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Admissions 101: What's the right college for the 'no-schooled'?

In Admissions 101, Jay is discussing "no schoolers":

Fairfax County, Va., parent Laurel Summerfield recently told me the story of her four children, aged 18, 17, 16 and 14, who, for the last nine years, have been unschooled -- that is, homeschooled with the philosophy that whatever they want to do is going to teach them something, so go plan your own days, kids. She said they have had "no curriculum, no schoolwork, and no required areas of study." They and she think this has turned out pretty well. There are some gaps in their education, but she notices there are also gaps, different ones, in the educations of their friends who attend Fairfax County's top-performing public schools. But this discussion group is about colleges, not homeschooling, and Summerfield has raised a couple of interesting issues. First, her older daughter has been looking for a college that will suit her, a place that appreciates free thinking and flexibility. She fell in love with the College of Santa Fe, got in, but the school had financial troubles and is closing. So she has just a few weeks to find another college. Her brother has fallen for McDaniel College in Westminster, Md. My question: what colleges do you think are best for such folks? Summerfield said the Loren Pope books and the list on the back of my book, Harvard Schmarvard, were helpful, but the late, great Loren and I don't mention many schools. Got some good ones for Chelsea Summerfield to check out? She is already full time at a Virginia community college, so she can apply later as a transfer student, but the clock is ticking.

By Washington Post Editors  | April 7, 2009; 11:11 AM ET
Categories:  Admissions 101  | Tags:  home school, no school  
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Hampshire College, in Massachusetts, largely requires students to create their own major and course of study. There are other non-traditional colleges out there, too (Reed, Bard, Oberlin, Pitzer).

Oh, and St. Johns has a "great books" curriculum.

Posted by: tomtildrum | April 7, 2009 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Marlboro, Simon's Rock, Deep Springs (boys only, sadly)

Posted by: Lizz1 | April 7, 2009 1:19 PM | Report abuse

How about Reed College in Portland, OR?

Posted by: obamamama31 | April 7, 2009 4:31 PM | Report abuse

There is no shortage of these "below the radar" schools that are a good home for non-traditional students. Two that come to mind are Prescott Colllege (Arizona) and College of the Atlantic (Maine).

Posted by: skipper7 | April 7, 2009 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Northland, in Wisconsin

Posted by: RedBirdie | April 7, 2009 7:54 PM | Report abuse

Reed, Hampshire, and Evergreen State in Olympia, WA were the first ones to come to mind.

Posted by: CrimsonWife | April 10, 2009 10:59 PM | Report abuse

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