Is Homeschool Accreditation Worth the Trouble?

A homeschool mom in Georgia asked me whether she needed to have an “accreditation counselor” or whether she could do it all herself. The answer depends a lot on individual state law. From a “national” perspective; however, colleges get applicants from everywhere – from schools they know and a lot of schools they don’t know. Not all public schools or private schools are accredited. Colleges don’t always know which public or private school applicants are from accredited schools and which are not. Usually, they look at homeschoolers the same as they do applicants from an unfamiliar high school. That’s one of the reasons why they look at SAT and ACT scores, transcripts and essays.

In my experience, it’s almost always the public high schools who are most concerned about accreditation. I almost NEVER hear colleges talking about accreditation. Colleges see kids every day, who have good grades from accredited schools, yet who come to college without being able to read and write well. Did you know that 30 percent of children admitted to college – including those from accredited schools – are considered “remedial?” Colleges know that accreditation isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

Meanwhile, accrediting homeschoolers has become quite a racket. There are organizations that make loads of money by accrediting homeschoolers when they don’t need to be accredited. Some parents feel pressured into it and end up spending a lot of money unnecessarily.

Parents know their students best. Each parent can make the decision about accreditation for themselves. Some people choose to go that route, and that’s fine. I just don’t want people to seek accreditation because they fear they “have to.” I was NOT accredited. My children were admitted to every college they applied to, got good scholarships, and both won full-tuition scholarships to their first choice university. You do NOT have to have an accredited transcript in order to go to college or get scholarships.

You may need to pursue these accreditation counselors if your state law requires it. If your state law does NOT require it, then it’s completely optional, and the right answer will depend on you and your family situation. My job is to help you feel confident that you can do it yourself. Then no matter what you choose to do, you didn’t make the choice based on fear.

Need help homeschooling high school? Lee Binz, The HomeScholar is an expert in free high school homeschooling and maintains a website that talks about whether you need to be an accredited homeschool.  Find out more at

avatar Lee Binz (12 Posts)

Lee Binz is a veteran homeschooling mom of two and the owner of The HomeScholar, “Helping parents homeschool high school.” She has a new free minicourse called “The 5 Biggest Mistakes Parents Make When Homeschooling High School”. You can sign up for her free email homeschool newsletter, The HomeScholar Record and get your daily dose of wisdom via e-mail from her homeschool blog, The HomeScholar Helper.

One Response to Is Homeschool Accreditation Worth the Trouble?

  • avatar
    Lizette says:

    Getting accredited in South Africa is nearly impossible for home schoolers. I use the TSA free grade book and have to supply the local department with reports every year. At the end of each phase, the kids have to write a test to show that they have achieved the necessary outcomes. I used to beat myself up about it, but it’s unnecessary. When my kids reach high school age, I will let them do a correspondence course for their last 2 years, as I did. That way they will get accreditation. No need to panic!

Top Authors
23 posts
15 posts
12 posts
12 posts