Article by Brian D. Ray, Ph.D.
July 21, 2010

New research on college students who were home educated shows they are doing very well.

Dr. Michael Cogan, director of the Office of Institutional Research and Analysis at the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota, compared home-educated students to those from conventional-school backgrounds at one Midwest university.[1]

Controlling for various background demographic, pre-college, and other factors, multiple regression analyses revealed that the home educated earned higher first-year and fourth-year GPAs.

Other multivariate analyses found that the homeschool variable did not significantly contribute to the fall-to-fall retention or four-year graduation models. That is, having been home educated had neither a positive nor a negative impact on these academic outcomes. In simple terms, however, students who were homeschooled did achieve a higher retention rate (88.6 percent) compared to the overall population (87.6 percent). And the home educated achieved a higher graduation rate (66.7 percent) when compared to the overall population (57.5 percent).

Simple bivariate analyses revealed that the home educated university students (71.1 percent) were more likely to be male compared to the overall population of undergraduate students (50.3 percent). Also, homeschooled students were 2 ½ times more likely to receive a Pell Grant compared to the entire group and were less likely to self-identify as a person of color compared to the overall population. Those at this university who were home educated were more likely to self-identify as Roman Catholic [2] than the overall population and less likely to live on campus compared to the entire freshman cohort.

Further bivariate analyses showed the homeschooled students (26.5) reported a significantly higher ACT-Composite score when compared to the overall cohort (25.0), and the home educated (14.7) earned more college credit prior to their freshman year when compared to the overall population (6.0).

Home-educated students (3.37) earned a significantly higher fall semester GPA when compared to the overall cohort (3.08). Further, homeschooled students (3.41) earned a higher first-year GPA compared to the overall group (3.12). Finally, the home educated (3.46) earned a significantly higher fourth-year GPA when compared to the freshman cohort (3.16).

Dr. Cogan’s findings that positive things were related to these college students who were homeschooled are consistent with those of others who have studied adults who were home educated. [3]

You may receive notice of the latest research on home-based education by signing up on our e-mail list at

Brian D. Ray, Ph.D.
National Home Education Research Institute

[1] The source for the above information is the following: Cogan, Michael F. (2010, Summer). Exploring academic outcomes of homeschooled students. Journal of College Admission, Summer 2010, 18 25. Online July 23, 2010

[2] The researcher works at a Roman Catholic university but did not identify the name of the university where he studied the college students.

[3] For more research information on adults who were home educated, see the research book Home Educated and Now Adults: Their Community and Civic Involvement, Views About Homeschooling, and Other Traits by Dr. Brian Ray,>.