Occidental welcomes homeschool applicants and those who have taken a less traditional academic path.
Through your Occidental application, we encourage you to share insight into your academic journey. Consider why you chose a rigorous homeschool curriculum and highlight how you’ve challenged yourself and achieved success as a student.
At Occidental, homeschool applicants are most successful in our admission process when they are able to demonstrate success in an academic setting that resembles our classroom experience. This is most typically achieved by enrolling in courses at a local college/university (in-person, rather than online courses) to supplement your homeschool curriculum.
Application Tips for Homeschool Students
- We encourage you to obtain a transcript/certification from a local education authority. If external transcripts/certificates are not available, syllabi of high school courses (including topics covered, how a student is assessed, and textbooks used) should be submitted with your transcript.
- External assessments can also be extremely beneficial in assessing your academic preparation. In addition to SAT or ACT results, you should consider submitting SAT II results, AP results, transcripts of college courses, and/or GED results.
- Recommendation letters provided by instructors, mentors, part-time employers, or project managers are strongly preferred to those from a family member. Family members who are instructors are still permitted to write letters of recommendation, but they must be supplemented by letters written by those outside of your immediate family.
- As a residential college we prize students who seek engagement with others and with a community. Our classroom setting is discussion-based and collaborative. Recommendation letters that speak to your engagement in the classroom or community are of most value to the admission committee. Also, provide specific examples of your involvement in the Activities section of your application.
- We strongly encourage all homeschool applicants to interview.