Dad’s Detective Skills Deliver Drexel to Daughter
by Scott Woodruff • August 23, 2018
A bright New Jersey homeschool graduate wanted to apply to Drexel University in Philadelphia. But the school’s website contained some rather disheartening language:
If an official transcript from a state homeschool association or sponsoring public high school is not available, homeschool applicants must obtain and submit a GED or a college transcript showing the completion of 24 or more college credits at the time of enrollment as confirmation of completing a generally acceptable secondary school curriculum. Individual homeschool transcripts with date of completion do not suffice as official proof of graduation.
After discovering this information, the family sought our help. I urged the graduate to go ahead and submit her paperwork to see how Drexel actually applied this rather unfriendly policy statement. But after she cleared all other hurdles, the Drexel admissions department said they would only accept her if she provided a GED or evidence of having completed 24 hours of college credit.
I began drafting a letter explaining that the Drexel policy was out of step with federal law and the practices at other selective universities.
A Closer Look
Meanwhile, the graduate’s dad sleuthed around a bit and found a Drexel financial aid form titled “2018-2019 Verification of High School Completion.” It provided seven options for proving the student had completed high school. The sixth option stated that the college would accept
a transcript or the equivalent signed by your parent or guardian that lists the secondary school courses you completed if state law does not require a homeschooled student to obtain a secondary school completion credential for homeschool (other than a high school diploma or its recognized equivalent). The transcript or equivalent must document the successful completion of a secondary school education in a homeschool setting.
This made it immediately clear that while the Drexel Financial Aid office had brought its policies up to date, the Undergraduate Admissions office had not!
At my recommendation, the graduate quickly filled out the financial aid form. I then forwarded it to the admissions office with a letter explaining that under New Jersey law, a homeschool student is not required to obtain any form of government credential relating to high school graduation. I asked the representative to confirm, in light of the completed financial aid form, that the graduate would not need to obtain a GED.
Less than 48 hours later, the Drexel representative responded and agreed that the graduate’s diploma and transcript were sufficient to show she had successfully completed high school, and she was accepted into the college.