"Will my child be able to attend college if they participate in alternative homeschool?" is a common question each learning community is faced with. 

The answer is a resounding "YES" with the following rider: "If that's what they choose." 

There are many ways for students to enter college now and many colleges are beginning to re-evaluate their admissions criteria.  As more and more of them accept children who have been educated in non-traditional environments, they have found these students to be highly successful in college courses in many cases far surpassing their peers from conventional programs. 

Young people who are used to taking responsibility for their learning and their schedule, and who have freely chosen to attend college with purpose and reason do better than those who upon entering college are experiencing freedom for the first time, and who are often attending because it is expected. 

How Do Children From Non-Traditional Schools Apply?

Students will often study for and take the SAT or ACT.  They will present transcripts and often powerful portfolios of their work that tell the university admissions office a lot more about them than their transcripts. 

This process remains the same whether the school is accredited or not.  In the case of a non-accredited school, the portfolio becomes vital. 

We have often seen that children who are free to learn according to their passions and interests begin taking college courses online from local community colleges much earlier than their peers.  Once they have college credit, high school diplomas and transcripts cease to carry weight in university admissions. 

Because of the possibilities afforded by online learning, we have heard of many cases of children beginning college at 16 instead of 18.  Some of them never even go to high school and do not get high school diplomas. 

In short, there are many ways to access higher education. We believe the most important factor is a person's desire to do so. 


The choice of whether to accredit will be up to each school community.  Below we outline the process, what it is and how to go about it including pro's and cons. 

What is accreditation really?

For most parents the journey with accreditation begins and ends with "Is your school accredited?"  A "Yes" response makes you feel good, a "No" response may signal the end of the conversation.  The "Yes" response is rarely if ever followed up with more inquiry such as "Who are you accredited by?" and "What are their standards?".  The reason for this is because often parents have an inaccurate understanding of accreditation. 

In a nutshell, accreditation is the mark of meeting a set of externally developed standards for determining the success of a school. 

Should we do it?

  1. Because children don't have problems entering college or transferring to other schools from an unaccredited school. 
  2. It can be time consuming and expensive.
  3. It may ask us to compromise what we are doing such as by having to agree to standardized testing or the assigning of grades.  
  1. The process itself is actually very valuable as it leads to greater awareness of the strengths and weaknesses of a program.  
  2. Even though children from unaccredited schools go to college without problems, the lack of accreditation creates a lot more legwork for the school staff.  The extra work is fine when the school has small numbers of students. 
  3. More parents will feel at ease enrolling children in a school that is accredited. 
How do we accredit our school? 


After 2-3 years, accreditation by AdvancED is a possibility. 


  1. Parents can be assured that at least one external unbiased organization has evaluated the school and determined it is legitimately delivering on its promises.
  2. This accreditation is recognized universally across the US and abroad. 
  3. It does provide a framework for continuous improvement through its standards.


  1. It can cost between $6,000 and $10,000 to become accredited. 
  2. It is time consuming and labor intensive. 
  3. A school could use these standards or develop their own for improvement. 
  4. A school must be in operation 2-3 years before applying. 
2010 AdvancED Standards.pdf 2010 AdvancED Standards.pdf
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