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March 21, 2017

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Contact attorney for Georgia

A homeschool graduate in Georgia has been denied admission to a cosmetology program based on the academy’s inaccurate understanding of Georgia’s legal requirements for homeschool programs.

After three years at the University of North Georgia, Elizabeth decided to pursue a degree in cosmetology. She applied and provided the academy with her valid homeschool high school diploma and transcript that she received after completing her parent’s home study program, which was operated in full compliance with Georgia law.

Despite having no trouble with admission to a four-year college, Elizabeth was told she does not meet admission standards at the cosmotology school. Admissions staff said that, according to Georgia law, she could not be enrolled because she does not have a high school diploma from an accredited program.

There is, however, no such requirement. When the school refused to listen to her attempts to assert her legal compliance, Elizabeth contacted HSLDA for assistance.

Discrimination by the Numbers

I wrote to the academy’s officials, explaining that their decision to deny Elizabeth admission is wrong for several reasons.

First, Georgia law gives parents who lawfully operate a home study program authority to “execute any document required by law, rule, regulation, or policy to evidence the enrollment of a child in a home study program, the student’s full-time or part-time status, the student’s grades, or any other required educational information.” Accreditation is not required.

Second, the National Accrediting Commission of Career Arts and Sciences (NACCAS), which is the national accrediting agency for postsecondary cosmetology programs, requires only that homeschool graduates “have evidence of completion of home schooling that state law treats as a home or private school.” NACCAS accreditation standards specifically do not require accredited diplomas.

Finally, Elizabeth has 64 college credits from the University of North Georgia, with nearly half the credits in the arts and sciences, further demonstrating her academic abilities and readiness to study at the postsecondary level.

In light of these facts, I urged the school to accept Elizabeth into its cosmetology program. I have not yet received a response to my letter.

Homeschool graduates are welcomed into the nation’s top academic institutions, including Harvard and Yale, where many have excelled. The majority of homeschool graduates do not face difficulties with college admission, but we see a surprising amount of discrimination by cosmetology schools.

As a homeschool graduate myself, I am grateful for the opportunity to advocate for my fellow homeschool graduates who face discrimination.