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New Jersey

January 20, 2010
Cumberland County College Threatens Photographer’s Dream

Homeschool graduate Sue Armin (name changed to protect privacy) was shocked when she was told that her homeschool high school diploma was not good enough to get her into Cumberland County College in Vineland, N.J. The administration told her she would have to pass an “ability to benefit” test. Her dream of studying photography so she could show God’s beauty was threatened.

Members of HSLDA since 1999, the Armins contacted us for help—urgently. At the time they called us, Sue was scheduled to take the “ability to benefit” test in about four hours.

HSLDA has dealt with these issues before. Senior Counsel Scott Woodruff was therefore able to quickly prepare a letter explaining that under federal law, homeschool graduates who submit a diploma do not need to submit a GED or take an ability to benefit test to be eligible for federal financial aid. When a homeschool graduate experiences a hang-up getting into college, it usually revolves around the college’s misunderstanding of federal financial aid issues.

Woodruff’s letter was promptly faxed to the college, and they reviewed it. Before Sue had to answer the first question on the “ability to benefit” test, the college administration agreed that her homeschool diploma was sufficient.