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The information on this pages is provided for informational purposes only. It is not to be construed as legal advice or counsel.


Homeschoolers, diplomas, & Federal financial aid requirements The U.S. Department of Education announced changes that will affect student eligibility for federal financial aid. Effective July 1, 2012, the changes require a student to have a high school diploma or GED in order to be eligible for financial aid. The new policy also addresses homeschool high school graduates.

What the Law Says About Diplomas

Federal financial aid is governed by 20 USC 1091, a law enacted by Congress and updated periodically. In June 2012, the Office for Federal Student Aid provided clarification for how the most recent changes will affect homeschoolers.

For students enrolling in higher education after July 1, 2012, an otherwise eligible student may receive Title IV federal financial aid if they meet one of the following criteria:

  • High School Diploma: The student has a high school diploma.
  • Recognized Equivalent of a High School Diploma: The student has the recognized equivalent of a high school diploma, defined in the regulations at 34 CFR 600.2 as:
    • A General Educational Development Certificate (GED);
    • A State certificate received by a student after the student has passed a State-authorized examination that the State recognizes as the equivalent of a high school diploma;
    • An academic transcript of a student who has successfully completed at least a two-year program that is acceptable for full credit toward a bachelor's degree; or
    • For a person who is seeking enrollment in an educational program that leads to at least an associate degree or its equivalent and who has not completed high school, but who excelled academically in high school, documentation that the student excelled academically in high school and has met the formalized, written policies of that postsecondary institution for admitting such students.
  • Homeschool: The student has completed a secondary school education in a homeschool setting that is treated as a homeschool or private school under State law and has obtained a homeschool completion credential, or, if State law does not require a homeschool student to obtain a homeschool credential, the student has completed a secondary school education in a homeschool setting that qualifies as an exemption from compulsory school attendance requirements under State law.

What This Means For Homeschoolers

Post-secondary institutions that offer federal financial aid can continue awarding Pell grants, student loans, and other federally funded Title IV aid to homeschool high school graduates.

Under the new law, homeschoolers are not required to take the GED or produce any type of high school diploma as part of the application or award of federal financial aid.

Well documented transcripts continue to be the most vital piece of documentation a homeschool family can provide as evidence that they have "completed a secondary school education in a home school setting".



The information on this pages is provided for informational purposes only. It is not to be construed as legal advice or counsel.


                     

 
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October 24, 2014

 

 

 

 

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