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October 17, 2013

Great Job—Now Take the GED! College Tells Homeschooler

Staff Attorney Mike Donnelly answers questions and assists members regarding legal issues in Ohio. He and his wife homeschool. Read more >>

One Ohio institution for higher learning that grants associate degrees told a homeschooled student that his homeschooling record was “great.” Officials admitted that the student’s work met Ohio’s requirements but told the student’s parents that “they could not accept their son’s high school diploma because it was not recognized by the Ohio State Board of Education.” So, they said, if you want to come here to study, take the GED.

Some institutions of higher learning are still, amazingly, stuck in the dark ages of homeschooling and demand “state-issued” or “state-recognized” diplomas—even when the school accepts private school diplomas that are not “state-issued.”

Attorney Steps In

The family contacted Mike Donnelly, HSLDA’s staff attorney for Ohio, who wrote the director of admissions and explained that the family’s compliance with Ohio’s homeschool statute established their home education program as legal and valid. Consequently, the parents could issue diplomas to students who complete their program’s requirements.

Donnelly told officials that while individual schools can set their own admission policies, federal guidelines recognize self-certified homeschool diplomas and discourage colleges from setting discriminatory policies against homeschool students.

Positive Outcome

The family contacted HSLDA a few days later with a happy report of victory.

“I wanted to let you know that the school changed their decision and will now accept my son’s homeschool high school diploma!” the family told HSLDA in an email. “[Mike’s letter] was highly informative and they ‘saw the light.’ We are so grateful for your representation and protection of homeschoolers.”

Most colleges recognize the value homeschoolers bring to their campuses and actively recruit them. Homeschoolers are increasingly known for academic excellence and superior learning skills. Although colleges have the prerogative to set entrance standards, HSLDA is almost always successful in helping homeschool students navigate the red tape of higher learning by professionally and firmly advocating for our members with admissions staff.

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Protect Your Family

If you have questions or difficulties in a school accepting your family’s homeschool diploma, don’t hesitate to contact HSLDA. We are happy to assist you! If you aren’t a member of HSLDA—what are you waiting for? By standing together we can fight discrimination against homeschoolers and protect our fundamental freedoms. Join today!