George Mason University welcomes applications from students who have been homeschooled or who have pursued pre-college educational opportunities that may not be accredited.
Such students will be reviewed in the same holistic manner as those who apply from traditional high schools, and there are no special additional requirements that must be met for consideration. However, we would like to clarify a few points that we feel will be beneficial for home-schooled applicants.
- Please ensure that you have completed (or will complete) the minimum preparatory course work required for admission before enrollment at Mason. You cannot have required coursework outstanding upon entry to Mason.
- We understand that in many instances homeschooled students may not have a traditional, “official” transcript. However, in order to evaluate your preparation for higher education, we require some form of transcript. Your home educator can prepare this document. Ideally, we expect to see a listing of courses completed and the grade earned. In the event that we need additional information, an admissions representative will contact you. If you are unsure how to prepare a proper transcript, please see the guidelines provided.
- You will note that a “Secondary School Report,” which usually accompanies a school counselor recommendation, is one of our requirements. While a parent or guardian may complete the form, we ask that you solicit a recommendation letter from someone outside of your immediate family who can attest to your academic achievements and abilities.
- Official ACT and/or SAT scores must be sent to the Office of Admissions directly from the testing agency. As of yet, we do not accept the Classic Learning Test (CLT). Homeschooled applicants are not eligible for Score Optional admission.
- Homeschooled students also have the option to self-report their scores during the admissions process. Guidelines on the submission of self-reported scores can be found under the freshman admissions requirements.
- If you have enrolled in or will have completed dual-enrollment college coursework prior to high school graduation, be certain to indicate this on the admission application and have official transcripts sent to the Office of Admissions when you apply. All dual-enrollment students are considered freshman applicants regardless of the number of college credits earned while in dual-enrollment status.
In addition to your standardized test scores and high school transcript, it is important for homeschoolers to include letters of recommendation (do not send one from your parents or family members) and your resume. Extracurricular activities are also beneficial to demonstrate active engagement outside of academics. To make yourself more competitive for the Honors College and University Scholars, you should challenge yourself with advanced classes. We recognize it can be difficult to access advanced classes, so dual enrollment classes through a community college are a viable alternative to IBs and APs. Finally, while Mason will not accept the CLT in lieu of the SAT or ACT, if you have taken it and feel it is an indicator of your academic achievement then you may add those scores to your Honors application.
Homeschooled students will be reviewed in the same holistic manner as traditional students for entrance to the College of Visual and Performing Arts (CVPA). For students interested in Performing Arts (music, theater, dance, etc.), bear in mind that auditions are typically required. For the Visual Arts (Art, Computer Game Design, Film and Video Studies, etc.), portfolios are accepted and required in some cases. However, these are not expected to be full, professional portfolios, but a form of creative output. Both auditions and portfolios should be completed in tandem with your application to Mason; i.e. if you apply Early Action, you should begin the audition process at the same time. You can refer to the CVPA website for full audition and portfolio requirements, deadlines, audition dates, and more information about the programs. Please feel free to contact Christina Badalis (email@example.com) with any CVPA questions.
Homeschool applicants to the Volgenau Schools of Engineering (VSE) are reviewed in the same holistic manner as traditional applicants. As such, there are several admissions criteria to keep in mind when applying to an engineering major (except for Information Technology).
- All applicants to the VSE are required to submit SAT or ACT scores so that the math section can be reviewed. Applicants must attain at least a 550 on the Math subsection of the SAT or a 24 on the ACT subsection.
- Applicants must have taken or will complete at least four years of high school math upon enrollment at Mason. This includes taking a course beyond Algebra II, with the exception of Statistics, by their senior year. While it is not a requirement, it is advisable to complete a Pre-Calculus or Calculus class before enrolling in the VSE. If these courses can be completed at a community college, it will be beneficial to homeschooled students to ensure they are fully prepared for the engineering coursework.
High School Transcript Guidelines for Homeschooled Students
The base of a college application is the high school transcript. If you are not enrolled in an accredited program that provides an official transcript, one will need to be created. George Mason University does not have a single format in which to submit a high school transcript. Parents of homeschooled students can create one or a transcript service can be used instead. For example, both the Home School Legal Defense Associate (HSLDA) and the Home Educators Association of Virginia (HEAV) have transcript services. If you decide to create one, here are some guidelines of what it should contain to ensure the admissions committee can easily understand the documents.
- Contact information- The transcript should contain the name, address, email, and phone number of the student for ease of contact.
- If you are using an accredited program with a dedicated academic counselor, please list the counselor’s contact information should questions about the curriculum arise. In lieu of a traditional counselor’s information, the parent who should be contacted with questions regarding coursework should be included as well.
- It is not necessary to include the student’s social security number on the transcript.
- There are two standard ways to display your classes. The first is a subject transcript, which groups your classes spanning all of high school according to subject matter (English, math, science, history, foreign language, electives, etc.). With the second method, which George Mason University prefers, classes are divided by which grade they were completed in (9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th). If high school level classes were completed in middle school, they should be labeled as such.
- Next to each grade (9th-12th), include the years in which they were completed.
- If a class is an Honors (H), advanced placement (AP), international baccalaureate (IB), or dual-enrollment (DE), that should be noted on the transcript. The grade earned, whether a letter or numerical grade, should be included with each class.
- Do not forget to include in-progress coursework for senior year. If a grade has not been earned yet, input IP.
- The transcript should include a cumulative count of credits completed.
- Cumulative GPA- While you can calculate the cumulative GPA by yourself, it is typically easier to use an online calculator to ensure accuracy. Courses are typically assigned one credit per class and the calculator will add .5 extra credit for Honors classes, and 1 extra credit point per AP, IB, and DE class. One site you can use is: http://gpacalculator.net/high-school-gpa-calculator/. You can also calculate a yearly GPA and add it to each year.
- Expected date of graduation- this is important particularly if the student is finishing outside of a traditional May/June graduation. If graduating late, the expected date of graduation will avert any confusion and the Office of Admissions will know that the student is still a freshman applicant.
- Homeschoolers have the option of including extracurricular activities as a part of the transcript packet, listed on the application itself, or on a resume. Whichever medium is used, homeschool applicants should list all activities completed outside of academic coursework to present a full picture of who they are.
- Some extracurricular examples are: community sports teams; music and dance lessons; volunteer activities; work experience; participation in an academic co-op; 4-H; Boy and Girl Scouts; etc.
Meet Your Counselor
Hello! My name is Christina Badalis and I am an Admissions Counselor here at George Mason University. I came to Mason as a transfer student after two years at a community college. I graduated with honors and obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Global Affairs with a concentration in Global Governance. In the process of obtaining my degree, I was able to dabble in different languages (shout-out to fellow Arabic and Russian learners!), delve into the study of intelligence analysis, and even take harp lessons! I was born in Michigan and the Air Force took my family all over the Midwest, South, and East coast. I’m based in Virginia now, but my heart will always be back in the wide open spaces and gorgeous mountains beyond the Mississippi River.
As a student at Mason, I had a multitude of great opportunities that helped me make the most of my time here. Mason is so wonderfully diverse that anyone can find a community where they fit in and feel at home. I found a great niche in the Honors College and my “Home Away from Home” once I joined the Housing and Residence Life team. I was a Resident Advisor for a wonderful hall of freshmen Honors students and helped them become full-fledged members of the Patriot family. Watching my freshmen grow to love being Patriots is what inspired me to join the Admissions team and I am thrilled to help find the next generation of Mason students.
While at Mason, I also took full advantage of our proximity to Washington DC and the surrounding metropolitan area. With the heart of government and numerous non-profits, think tanks, tech companies, museums, and much more so close by, internship opportunities are endless. I capped off my time at Mason with an internship on Capitol Hill in the Senate, which later led to interning with the House Majority Whip. I learned so much about what’s going on behind the marble walls of the Capitol and exploring all of its hidden nooks and crannies never got old!
I’d love to share my Patriot pride with you, so don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions. I’m here to help during the college admissions process and I look forward to hearing from you. Go Patriots!