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August 13, 2012

Middlesex County College Drops ATB Demand

R.B. earned a diploma from her homeschool program and then applied for admission to Middlesex County College—with her eye on their culinary arts program. An admissions representative told her that since her high school diploma was not accredited, she would not be admitted unless she proved her “ability to benefit” from a college education by scoring at a certain level on the college’s placement test, or obtain a GED.

Members of Home School Legal Defense Association, her family asked for help. HSLDA Senior Counsel Scott Woodruff wrote a letter to the admissions official explaining that under federal financial aid rules, homeschool graduates are eligible for financial aid without taking a test to prove their ability to benefit from college. He discussed the rising popularity of homeschooling and the tremendous academic success demonstrated among homeschoolers.

He explained that homeschooling is entirely independent of institutional schools, so homeschool programs do not seek or obtain government approval or accreditation. He reminded the official that a GED often stigmatizes the holder as one who could not complete a high school program.

When R.B’s homeschooled sister later applied to be admitted to Middlesex County College, she discovered that the college no longer asked homeschoolers to prove their ability to benefit from college.