N A T I O N A L C E N T E R R E P O R T S
The Higher Education
Amendments of 1998
Will It Help Home Schoolers?
Over the years, many home schooled students have been admitted to colleges or universities which receive federal funds, but they were often forced to take a GED in order to qualify for financial aid or scholarships. Now, this has all changed. As a result of a Home School Legal Defense Association-drafted amendment to H.R. 6, The Higher Education Amendments of 1998, home schoolers qualify for financial aid simply by completing their home educationthere is no longer a GED requirement.
H.R. 6 became law on October 8, 1998. The new amendment simply states that, in lieu of an accredited high school diploma or GED, a student is eligible for federal financial aid if the student has completed a secondary school education in a home school setting that is treated as a home school or a private school under state law. [20 U.S.C. § 1091 (d)].
In times past, some colleges and universities have insisted that home schoolers take a GED not only for financial aid but also for admission. No doubt these universities will continue such policies, completely unaware of the change in the federal code. Here are a few tips on how to educate colleges on the new requirements:
1) If you are an HSLDA member and upon applying to a college you are told that you must obtain a GED in order be accepted, you can call HSLDA and we will contact the university on your behalf. In speaking with the college, we will explain that the federal government, through its Higher Education Act, does not require home schoolers to take a GED in order to be admitted into college.
2) If you are accepted to a university and earn high grades after a semester, you most likely will be eligible for a federally-funded academic scholarship. However, as you apply for the scholarship, you may find the college claiming that, pursuant to federal law, you must take a GED exam. The law to which the college would be referring is now an old law. You must respectfully inform the college of the new law which allows you to simply demonstrate that you have completed a secondary school education in a home school setting. You already fulfilled this requirement during the admissions process by supplying a transcript and other evidence of completing the credit hour requirements for completing a high school education. If problems persist, members can contact HSLDA.
3) Since the Higher Education amendment for home schoolers is very clear, you might provide a copy of the new law to the college. (Call the National Center at (540) 338-7600 to obtain a copy.)
HSLDA is continuing to regularly communicate with universities across the country to improve admissions policies for home schoolers. We will be sending copies of these changes in the Higher Education Act to nearly 1,000 universities.