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Predicting College Performance of Homeschooled Versus Traditional Students

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Abstract

The prevalence of homeschooling in the United States is increasing. Yet little is known about how commonly used predictors of postsecondary academic performance (SAT, high school grade point average [HSGPA]) perform for homeschooled students. Postsecondary performance at 140 colleges and universities was analyzed comparing a sample of traditional students matched to a sample of 732 homeschooled students on four demographic variables, HSGPA, and SAT scores. The matched sample was drawn from 824,940 traditional students attending the same institutions as the homeschooled students, which permitted a very precise level of matching. This comparison did not show a difference in first-year college GPA (FGPA) or retention between homeschooled and traditional students. SAT scores predicted FGPA and retention equally well for both groups, but HSGPA was a weaker predictor for the homeschooled group. These results suggest that, among college students, those who were homeschooled perform similarly to traditionally educated students matched on demographics and academic preparedness, but there are practical implications for college admissions in the use of HSGPA versus standardized test scores for homeschooled students.

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... A study by Yu, Sackett, and Kuncel (2016) compared homeschooled and traditional students in terms of their respective performance in college, operationalizing college success as first-year college gradepoint average and rate of retention after the first year of college attendance. In part, the researchers were interested in how well various metrics predicted college success for these two groups of students. ...
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... (p. 64) While Cogan (2010) found the home educated to be outperforming others, Yu, Sackett, and Kuncel (2016) used a cross-sectional, explanatory, and matchedsample design to explore the first-year GPA and retention rates of college students. They found no difference between the homeschooled and others. ...
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Parent and family involvement in education, from the National Household Education Surveys Program of 2012. NCES 2013-028
  • A Noel
  • P Stark
  • J Redford
Noel, A., Stark, P., & Redford, J. (2013). Parent and family involvement in education, from the National Household Education Surveys Program of 2012. NCES 2013-028. Washington, DC: National Center for Education Statistics, Institute of Education Services, U.S. Department of Education.
Exploring academic outcomes of homeschooled students
  • Cogan
Cogan, M. F. (2010). Exploring academic outcomes of homeschooled students. Journal of College Admission, 208, 18-25.