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Learning outside the lines: Home schooling in Kansas

Colleges look to recruit home-schoolers

May 13, 2007

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Learning outside the lines

When it comes to policies for accepting home-schooled students, Benedictine College is one of the best in the state.

That's according to the Home School Legal Defense Association, an advocacy group that, among other things, ranks the admission policies of colleges and universities for how friendly they are to home-schoolers.

Benedictine College in Atchison is one of 10 institutions in Kansas on the association's Tier I, or friendliest, list.

Brea Roper, assistant director of admission for the college, says she has seen an increase of home-schooled students in recent years. This year, about 5 percent of the college's 1,250 students had some home schooling experience.

Roper says that Benedictine, a Catholic college, draws many students of a similar faith background.

"Typically, students from a home school background are looking for an Orthodox, Catholic college with strong academics and a supportive faith community, all of which they will find at Benedictine College," she says. "Academically, home-schoolers are typically very well prepared for college, due to the discipline and self-motivation required to home school. We're happy to have them."

As a home-schooled graduate, Roper says one of her duties is to recruit home-schoolers. Outreaches to this group include attendance at home schooling curriculum conferences, Catholic family conferences, in-home meetings, and occasional home school-oriented retreats and events on campus.

Benedictine is just one of many higher-education institutions - ranging from small colleges to Ivy League universities - that market specifically to home-schoolers.

Sterling College in Sterling is one of those that enrolls home-schoolers from as far away as California, Texas and Oklahoma.

Dennis Dutton, vice president for enrollment at Sterling, says 15 of 200 incoming students last fall were home-schoolers.

"It's a great fit for Sterling," Dutton says.

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