The Home School Court Report
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MAY / JUNE 2002
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College denies financial aid to home schooler

Home School Legal Defense Association was recently contacted by a member family who had encountered difficulties in obtaining federal financial aid for their son, a student at Montana State University. A university official told the family that their son would need to obtain a General Equivalency Diploma (GED) in order to receive the aid, as Montana "does not have a secondary school completion credential."

Under the Higher Education Act Amendments of 1998, home school students are eligible for financial aid if they have either (1) obtained a secondary school completion credential as provided by state law, or (2) completed a secondary school education in a home school setting under state law. HSLDA Attorney Dewitt Black wrote a letter to Montana State University explaining that even though Montana may not have a secondary school completion credential, this home school graduate was eligible for financial aid since he had completed a high school education in a home school setting under Montana law.

After receiving this letter, Montana State University granted financial aid to the member family's son. Any other member families encountering colleges that refuse to give federal financial aid to home school students should contact HSLDA for assistance.

- Dewitt T. Black