Despite the incredibly successful results of homeschooling, some employers, government agencies, and colleges have continued to discriminate against homeschool graduates by refusing to accept a parent-issued diploma and instead require a GED/TASC.
Because of this homeschool diploma discrimination, CHEWV worked closely with several legislators in 2015 to pass the Diploma Fairness Bill. The law now states:
“A person who administers a program of secondary education at a public, private or home school that meets the requirements of this chapter may issue a diploma or other appropriate credential to a person who has completed the program of secondary education. Such diploma or credential is legally sufficient to demonstrate that the person meets the definition of having a high school diploma or its equivalent.”
This law ensures that a person who homeschools his child and is in compliance with the homeschool exemption may issue a diploma upon completion of graduation requirements. And students who have thus earned a homeschool diploma should be considered equally for acceptance by a college or for employment. In fact, the Diploma Fairness law further states:
“No state agency or institution of higher learning in this state may reject or otherwise treat a person differently solely on the grounds of the source of such a diploma or credential.”
Recently we have heard concern that WVU, Glenville, and Marshall are still requiring homeschoolers to provide GED/TASC results for admission. So CHEWV did a little sleuthing.
The WVU website states that a GED is only required if students are applying for a WV PROMISE scholarship or a WV Higher Education Grant. The Glenville and Marshall websites seem less clear, but it is not evident that either of them require a GED/TASC just for admission. (Neither college has answered a recent CHEWV inquiry regarding this issue.)
It’s important for homeschool parents to differentiate admission requirements from PROMISE or financial aid requirements. The PROMISE scholarship still requires a GED/TASC for application. Although CHEWV and others are working with both legislators and the Higher Education Committee to address that, the requirement still remains at this point.
In addition to a diploma, all students, public or homeschooled, should be ready to provide documentation of their high school education’s content. The Diploma Fairness law states,
“Nothing in this section prevents any agency or institution of higher learning from inquiring into the substance or content of the program to assess the content thereof for the purposes of determining whether a person meets other specific requirements.”
The usual documentation of the high school education is a transcript.
Since the law now recognizes homeschool diplomas and permits colleges to inquire into curriculum content, it seems prudent to provide both a diploma and transcript to graduated homeschool students. The diploma indicates that homeschool students have met graduation requirements, and the official transcript describes credits and GPA earned. If a parent cannot produce a diploma and transcript, the school or other entity may require a GED or equivalent–either because a diploma was not supported by a transcript or not awarded at all.
Diploma and transcript help is available on CHEWV’s website under Helps/High School. We have also sponsored comprehensive high school symposiums to specifically help parents with these topics. A third symposium is scheduled for May 21st. Registration can be found here.