Homeschooling High School

Can I homeschool my high school student? How difficult is it?

Yes, you can! Personally, I’ve found it just as rewarding as homeschooling younger students. It just requires more planning to prepare your student for future goals. It also involves a little more “paperwork” if your student needs a transcript and plans to apply for state scholarships.

How many/what classes should my student take? How do I grade their work and give them credits?

I recommend planning for six to eight classes per year (24-32 total credits), where each full course earns one credit, and each semester course earns half a credit. I go into more detail about choosing classes and awarding credits in my guide, Homeschooling Essentials, but if you want to see what South Carolina requires for their public school diploma, see SC High School Course Requirements. Homeschoolers are not required to follow SC’s graduation requirements, and I’m happy to help member families sort through the different options based on their student’s goals.

Will the South Carolina Department of Education award a high school diploma to my student?

No. South Carolina doesn’t award diplomas to students in homeschools or private schools. They only award diplomas to their public school students.

So how will my student get a high school diploma?

You can issue a diploma to your student, or you can join a homeschool association or correspondence school that will provide one. However, keep in mind that colleges and employers usually don’t care much about diplomas. They want to see your student’s transcript and SAT or ACT test scores. No one has ever asked to see my (or my husband’s or children’s) high school (or college) diplomas. That said, they’re a great keepsake for your student and many reputable companies provide beautiful diplomas (and graduation announcements, caps and gowns, class rings, etc.).

What’s on a transcript?

A list of your student’s courses, type of course (college prep, tech prep, honors, etc.), grades earned (based on the South Carolina Uniform Grading Policy), cumulative grade point average, and SAT/ACT scores. If your correspondence school or homeschool association ranks students, then your student’s class rank is on the transcript, too.

How will my student get a transcript?

As a homeschooling parent in SC, you’ll have to create one based on your high school student’s work. Regardless of the association you register with, they will take the information you give them, copy it to their form, and that’s the transcript they’ll provide to colleges. Colleges understand that these transcripts originate from parents.

Does Carolina Homeschooler issue transcripts?

Yes, we develop a transcript for seniors based on the information you provide to us, endorse it, and forward it on your behalf to colleges for admission and scholarship applications.

Does Carolina Homeschooler provide a class rank for students?

We do not rank our students, for various reasons.

Isn’t a class rank required to qualify for SC’s state-sponsored scholarships (LIFE, HOPE, and Palmetto Fellows)?

No, it’s only one of the criteria students can qualify with for some SC scholarships. The basic requirements for these scholarships are listed below. Click on the links for more information.

For the LIFE Scholarship:
If a student is entering a four-year institution, they must meet two out of the three criteria below:

  • a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA based on the SC Uniform Grading Policy;
  • a minimum 1100 SAT or 24 ACT; or
  • rank in the top 30% of the graduating class

(If your student’s GPA is below 3.0 or SAT/ACT scores are lower than the minimums listed, then ranking would be beneficial for your student if you think your student will rank 30% or higher. In that case, make sure you join an association that provides ranking.)

If a student is entering a two-year institution (technical college, two-year regional USC campus), then they must meet the following criteria:

  • a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA based on the SC Uniform Grading Policy (the SAT/ACT score and class rank requirements are waived)

For the HOPE Scholarship:
The student must attend an eligible four-year institution and meet the following criteria:

  • a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA based on the SC Uniform Grading Policy

For the Palmetto Fellows Scholarship:
Students must attend an eligible four-year institution and meet the following criteria:

  • Score at least 1200 on the SAT (27 on the ACT) by the November national test administration, earn a minimum 3.50 cumulative GPA on the SC Uniform Grading Policy at the end of the junior year, and rank in the top six percent of the class at the end of either the sophomore or the junior year; or
  • Score at least 1400 on the SAT (32 on the ACT) by the November national test administration and earn a minimum 4.00 cumulative GPA on the at the end of the junior year.

For information about the SC Need-Based Grant, Lottery Tuition Assistance, and more programs, see the SC Commission on Higher Education’s website.

How will I know when/how to apply for SC scholarships, financial aid, take the SAT or ACT, etc.? It all seems so overwhelming!

We’ll help members with high school students navigate through all of this when the time comes, one step at a time. It’s not as difficult as it seems.