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College Senior Questioned Over High School Diploma

by Mike Smith • February 13, 2018

When a homeschool graduate applied to study nursing at a private university, ill-informed admissions officers nearly derailed her education.

The young woman had already completed several years of classes at a university well-known for actively recruiting homeschool students. Based on her college record and initial letter of acceptance to the nursing school, it seemed the transfer would be a matter of routine.

However, prior to orientation, the student’s academic advisor called to say that her high school diploma must be accredited.

The student’s mother contacted Home School Legal Defense Association. As the contact attorney for California, I sent a letter the same day advising college officials that the graduate’s diploma was completely legitimate.

I explained that home education is a legally valid alternative to public school, and that homeschool graduates are fully qualified to receive federal student aid.

More records, please

However, with classes due to begin and student loan deadlines approaching, the graduate’s acceptance at the new school was still in doubt. Officials finally asked to review a copy of the affidavit submitted by the student’s private school satellite program (PSP)—which is one of the options by which parents in California may educate their children at home.

I advised the mother that I saw no harm in submitting the information, so she asked the PSP to forward the document to the college. When orientation began, however, the student had still not been issued a class schedule.

Admission officials then contacted her with additional, trivial questions, such as the year the student had graduated from high school—which was printed on the diploma the school had already received!

Shortly thereafter, the student was able to begin classes.

We encourage any of our HSLDA members to contact us right away if they encounter similar difficulties.

Mike Smith


Mike Smith is an attorney, speaker, and homeschool movement leader with over 30 years of passionate advocacy for homeschooling families. Read more.

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