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7 top scholarships for homeschooled students

A smaller pool of applicants means less competition — and even $1,000 can reduce your student debt load.

Updated

There’s a handful of scholarships available specifically to high school students who were homeschooled. They won’t cover all of your expenses — most offer around $1,000 a year — but they can help make a dent in your cost of attendance (COA).

While some are available on a national level, your best bet might be to look locally. Most homeschool scholarships are available regionally.

Our methodology: How we picked these scholarships

We first looked for scholarships that are available specifically to homeschooled students. Then we considered factors like the number of awards given each year, award amounts, eligibility requirements and application deadlines. Since there’s no one scholarship that’s best for everyone, we aimed to serve a diverse range of homeschooled students with this list.

Sonlight Curriculum Foundation scholarships

  • Award amount: $1,000 to $5,000 a year
  • Eligibility requirements: Entering college the fall after you apply; purchased at least five Sonlight Curriculum History, Bible, Literature or Core programs over a period of 12 months
  • Deadline: December 2020

Christian students who used Sonlight Curriculum as part of their homeschooling curriculum can qualify for this merit-based scholarship. It offers three scholarship options: One $20,000 scholarship, four $10,000 scholarships and eight $4,000 scholarships — spread out over four years of college.

Sonlight considers factors like academic performance, spirituality, creativity, leadership and acts of kindness when weighing your application. Applications are due in December and winners are announced in February. If selected, you must remain enrolled full time with a 3.5 GPA or higher to remain eligible for funding each year.

Kohl Excellence Scholarship

  • Amount: $10,000
  • Eligibility requirements: Wisconsin resident, homeschooled, intend to enroll in a postsecondary institution, in good academic standing
  • Deadline: November 2020

Each year, 100 homeschooled students in Wisconsin are awarded a $10,000 scholarship they can put toward tuition, fees, books, room and board, and equipment and technology.

The selection committee considers factors like your engagement in arts and humanities, leadership, community service and civic duty as well as your academic standing. Applications are due at the end of November, finalists are announced in December and winners are notified in March.

Craig Dickinson Memorial Scholarship

  • Amount: $1,000
  • Eligibility requirements: Graduating senior, home educated for at least the last two years, entering a college or university in the fall, strong academics
  • Deadline: March 1, 2020

Offered by the Home Education Recognition Organization (HERO), the Craig Dickinson Memorial Scholarship is geared toward homeschooled seniors with strong academics. The competition is tough, though: It only offers this one-time award to one student each year based on factors like your references, autobiography, grades and test scores.

Unlike other scholarships, you’re no longer eligible for this one after your first year of college. Applications are due March 1st — later than many other scholarship programs.

Mason Lighthouse Scholarship

  • Amount: $1,000
  • Eligibility requirements: Homeschooled for four years of high school; entering a college, university, trade school or mission program in the fall
  • Deadline: March 1, 2020

Another award offered by HERO, the Mason Lighthouse Scholarship is for students who have a record of service in their church or community. Like the Craig Dickinson Memorial Scholarship, only one incoming freshman receives this award each year.

However, you don’t necessarily need to be going to college to qualify. Students entering trade school or a mission program are also eligible. HERO considers factors like your service experience, references and grades when you apply. Applications are also due March 1st.

State of the Arts Scholarship

  • Amount: $1,000
  • Eligibility requirements: Homeschooled for four years of high school, demonstrate significant experience in the arts, plan on attending an arts program in the fall
  • Deadline: March 1, 2020

This last HERO scholarship is for homeschooled students who plan on studying visual or performing arts. Like the other HERO scholarships, it’s only available to one incoming college freshman and applications are due at the beginning of March.

While your references and homeschool transcript factor in to your application, you also need to provide a portfolio that’s no more than 10 pages long or a five-minute CD or DVD of your work.

Emmett Comer Scholarship

  • Amount: Up to $1,000
  • Eligibility requirements: Washington State resident, member of the Washington Homeschool Organization (WHO), filed a Declaration of Intent to Homeschool form, graduating high school senior, plan to attend a college or university in the next year
  • Deadline: March 31, 2020

If you live in Washington State and your parents are a member of the WHO, you might be eligible for this one-time scholarship. The application is simple and only requires a short essay on your thoughts on homeschooling, along with other basic information. You can apply online through the WHO website as late as March 31st.

ABoR Foundation Scholarship

  • Amount: $2,000
  • Eligibility requirements: Live in an eligible county; graduating the spring before you plan to attend a Texas college, university, technical school or trade school
  • Deadline: February 11, 2020

Each year, the Austin Board of Realtors (ABoR) Foundation offers a one-time scholarship to first-year students from Austin who plan on going to school in Texas. It isn’t exclusively for homeschooled students, but you can qualify. Finalists are announced in March and required to participate in a panel-style interview. ABoR announces the winners in April.

How else can I pay for school?

If none of these scholarships offer enough to cover your full COA, you might want to consider these other financial aid options:

  • Private grants. Another type of aid you don’t have to pay back, grants take your family’s financial need into account instead of your grades. Check out our guide to grants for college to explore options you might qualify for.
  • Work-study. Work at your school or in the community in exchange for partial financial aid.
  • Student loans. Go for federal loans first — they typically have lower rates and more flexible repayment options. If you can’t qualify or maxed those out, consider a private student loan instead.

Compare private student loan options

Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Min. Credit Score Max. Loan Amount APR
Ascent private student loans
540
$200,000
2.69% to 12.98%
EDvestinU Private Student Loans
675
$200,000
4.07% to 9%
Straightforward student loans for undergraduate and graduate students.
LendKey Private Student Loans
Varies by lender
4.99% to 11.06%
This connection service partners with Sallie Mae and WSFS Bank to offer competitive rates.
 Advantage Education Loan Refinance Loan
670
Starting at 3.74%
Refinance to a more flexible repayment plan with this nonprofit lender.
Alliant Credit Union Traditional Student Loan
680
$60,000
Starting at 4.56%
All-purpose personal loans from @pl_product_min_loan_amount@ to @pl_product_max_loan_amount@ with rates that stop at @pl_product_var_rate@.
ChangEd student loan payment app
Securely connect all of your student loans and bank accounts to one place for a painless repayment experience.
Chicago student loans
None
Cost of attendance, up to $50,000
7.53% to 8.85%
No cosigner needed for this fixed-rate financing option.
Citizens Bank Private Student Loans
700
$295,000
1.25% to 10.57%
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Compare up to 4 providers

Bottom line

The scholarships available exclusively to homeschoolers likely won’t cover all of your college costs, but they’re still worth applying to. A smaller pool of applicants means less competition — and even $1,000 can reduce the amount of debt you graduate with.

You can explore even more ways to pay for school with our guide to student loans. Or check out other scholarships you might qualify for.

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