{leaving this a mess intentionally. that’s the point – the abundance of options is too big. even for Richard, Lisa, Anya, Larry, Jerry, Shelly, any of us…no? no longer updating here.}



college admissions

college degrees


faq – courtesy of Brooklyn Free School


adding first few in google search 2019

10 (from 2015): https://www.unigo.com/get-to-college/college-search/test-optional-colleges-10-colleges-that-dont-require-sat-or-act-scores

180 (from 2015): https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/answer-sheet/wp/2015/07/27/a-list-of-180-ranked-schools-that-dont-require-act-or-sat-scores-for-admissions/

bigger issue: 1\ do you want the pkg deal of college (at great expense)..  2\ schools have rules to weed out.. just ask.. talk to people.. exceptions are made all the time


new list aug 2014:



update august 8, 2011:
This doc is/was our attempt to keep a posting of the options, the innovations, et al, already happening. Alternatives to learning/doing/being.
We can’t keep up. The following is a mess. That’s incredible news.
And that  helped us to see more clearly, that perhaps this is more about scaling the individual, than on waiting for any of these options/innovations to scale.
What we’re working on now.. be.app a means to ground the chaos as we set people free to the kazillion options.

We believe alerting parents/students (in particular) to the multitude of options in education will bring about a boldness to direct/facilitate their own definitions of success/learning.


just out:

template letter for opting out of testing, via Will Richardson

template for intent to homeschool in co

the lovely Weezie Yancey-Siegel: http://eduventurist.org/

looking forward to this documentary on Summerhill: Approaching the Elephant

Anya’s DIY college credentials: http://diyubook.com/2011/07/now-available-for-free-download-the-edupunks-guide/

Anya says, too many students are making career based decisions on too little info.

Anya’s video series on DIY U


are jobs obsolete, Douglas Rushkoff

fitting under Douglas – Venessa’s amazing list of options for art/maker/hacker labs


Joi Ito directing the MIT Media Lab: The fact that MIT appointed me, even though I don’t have a college degree, shows a certain amount of flexibility on their part, and that made me feel safe.

tons and tons of resources here: education evolving

excellent read: unschooling rules, Clark Aldrich

unschooling vs schooling – Rebecca Justus

Dale Stephens, Uncollege, Academic Deviance: guide to self-directed learning

from a post of Dale’s on CNN – this is huge:

A major function of college is to signal to potential employers that one is qualified to work. The Internet is replacing this signaling function. Employers are recruiting on LinkedIn, Facebook, StackOverflow and Behance. People are hiring on Twitter, selling their skills on Google, and creating personal portfolios to showcase their talent. Because we can document our accomplishments, and have them socially validated with tools such as LinkedIn Recommendations, we can turn experiences into opportunity. As more and more people graduate from college, employers are unable to discriminate among job seekers based on a college degree and can instead hire employees based on their talents.

Robert Greco on Astra Taylor

course kit – replace blackboard

20 ideas from Lisa Nielsen – and her interview discussing options for parents

and her recent: teenage guide to opting out of school

list of dropouts

read about the teenage guide and get your free download here

and an excellent interview with Lisa here – viable education


badges as a means for alt credentialing – perhaps a sequel to culture of trust

Penelope Trunk’s brilliant insight on gen z and ed

our latest – district vision in one doc:

connect ed

(slideshare visual of doc- plan of disruption alongside the system)

you want something. go get it. period.


We can have high standards without standardization. Young people have a remarkable capacity for intensity. Remove all stakes. Shift more agency to the learner. – Gary Stager

schooling the world


list of notable autodidacts (including James Bach)

Kaplan – NCLB – ridiculous use of resources, human spirit in particular

Randy Turner on testing and more
tyranny of the test – kaplan tester tells all


collection of alternate means to college admissions:

originated: we need help   as posted to coop friends

the big what abouts

what we’re seeking specifically is a  list of or info on uni’s that currently accept alternative means for admission, ie: eportfolios, etc.

In fact as the Learn in Freedom website explains,
“Harvard College specifically mentions that they have never required a high school
diploma for admission. Stanford University makes clear in a form letter to home learning
applicants that a high school diploma is not necessary for admission.
More and more colleges are following their lead and mentioning admission policies for
home learners in their on-line or in printed materials.” Wikipedia reveals that
homeschoolers have now matriculated at over 900 different colleges and universities,
including institutions with highly selective standards of admission such as the US
military academies, Rice University, Harvard University, Stanford University, Cornell
University, Brown University, Dartmouth College, and Princeton University.[19]. The
Learning in Freedom site provides a list of colleges that will admit students who haven’t
attended school here .
from p. 32 in Lisa’s book – read about the teenage guide and get your free download here – there you will find live links..

You Don’t Have to Go to School or Take the SAT/ACT to Get Into A Good College
realize what you’re getting into – student loan debt hell
take a look at Finland – no standardized tests – see the trust graph

on eportfolios


  • william and mary – home school requirements
  • A Harvard University (MA) admissions officer said most of their home-educated students “have done very well. They usually are very motivated in what they do.” Results of the SAT and SAT II, an essay, an interview, and a letter of recommendation are the main requirements for home-educated applicants. “[Transcripts are] irrelevant because a transcript is basically a comparison to other students in the school.”

College Unbound using eportfolios

Diplomas Don’t Prepare Students for the World. ePortfolios Do.
The Total Talent Portfolio – (curriculum compacting, enrichment clusters, total talent portfolio) –SEM (Reis & Renzulli, 1985);
Framework Business Activities – eportfolios, Jo Hart;  – a realistic look at the new workplace; WHS E-Portfolio toolkit. Windsor  
House School
portfolio project – via Tom Fullerton
ie: from one of Tom’s students on wix.com                 http://www.wix.com/rempel_j/altitude
eportfolios from Helen Barrett

      from hsdla – look into homeschool requirements for school of choice might help


  • Due to some confusion in the past, homeschooled students may have had to obtain a GED in order to qualify for financial aid. But the Homeschool Legal Defense Association indicates that laws have changed, and as long as students have completed their education “in a homeschool setting that is treated as a homeschool or a private school under state law,” they are eligible for federal financial aid without a GED.

what Kate Fridkis used: http://www.clonlara.org/  – her post on this

esp under a positive college experience


4 above via @chadsansing


  • Goddard College
  • Hampshire College
  • Marlboro College
  • Antioch Universities
  • Brown University
  • Prescott College
  • Naropa University
  • College of the Atlantic
  • Sterling College

9 above accept alternative transcripts  via @pushingupward


  • Goddard College is a progressive, independent college located in Central Vermont.

1 above via susan fleming (and below) :

I came to Goddard’s EDU program with 32 years in public schools and with three graduate degrees. What I can say is that the final product (undergraduate’s senior study or graduate student’s thesis) of many of our students is equal to or exceeds the work I did for my doctoral thesis at Harvard’s GSE. We are a learning community that takes our passions and challenges seriously, on an individual and collective level.

teach creativity  – via chad and kirsten


hacking the academy – via chad

University of Oregon has an open application process for homeschoolers.  Prescott College, and Naropa University are both private schools that offer clear alternate pathways but not sure if they are explicitly portfolio based.   via Scott Nine at idea


for innovation to occur – colleges need a big push

getting into college without going to school, kate fridkis via lisa nielsen
You Don’t Have to Go to School or Take the SAT/ACT to go to College  – Lisa NielsenThe Innovative Educator
why college isn’t worth the cost for many careers today, lisa nielsen, also on huff po

anya at wec10

Randy Turner on testing and more
tyranny of the test – kaplan tester tells all

latest from Lyndy total transcript

via Wounded by School, Kirsten Olson, Stanford and other major uni’s are now actively seeking out home/un-schooled students because of their inquisitive and self-directed style.

Melissa Techman (@mtechman) suggested looking at William & Mary’s home-schooler admissions page. Susan Carter Morgan (@scmorgan) recommended Washington College in Maryland; her niece attended after learning in a Sudbury high school.

Maybe your students could check into their favorite colleges’ home-schooling admissions requirements and work with those colleges to develop their own materials? Maybe they could also contact Sudbury and Free schools to ask how students at those schools apply to college? For example, this FAQ page from the Brooklyn Free School explains how its students create transcripts and choose which tests to take, if any.

Sounds like all of this might make for a great inquiry project.

uncollege  – and on twitter
little-known Facebook app platform called Inigral, is
grant wiggins on the highschool diploma

college w/o highschool

from colorado academy, mike harris post on inside view of college admission process

collection started on icyte

dec 2011- fb timeline as means to alternate admissions, thinking things like this will be huge, along with sharing on wikipedia, youtube, using google’s search to check on increase in verbiage on videos/blogs over time, increase of narrowness on a topic..

and/or cowbird

or how about hOURschool  imagination a collection of how you have learned and shared your learning with others

myblocknyc  finding experts of whatever..  – video (hover over yellow lines)


collection of alternate means to college degrees:
What about higher ed? Where will these kids fit in?
most of this section is from DIYU
icyte for DIYU thinking
Anya Kamenetz is a most incredible resource in all of this.
notes from and excellent presentation at Colorado Academy
a lot of students make career based decisions based on too little info
Edupunk’s Guide to a DIY Credential – coming soon

uni of the future – visual for uni’s we see happening for 9-12 as well. all ages really

shirky’s wiki – college from scratch

personal mba (dot) com – Josh Kaufman – ft collins

how valuable is a college degree – mindshift

self education resource list  via Jim Folkestad

latest: iberry
connections over content – open source higher ed

            (thanks to whoever added these last 2 – interesting)

ie: rather than loading up on all we’ve always said… use these connections to determine what is needed, what you are lacking, then use the above to fill in the holes

we don’t need incrementalism, we need new models 132


  • judy baker  Foothill de anza– higher ed in 10-20 years  – you don’t have to take these 60 courses or whatever it is to be a journalist. someone will identify your gaps and then you address the gaps in whatever way possible


  • Paul Kim – chief tech officer of Standford Uni’s School of Ed:
  • The world’s last renewable resource: human creativity – and good thing – because that’s what we’re hard-wired for – Jaak Panskepp, a neuroscientist at Washington State Uni





more (some may be duplicated above) via shelly terrell:

Below are useful links to find a free online course at several top universities in any subject!


  • MIT Open Course Ware offers over 1900 free online courses in over 20 subjects. You can subscribe by RSS or get e-mail updates.
  • Stanford on iTunes– Download courses, faculty lectures, interviews, music and sports that will play on your iPod, iPad, iPhone, Mac or PC.
  • 17 Universities with free online courses– Find out how to access these free courses from some of the most respected universities in the world! This article also describes the experience of learning through these online classes.
  • 250 Free Online Courses– Find a list of several more free online courses from the top universities categorized by
  • fatminds – online higher ed courses

on the brilliant kahn academy – changes since Gates funding: exercise software
behance network – scott belsky – companies recruiting straight off this website
linkedin has 90 mill members – data driven career planning – how to use it
namesake  – where conversation leads to jobs
godin on indispensable
uncollege  – and on twitter – Dale Stephens

uncredentials for uneducation – via Dale Stephens

new open university – via @anya1anya


jsmill paraphrase via roger schank

100 top entrepreneurs who succeeded w/o a college degree – 2010
college dropout hall of fame

article: the anti-college backlash


collection of alternate means to k-12:
icyte of exemplar schools – esp for lab/adjacency
icyte of exemplar schools
latest additions:
your school design itrate my professors
open ideo
youtube creators institute
brooklyn free school
dream school via Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach
quest to learn
thornton’s 3rd grade

http://www.sophia.org/ – an environment to foster collab and innovation, using algorithms to make collab easier, so crowd does policing and rating

uni of the future – visual for uni’s we see happening for 9-12 as well. all ages really


student views:
100 top entrepreneurs who succeeded w/o a college degree – 2010
college dropout hall of fame

tadeschool – what if it’s more about giving.. more about community.. than degree or even money


faq – courtesy of Brooklyn Free School (reference at top – approaching the elephant, is from a free school)

How does the school ensure that students learn the “basics?”
What is meant by the “basics?” This question in and of itself represents a core principle of the Brooklyn Free School. A certain segment of society has sought, and succeeded, in imposing their view of what is important for all students in America, and indeed in much of the world, to learn in school. We don’t presume to know what is best for each individual student to learn now and certainly not what will be best in the next five or ten years. The world is a fluid, fast-changing, and increasingly open society where individuals need to be first and foremost confident, flexible and independent thinkers and learners. Nurturing these qualities is what a free school does best. What a student learns is determined by each individual’s own unique set of talents, skills, and interests which they pursue in their own good time. Students learn how to read, write, and do mathematics (these skills constituting the common perception of the “basics”) in a natural and organic fashion; as necessary to support and better understand their passions and interests. There is no more effective way to learn than as a natural means to accomplish a self-motivated end.

If the students aren’t “exposed” to knowledge, how will they find out what they like?
Children are innately curious and are exposed to a tremendous variety of information on a daily basis from their family, friends, schoolmates (younger and older), staff members, media, and the world around them. In a free school environment, students do significantly more exploration of a greater variety of topics and subjects than they would ever be exposed to at a traditional school. Furthermore, once a student finds a particular area of interest they are not limited by whether or not there is a course offered on that subject, nor are they restricted in the amount of time and effort they can expend learning about that interest. Subsequently they are able to delve much more deeply into that area, thereby obtaining significantly more knowledge and understanding than would be possible in a traditional setting. In addition, all staff members at the school are free to offer any subject or topic that interests them to the students. Finally, the school has the flexibility and mission to establish numerous ties with local organizations and individuals for in-school visits and workshops and to take trips to locations around the city of interest to the students on short notice.

What happens if a student doesn’t do anything?
It is actually impossible to do nothing. What most people are concerned about is students doing what looks like nothing; for example playing video games, playing cards, reading all day, etc. The truth is that everything the students do has value, particularly to them.  The evidence is  that when a student appears to be doing nothing, by simply observing the activities of others, for instance, they are actually paying close attention and learning tremendously from what they are observing.

How will children be prepared for the real world?
The democratic free school model is much closer to the real world than traditional models. In the “real world” there is age mixing and there is no one to tell you what to do all the time. In the “real world” we are responsible for our own actions and our own accomplishments. So children learn about the real world every day at this school.