Home-schooled Applicants

Home-schooled applicants complete the same application as other students and must fulfill the same testing requirements. Because home-schooled students may lack standard measures of academic performance, they must try to provide comparable information in different ways. Here are a few suggestions for home-schoolers as they approach the application process:


Standardized test scores hold relatively more weight for home-schooled applicants. While SAT Subject Tests are not required for admission to Yale, if you are a home-schooler and you feel confident about your ability to do well on the exams, you might want to consider taking a number of SAT Subject Tests in order to demonstrate your abilities in various areas.

Letters of Recommendation

We require letters of recommendation for home-schooled applicants, including two from academic teachers and one from the ‘school counselor.’ Please do not present letters written only by your parents. We need additional objective evaluations from educators who have interacted with you - perhaps a teacher from a course you took at a local college, someone who has mentored you in a tutorial, the local librarian with whom you’ve discussed books over the years, someone in whose lab you have done research, etc. Letters from an online instructor are acceptable but can be difficult to evaluate, as the teacher often has not had direct contact with the student.

Strength of Program

We will look closely at the list of subjects pursued through your high school program, but as with any applicant, we do not specify the number of years you must spend on any particular subject. We look for strength in all the major disciplines across the high school curriculum. Many home-schooled students pursue some course work at a local college or high school and we are happy to consider grades and recommendations from those sources as well.

Personal Qualities

We look for evidence of social maturity from all our applicants and especially from home-schooled students. Your personal statement, interests and activities, and letters of recommendation should speak to your ability to integrate well with other students and tell us about your non-academic interests.