[H]ome-schoolers … outperform traditional students across the spectrum. The National Home Education Research Institute found that, on a standardized reading test, home school students perform at the 87th percentile while formal school students perform at the 50th percentile. What’s more, the gap remains roughly the same despite parents’ education level, the amount of money spent on education or minority status — three factors that greatly influence the performance of traditional students. For example, both white and minority home school students performed at the 87th percentile on reading tests, while white public school students performed at the 61st percentile and minority public school students performed at the 49th percentile.
There haven’t been studies conducted about informal learning at the college level yet. But I imagine we would observe similar results showing that those with an informal education would perform better than those with a formal education. Unfortunately, there’s no definitive answer as to why informal learners do better, but I believe it’s because students outside the classroom are able to think more freely and encouraged to follow their passion instead of memorizing facts. The upshot is this: Don’t make a decision to stay or leave school based upon your background because research shows that we’re all equal players outside the classroom. — The Case Against College