How Do Homeschoolers in the Philippines Get to College?

Thursday, July 02, 2015

Families who are considering homeschooling have one major (and very valid) concern -- what happens to the kids when they’re ready to go to college? Generally, the process is similar for both traditionally schooled and homeschooled kids, except that there might be a bit of difference with the colleges' requirements.

Homeschooled students don’t fly straight to Hogwarts after high school -- they go to the same universities that traditionally schooled kids go. (FYI to those who still ask what the future looks like for kids who are educated at home.)

Some parents opt to homeschool through high school without enrolling at a DepEd homeschool provider. There are schools that administer DepEd-accredited Diagnostic Tests. I called up the Victory Elijah Christian College (VESS) and was able to get valuable information about the process to be accomplished prior to taking the tests for Math, Science and English. We started homeschooling our son in 5th grade and he is now (in regular school's K-12 term) in 10th grade, so if we want to enroll him in a school or a DepEd-affiliated homeschool program, he has to take a diagnostic test for each subject for each grade level that he did not attend school. The same will happen if we continue homeschooling until he's ready to go to college. {I provided the contact details of VESS at the end of this article.)

The Philippine Educational Placement Test (PEPT) administered by DepEd is also required for homeschooled students. They have to be certified eligible before a college will allow them to take their entrance exams. Requirements for PEPT are detailed in DepEd's website.

We got curious and called up the University of the Philippines (Diliman) Registrar’s Office to ask what the requirements were for homeschooled students. UP requires homeschooled students to have final grades for three consecutive years preceding graduation from a Department of Education (DepEd) affiliated school. There are a number of DepEd-affiliated homeschooling schools in the Philippines now so there is no need to enroll your kids in traditional schools if you’re aiming to get those final grades.

Homeschoolers will be permitted to take the University of the Philippines' Admission Test (UPCAT) if they have taken the PEPT. If they are certified eligible, they will be allowed to take the UPCAT.  

We just have to mention that the admissions officer that we talked to was patient in answering all our queries. He even offered that the requirements might eventually change because more and more families are homeschooling now. Just the acknowledgement of that set out the fireworks for us.

I used the word “curious” above because we aren’t worried about college. We leave it to our kids to decide if they want to go to college later on or not. There are career pursuits that don’t require a college degree. I know it’s not a popular thought among parents, but then this is us.

Just to be clear about it, there is no one formula that works in homeschooling and that is precisely why you bring home the education -- to bring the creativity back to learning. There are different types of homeschooling. We have done a cross between literature-based homeschooling and homeschooling with curriculum. We, however, found joy in unschooling, also known as interest-based learning and natural learning, a style that allows your children to develop their potentials by supporting their interests.

According to Earl Stevens of The Natural Child Project, “Unschooling isn't a recipe, and therefore it can't be explained in recipe terms. It is impossible to give unschooling directions for people to follow so that it can be tried for a week or so to see if it works. Unschooling isn't a method, it is a way of looking at children and at life. It is based on trust that parents and children will find the paths that work best for them - without depending on educational institutions, publishing companies, or experts to tell them what to do.”

Although the number of homeschooling families is growing here in the Philippines, the educational system has yet to recognize and standardize college admission requirements for homeschoolers. Besides being worried about how to go about homeschooling from day to day and what to do with the curriculum, parents are worried about their kids being “displaced” after high school. I know because I have been asked and I’m glad to be back with an answer—at least from one of the universities that we have here in the Philippines.

A lot of people have been asking us about this that is why we are seeking for answers. Once we have new information from other universities, we will let you know. Pronto!

It would also be best for you to call up schools yourselves to answer your questions, which we were not able to detail in this article. Would love to hear about the information you’ve gathered.

You may contact Ms Lucille Arambulo of VESS at (02) 359-4109, (02) 470-1639. or e-mail them at for details.

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