August 20, 2012

U.S. Department of Education Agrees:
Homeschoolers Are Eligible for Student Aid

William A. Estrada, Esq.
Director of Federal Relations


Will Estrada has been leading our efforts to defend homeschooling on Capitol Hill since 2006. As the oldest of eight kids, and a homeschool graduate who married a homeschool graduate, he has a passion for protecting homeschool freedom. Read more >>

We previously reported that due to mistaken information from a higher education organization, some colleges were claiming that homeschool graduates are no longer eligible for federal student aid unless they have a GED. HSLDA has been working hard to refute this erroneous claim.

We brought this issue to the attention of the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Non-Public Education (ONPE). The ONPE staff immediately started working within the U.S. Department of Education to see if they could help clarify that homeschoolers are fully eligible for all federal student aid.

They were successful, and on June 28, 2012, the Department of Education published a guidance letter to all colleges and universities across the country clarifying that there have been no changes to homeschool students’ eligibility for federal student aid.

The letter plainly states that homeschool students are eligible for federal student aid if “the student has completed a secondary school education in a homeschool setting that qualifies as an exemption from compulsory school attendance requirements under State law.” This fully covers every homeschool graduate, and again reiterates the law: homeschool graduates are fully eligible for federal student aid and they do not need a GED.

You can read the full text of the letter here.

HSLDA thanks the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Non-Public Education for their hard work to ensure that homeschool graduates are treated equally under the law. This letter is an excellent resource to send to a college or university if it tries to claim that homeschool graduates need a GED in order to be eligible for federal student aid.

If a college persists in such a claim, please contact HSLDA’s Federal Relations Department at federalrelations@hslda.org or 540-338-5600.