This article was updated on May 1, 2015.
More than 2 million students across the country are educated at home, and there are a number of scholarships specifically designed for them. Although most scholarships will not exclude home-schooled students (although some do), the following is a summary of great awards, both locally and nationally.
Check out our scholarship search for more award listings.
Sonlight provides Christian home-school curriculum materials and service. Each year, the company sponsors 13 awards totaling $20,000 (maximum award is $5,000). Scholarships are for those who have purchased and used Sonlight curriculum. They’re awarded based on two sets of criteria. The “Green Criteria” include creativity and acts of kindness. Academics are given the greatest weight among awards based on “Blue Criteria.”
HERO sponsors three scholarships specifically for students completing a home-schooling program. The Craig Dickinson Memorial Scholarship is awarded in recognition of outstanding academic achievement. The Mason Lighthouse Scholarship is for service-minded students who have contributed to their church or civic community. The State of the Arts Scholarship is for students who plans to study performing or visual arts. Applicants must submit a portfolio, CD or DVD for consideration. All HERO awards are $1,000.
For residents of Wisconsin, Herb Kohl Educational Foundation reserves several of its 100 annual awards specifically for home-schooled students. This scholarship recognizes student leadership, citizenship, school and community involvement, in addition to academic achievement. Each award is $3,000.
This scholarship is specifically for home-schooled students in Rowan County, North Carolina. The minimum award historically has been $500. Applicants must be able to demonstrate good character and participation in extracurricular activities, such as community or church involvement.
These are just a sampling of the awards available specifically for home-schooled students. There are many regional or school-specific awards, and all students should go after this funding to help realize their higher education goals. Students and parents should begin researching scholarships up to two years in advance, almost as soon as you begin looking into college programs. Additionally, scholarship research and essays can be built into the home-school curriculum.
More ways to pay
The scholarships on this list are all great ways to help pay for college. But be sure to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid so you get other sources of financial aid, too. The FAFSA is the key to unlocking grants, work-study opportunities and even additional private scholarships. Learn more about the FAFSA.
Home-school student photo via Shutterstock.