A Shimer student engaged in a discussion-based humanities class
Homeschoolers know: learning is a 24/7 experience. The world is their classroom. Their studies are often self-directed, academically rigorous, and well-disciplined. These students and their families are known for giving a great deal of time and commitment to their education. If you’re homeschooled, a liberal arts college might be the perfect place to take these qualities to the college level.
With a focus on the undergrad experience and an entrance cap of 150 students, colleges like Shimer are able to prioritize their new students’ individual academic success. In a close-knit campus environment, homeschoolers here make a smooth transition onto the college scene.
If you’re ready to jump into the world outside of homeschool, here are four reasons to consider studying at a small liberal arts and humanities college.
1. Small Liberal Arts Colleges Support Truly Motivated, Independent Learners
At Shimer, we are always on the lookout for students who are passionate about learning and self-growth. Because homeschoolers are often accustomed to independent, experiential learning, they are drawn to the liberal arts promise of largely self-directed humanities study.
Liberal Arts Colleges bring autodidacts together to critically examine and analyze humanity’s biggest questions. By unpacking some of history’s greatest primary texts (classic novels, great books, iconic plays) our students learn to think outside the box. This kind of complex content welcomes thinkers from all walks of life—especially those with a background in rigorous homeschool education.
2. Small Liberal Arts Colleges Ensure No Student Gets Lost in the Crowd
Along with having one of the best humanities programs Chicago has to offer, Shimer offers a close-knit, community-focused campus. Even though Chicago is one of America’s biggest cities, we at Shimer pride ourselves on maintaining a small-school feel many homeschoolers appreciate.
For students unaccustomed to full classrooms and lecture halls, small liberal arts colleges offer a comfortably small student body where all Shimerians know each other by name. In classes that never exceed 12 students, your peers and professors quickly get to know each other personally. Close student-to-professor ratios and cozy dorms also make it impossible for any student to fall through the cracks.
A Shimer professor and student chat at a freshman orientation event
3. Small Liberal Arts Colleges Boast Discussion-Based Classroom Settings
Most homeschoolers haven’t spent much time in lecture halls, and feel at greater ease in a more engaging educational environment. Small, discussion-based classes are a great fit for students who are used to asking questions and participating in their own learning process, like homeschooled students do.
At Shimer, we believe our students are part of ‘The Great Conversation’—the conversation Western civilization has been having with itself since it began. Centuries of great thinkers have asked and offered answers to questions about freedom, ethics, rights, and what it means to live an examined life. Homeschoolers understand that taking discussion-based humanities college courses allows them to participate in this conversation.
4. Small Liberal Arts Colleges Offer Special Financial Support to Homeschoolers
Homeschoolers are an important part of the liberal arts community! Our fully engaged and participatory campus needs a diversity of voices to thrive. We know it takes different viewpoints and perspectives to see the fullest extent of any argument or topic of study.
To recognize the valuable contributions homeschoolers make to our own liberal arts community, Shimer awards academic scholarships at a minimum of $6,000 to each homeschool student accepted to our college.
Homeschoolers access administrative and financial support at Shimer’s Student Life Center
Are you interested in pursuing one of the nation’s best small liberal arts colleges?
Visit Shimer to get started!