So how do homeschooled students do when they go to college?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussions' started by Shawn Ambrose, Sep 6, 2010.

  1. Shawn Ambrose

    Shawn Ambrose New Member

    I just got done reading the following article:

    Crogan, M.F. (Summer 2010). Exploring academic outcomes of homeschooled students. Journal of College Admission

    Granted the study explores one medium sized Midwest institution, and more research is needed, but there are indications that homeschooled students, who outperform high school students on standardized tests, continue to outperform their peers when moving on to higher ed.


    ACT Composite:

    Homeschool: 26.5
    Public: 25.0

    Transfer Credits (from high school):

    Homeschool: 14.7
    Public: 6.6

    1st Semester GPA:

    Homeschool: 3.37
    Public: 3.07

    1st Year GPA:

    Homeschool: 3.41
    Public: 3.12

    4 year GPA:

    Homeschool: 3.46
    Public: 3.16

    4 year graduation:

    Homeschool: 66.7%
    Public: 58.6%

    Received Pell Grant:

    Homeschool: 34.2%
    Public: 14.8%

    The one statistic that surprised me was the Pell Grant. At this institution, over 1/3 of the homeschooled students received Pell Grant monies vs. 1/6 of the public schooled students; yet the homeschooled students still outperformed the public school students.

    I wasn't surprised with the other results, since homeschooled students perform better in high school, they would be better prepared. Additionally, many homeschooled parents are looking for college credit options for their children for the admissions portfolio, thus better prepared students going in should translate to performing better in college.

  2. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    Those stats are impressive. However, I'd caution you regarding the Pell Grant stats. It's entirely possible that that the Public stats are low simply because fewer people in that group applied for the grant. If this is correct, does it suggest that the home-school group is generally lower income and so is in greater need of financial aid?
  3. cookderosa

    cookderosa Resident Chef


    The Pell Grant stat is interesting. The long held assumption being that socioeconomic status = predictor of academic success. Of course in a homeschool, you generally have 1 parent working less or not at all. So, typically, the family income is significantly lower. *but I think that the earning potential is not, so perhaps the "real" indicator of academic failure/success isn't income/socioeconomic status, but something else. In addition, a good chunk of homeschooled families are larger than 2 children thus greater financial need.
  4. mattbrent

    mattbrent Active Member

    I can't say I'm really surprised. However, remember than numerical data doesn't tell the whole story. Yes, they do better, but why? I'd wager that it has to do with their parents. I think it's safe to assume that a homeschooler has parents that are truly taking an interest in the child's education. Unfortunately, that's not always the case with public school students. Many of them aren't even raised by their parents.

    What I'd be interested in is the stats on students who enter college. At a recent faculty meeting, our guidance department gave a bunch of stats on how many of our grads went on to higher ed, joined the military, workforce, etc. We have a rather large "go to higher ed" percentage, but my question is, how many of them actually finish? Apparently people don't keep records of that.

    When I finished high school, I had a ton of friends who went on to college, and many of them never made it to second semester. Any idea how common it is for students to matriculate only to later drop out?

  5. AV8R

    AV8R Active Member

    We can easily derive from this that the public school kids simply aren't smart enough to apply for the PELL grant. ;-)
  6. cookderosa

    cookderosa Resident Chef

    well played
  7. BillDayson

    BillDayson New Member

    I'm aware of a few people who homeschool their children very successfully. These are high-income parents with advanced degrees, plenty of motivation and lots of time to devote to the task.

    But that's kind of a special-situations deal. I don't think that high-end homeschooling's success is going to be successfully scaleable to the general population, to parents in general. Often both parents work (or there's only one parent), the parents might be poorly educated themselves, and many doubtless lack the necessary motivation.

    If by some miracle, homeschooling really is better than conventional schooling, generally speaking for the broader population, then wouldn't that be a totally damning indictment of education as a profession? It would mean that individuals with no qualifications beyond functioning genitalia (their ability to become parents) are better natural teachers than individuals with subject matter knowledge, teaching practice and professional supervision.

    I'm very much a homeschooling skeptic.
  8. -kevin-

    -kevin- Resident Redneck

    Here's some stats from my daughter's school (private, independent):

    "Twice named a National School of Excellence by the U.S. Department of Education,

    National Merit Scholars: 20% of seniors are traditionally named National Merit Finalist, Semifinalist, and Commended Scholar

    Profile for Class of 2009: 65 Graduates
    SAT (Middle 50% Range) Critical Reading 600 – 710; Math 590 - 750; SAT Total (CR+M): 1190-1450
    ACT (Middle 50% Range) 24-30; Composite: 28

    Advanced Placement: Courses offered in every academic discipline. More than 80% of students typically take at least one AP course before graduation. More than 90% of seniors score 3 and above and 70% score 4 or 5. Of the students who have taken three or more AP courses, more than 90%typically are named AP Scholars.

    …graduated 61 seniors… all bound for the nation's leading colleges and universities.

    The class of 2010 earned more than $4.5 million in scholarships, and its graduates will attend schools in 17 states and Canada. The diverse class will be specializing in majors ranging from the humanities to pre-med, business and engineering. One member of the class will attend the U.S. Military Academy at West Point."

    Note, no mention of pell grants but rather scholarship. Perhaps these parents couldn't figure out the forms either.

    In addition to the above, all graduates attend college. My daughter is currently a national scholar for both Latin and Spanish. How many home schooled parents offer multiple language capability? While I have no doubt of the efficacy of home schooling for some children, the general thought that all parents are equipped to homeschool or that homeschooling in general is better than public schooling isn't convincing. I would be more interested in seeing a study of homeschooled versus public, versus private, for a given metropolitan area rather than statistics that are limited in scope.
  9. What about drop out rates for home school versus traditional? Any data on that?
  10. Fortunato

    Fortunato Member

    The study data included only 27 homeschooled students and makes reference to "missing data" in the sample set, while the paper itself backs off making any authoritative claims:

    Besides the data issues, I think there might be a possible issue of selection bias - with only 27 students in the homeschooled group, isn't it possible that the ACT scores and GPAs are so high because only the best of the best home schooled students applied to, were admitted by, and ended up attending the unnamed university? In order to track outcomes for homeschooled and traditional students, wouldn't it be advisable to select a (much larger) study population earlier (for example, as HS sophomores or juniors) and then follow them long enough to track a six-year graduation rate (given that many students, especially at low income levels, are on a track longer than 4 years).

    I think this study is interesting as a conversation piece, but I am not sure if one can draw any conclusions from it.
  11. I'd say you almost certainly cannot draw any conclusions from it.
  12. mattbrent

    mattbrent Active Member

    While I have no personal experience homeschooling, from what I know of homeschooling, I don't think it's fair to just lump all homeschooling together.

    From what I understand there are at least two types of homeschooling. Perhaps my colleagues here who homeschool can elaborate on this or correct my errors. Let's call the two types "A" and "B".

    "A" homeschooling involves a parent buying or creating some sort of curriculum for the various subjects. The parent has the child at home and works with them or allows the child to work independently and teach himself.

    "B" homeschooling involves networks in which groups of students get together and have various teacher/parents who teach the different subjects.

    I'm probably more familiar with "B" simply because my mother-in-law, who is an un-degreed published author, taught art and creative writing to a group of homeschool kids.

    Just knowing about these two types, I would hypothesize that "B" would yield better results because of the interaction between peers and the different methods of instruction presented by the various teacher/parents.

    Any ideas on this?

  13. Shawn Ambrose

    Shawn Ambrose New Member

    How about a blend of A and B?

    That's what we do, working with our local homeschool group. As the children move into High School, they transition into more independent learners, following their interests, as long as the basics are being taught, such as English, Algebra, Sciences, etc.

  14. cookderosa

    cookderosa Resident Chef

    I'm not in an especially articulate mood *having just finished our first day back of homeschool and my second glass of wine* but I think that there tends to be a few crossed wires when the discussion comes up (here) about homeschool.

    - why must we discuss whether or not it would work with all children? Clearly it wouldn't. Clearly it didn't. All American children used to be homeschooled- then co-ops style schools were formed in 1 room school houses, then public schools were started with credentialed teachers. For people to opt out of the group school doesn't suggest that all students should-would-could do so too. This is a significant point, because it keeps getting brushed aside. I have never heard or read an advocate suggest homeschool models be implemented in a public school- or that public schools be disbanded. That's crazy and a distraction.

    - using college entrance or completion data is supposed to measure the "success" of a homeschool? Huh? Clearly the motivation of the researcher is to suggest some superior success through homeschooling...but is that how we measure public school? Is that how we measure success in life? Are you your degree? I'm of the thought that there is WAY more to life than an academic meter.

    A personal opinion- I hate studies that promote the stereotype of homeschooled kids. The stereotype being the geeky brainiac kid without any friends. My community has over 200 homeschooled families that participate in the 2 larger social groups. We have belonged to both at one time or another. One very large Christian group ~150 families, and one smaller ~50 secular group. I'm not in either group, and neither are most of our friends. Groups tend to attract the newer homeschoolers. Anyway, I've met my share of homeschooled kids- several hundred in 15 years, and I find no common theme linking them all. They are not ALL smart/dumb. They are not ALL artsy/mathy. They are not ALL social/antisocial. They are not ALL great/not great. They are not ALL musical, or religious, or whatever. Where a child learns math clearly is part of his fabric, but not all of it.

    Distance learning, btw, is homeschooling for grown ups....and yet...
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 8, 2010
  15. thomaskolter

    thomaskolter New Member

    I would prefer to see stats on how many homeschooled and unschooled young people are productive as adults there is such a push for college one forgets many careers don't demand college, or even post secondary education.

    My niece was homeshooled from what would have been 6th to 9th grades and unschooled until she was eighteen, she is a very successful street performer in the state earning around $40,000 a year after taxes.

    My nephew was the same and he went on to train as a barber at a great barber college and now runs his own shop at age twenty five hardly not a success IMHO.

    I know of similar cases where people went into massage therapy, cooking, skilled crafts or other notable areas but not college or university they didn't want to go.
  16. cookderosa

    cookderosa Resident Chef


    I agree. I will likely encourage my children (strongly) to earn the highest degree possible in their field, however, I think the meaning of life is found in finding a purpose. I believe that finding a purpose, sadly for many, is nothing more than becoming an employee. To me, that falls flat, and I expect more from my children. A purpose can be anything, and I don't think it has to generate revenue, assuming you still have a way of supporting your family.
  17. -kevin-

    -kevin- Resident Redneck


    Your comments are spot on. You must be a heck of a mom. I encourage my daughter's liberal arts leanings. Life should be an exploration.

    Two of my favorite quotes:

    "I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. My sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history, naval architecture, navigation, commerce and agriculture in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry, and porcelain."

    "There are two types of education. One should teach us how to make a living, And the other how to live."

    -- John Adams
  18. thomaskolter

    thomaskolter New Member

    And what is wrong with being an employee its honest work, compared to some recent role models on wallstreet and in government seem to make an honest good cook in a decent family restaurant downright preferable.
  19. cookderosa

    cookderosa Resident Chef

    Really?? You got that from what I said? Ok. You should know that my husband, a honest good cook, supports our family. <confused>
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 9, 2010
  20. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member Staff Member

    I think his reply was in reference to your comment about "I believe that finding a purpose, sadly for many, is nothing more than becoming an employee."

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