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Homeschoolers

From Home to New Horizons

Homeschooled students are as competitive for appointment to the United States Air Force Academy as any other applicant and must meet the same standards as students coming from traditional school settings. There are many ways homeschooled students can strengthen their applications and prepare for life at the Academy.

Standardized Testing

In the absence of graded coursework completed at a public or private high school, we place greater weight on standardized ACT and SAT scores. Familiarize yourself with the scores we look for and review all college admissions testing options. For more details, see the Academic Requirements admissions factor.

Target Curriculum

To be competitive for an Academy appointment, we recommend your home school curriculum include the following courses:

  • English: four years
  • College-prep math: four years
  • Social studies: three years
  • Science: four years
  • Modern foreign language*: two years
  • Computer science: one year

*We look for modern foreign languages with an emphasis on strategic languages such as Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Spanish, German, French, Portuguese and Russian. While not a modern foreign language, Latin is acceptable. American Sign Language is not an acceptable course.

In addition to the above curriculum items, a background in laboratory sciences as well as some proficiency in typing will be beneficial.

Important Documentation

Be sure to let us know if your homeschool is recognized by your local school board or the State Board of Education.

Homeschooled students must provide a transcript that includes, at a minimum, the following academic information:

  • Course/class title
  • Length of course and date completed
  • Grade
  • Grading scale
  • GPA
  • Curriculum/course description
  • Text/materials used
  • Field Work/Trips
  • Supplementary Research or Study

College Prep Courses

While not necessary, we encourage homeschooled students to take some college or junior college courses. In addition to demonstrating your potential in a college setting, doing so will enhance your chances of adapting to the highly structured life of an Academy cadet, should you receive an appointment.

Extracurricular Activities

This is the portion of the application process we use to predict leadership potential. Although many homeschooled students are able to qualify academically for admission, they are often weak in the area of extracurricular activities. For more on extracurricular activities appropriate to a competitive application, see How Can I Prepare. For more on the Extracurricular Composite Score, see Academic Requirements.

Athletics

We place a great deal of importance on athletic participation when considering an applicant’s overall potential to succeed at the Academy. Take a look at these statistics:

  • About 95 percent of accepted candidates have participated in high school sports.
  • About 80 percent have earned varsity letters.
  • Without some athletic participation in an organized and sanctioned league sport, your chances of getting an appointment are greatly reduced.
Incoming Cadets' Athletic Profile Bar Chart (described in detail in the caption)

Incoming Cadets' Athletic Profile

Athletic Participation Percentage of Incoming Cadets
Varsity Letter 80%
High School Sports 95%

Some states and local school districts allow homeschooled students to participate with public school children in interscholastic activities.

If this is not the case where you live, then here are some suggestions:

  • Swimming, tennis or gymnastics
    Join a local club and participate in competitions.
  • Baseball
    Play in a summer league affiliated with Babe Ruth, Travel Team, American Legion, etc.
  • Track/cross-country
    Run 5K and 10K races.
  • Basketball
    Join a team at your local YMCA or Boys & Girls Clubs.

 

Other Extracurricular Activities

Participation in nonathletic extracurricular activities is another important part of making sure your application to the Academy is competitive. Little or no participation in this area will greatly reduce your chances of being accepted.

Quality Leadership

We’re primarily looking for demonstrated leadership rather than simply participating in many activities, such as serving as a club officer or earning Eagle Scout, the Girl Scout Gold Award or a Billy Mitchell award.

You can also check with your local school system to see if they allow homeschooled students to participate in their after-school activities or contact your local homeschool organization for further assistance.

You may also find helpful information at your public library or in local bookstores.

Here are some ideas:

  • Community service
    Work or perform community service through church or community organizations.
  • Church organizations
    Participate in leadership of church youth group.

Depending on where you live, some of these activities may not be readily available. In such cases, it may be necessary to go to a neighboring community in order to participate.

More Information

It is important to note that transition to cadet life is a challenge for everyone. Applicants need to be prepared for the diversity and wide spectrum of beliefs and world views of other cadets.

You can request more information about the academy by mailing a request or calling:

HQ USAFA/RRS
2304 Cadet Drive, Suite 2400
USAF Academy, CO 80840
1-800-443-9266

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