Home-Schooled Students Excel at Onondaga

Over the last few years, there has been an increase in the number of students who attend Onondaga directly from a home-school environment. For some, they had applied to other colleges and universities but were denied admission not because of poor grades but because of their nontraditional high school records.

In response to this growing trend, Marion Cross is the College’s dedicated admission counselor who assists freshmen applicants coming from a homeschool setting. “The number of home-schooled applicants is growing by leaps and bounds” she says. “The vast majority of these students come to Onondaga with excellent academic credentials.”

Christopher Wood is in his senior year at SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY ESF). He attended Onondaga while he was still being home-schooled. Wood excelled at math and science and fulfilled the high school requirements early on. By taking college-level classes at Onondaga, he says he was more than prepared for the academic challenges of junior and senior level courses at SUNY ESF.

“Honestly, home-school students should be beating down your doors to get in,” says Wood. “Attending Onondaga helped me adjust to the college atmosphere in a way that was personal and not so overwhelming.” Cross speculates that home-schooled students often have difficulty gaining acceptance at four-year schools because of the enormity of the bureaucracy that is involved – simply put, if you don’t have a traditional high school diploma, the process becomes arduous. “Many colleges are either unable or unwilling to meet the application needs of this tremendously talented pool of applicants,” said Cross.

Onondaga alumna Laura Bea Murphy ’07, of Fulton, was home-schooled and says she applied to many colleges but was turned down. “I was very interested in Oswego’s accounting program, but they gave me a hard time on my application because I was home-schooled,” said Murphy. “I had no problems applying to Onondaga, so I decided to complete my first two years here and then transfer after graduation.”

Murphy was chosen by faculty to be honored at the annual Student Honors Convocation in honor of her outstanding academic achievement. She graduated Summa Cum Laude, transferred to SUNY Oswego and plans to graduate with a degree in accounting next year.