarships-that-one-can-take-out-in-order-to-pay-for-school
- ScholarshipInstitute.org. (2023, February 15). 20 Scholarships Homeschoolers to Apply For in 2023. https://scholarshipinstitute.org/scholarships-for-homeschoolers/.
- Top 10 Online Colleges. (2022b, July 14). 25 Great Scholarships for Home-Schooled Students –. Top Ten Online Colleges. https://www.top10onlinecolleges.org/scholarships-for/home-schooled-students/
- What’s different about applying to college as a homeschooler? (article) | Khan Academy. (n.d.). Khan Academy. https://www.khanacademy.org/college-careers-more/college-admissions/applying-to-college/applying-as-a-homeschooler/a/whats-different-about-applying-to-college-as-a-homeschooler