Home School Applicant Guidelines

Penn welcomes and encourages applications from a growing number of Home School students. We enjoy getting to know academically talented and often courageous pioneers who chart non-conventional academic paths. As part of Penn’s holistic evaluation process, home school applicants are asked to review the Application Tips below and to complete all sections of the Common Application and Penn Writing Supplement.

More information is better… In the Secondary School Report and elsewhere in your Penn application, please share your motivations for choosing a rigorous home school journey.  Why did you or your family seek home schooling as an option for your education?  Describe your curriculum in detail and tell us how you, your family or oversight group have organized your pursuit of knowledge across core academic disciplines including humanities, math, social and natural sciences, and foreign languages.  How has being home schooled helped you grow intellectually and personally or enhanced your opportunities for learning?  The aim is to help the admissions committee understand how you have worked to “demonstrate mastery” and “distinguish excellence” across the curriculum.  Anything you or your academic supervisor can do to explain and contextualize your educational circumstances can only be helpful in the Penn admissions process.

Application Tips

  • It is partcularly important for each home school applicant to submit a consolidated transcript that pulls together and organizes all academic work. If the name of a course isn't clear or needs further explanation, include a brief course description. Course listings, grading/rating scales, syllabi, lab work, reading lists, textbooks or historical/current information help to enhance our understanding of your academic program.
  • Standardized test scores in subjects you wish to showcase may provide objective evidence and support for grades and ratings.
  • Recommendations and viewpoints provided by instructors from outside of your home provide objective evaluations and lend additional context to your academic work.
  • The Secondary School Report may be completed by a high school guidance counselor, homeschool program coordinator, curriculum advisor, or family and may include motivations for home schooling, description of curricula, etc.