Breakthrough on College Admission and Financial Aid
- Friday, January 03, 2003
The most helpful section of the Handbook is found in Volume 2, chapter 1, pages 6-7. This section makes it clear that homeschool students who complete their homeschool curriculum before reaching the minimum age in compulsory education "can properly be admitted to a post-secondary school participating in federal financial assistance programs." The U.S. Department of Education confirms that homeschoolers fit into the third category of eligibility as listed below.
"An eligible institution may admit as regular students only persons who:
1. Have a high school diploma;
2. Have a recognized equivalent, as defined by the regulations, of a high school diploma; or
3. Are beyond age of compulsory school attendance in the state in which the institution is located...."
On the issue of proof of completion, the Handbook now says on page 7 of Volume 2, chapter 1 states: "Home school students may self-certify their completion of a home school curriculum, just as high school graduates may self-certify their receipt of a diploma. Home-schooled students are NOT required to obtain a state certification of home school completion unless their state law provides for the issuance of such a certification."
This puts to rest the often-abused procedure that some colleges have tried to apply to homeschoolers, demanding that they present a high school diploma specifically recognized by the state. This has never been a lawful requirement, and this clarification makes it perfectly clear that homeschoolers do not have to obtain state recognition of their diploma.
Presently, of the 50 states, there are no states that require homeschoolers to obtain such a certification of their high school diploma. Only one state offers homeschoolers a voluntary procedure for obtaining a diploma.
Letter and Revised Handbook Should Clear Up Long History of Problems
Many homeschoolers have faced difficulty at various universities or college institutions during the 2001-2002 school year because some colleges refuse to admit homeschoolers for fear of losing their federal funding.
The source of the problem? The Federal Student Aid Handbook that was issued during the last year of the Clinton administration contained inaccurate information. The Handbook indicated that colleges would lose their institutional eligibility if they admitted homeschool students. The Handbook was inaccurate and contradicted the federal law.
Federal law states that colleges can only receive federal funding for their institution if the students they admit have either a high school diploma, a GED, or if the students are beyond compulsory school attendance age.
HSLDA worked with many colleges to convince them that the Handbook was wrong and that they could admit homeschoolers, even if the students were under compulsory attendance age.
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