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April 20, 2016

Your Voices Bring Improvements for College-Bound Homeschoolers

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With only three days left in the legislative session, HSLDA called on homeschoolers to take action to help pass good legislation that had stalled in a Senate committee. Lawmakers listened.

DAN BEASLEY
Contact attorney for Georgia

H.B. 798, which will help more homeschool graduates qualify for the Zell Miller and HOPE college scholarships, has been sent to the governor for his signature. The legislative session has adjourned for the year, but as long as the governor does not veto the bill, it will become law on July 1, 2016.

HSLDA partnered with the Georgia Home Education Association (GHEA) to support H.B. 798 because it opens the door for homeschool graduates to qualify for the Zell Miller scholarship as incoming college freshmen. Under current law, homeschool graduates may not receive scholarship funds until after completing a full year of college with a 3.3 GPA. Public school graduates do not have to wait; they can receive the funds right away provided they meet high school academic eligibility requirements (3.7 high school GPA and a 1200 on the SAT or 26 on the ACT). Under the new law, homeschoolers will be treated a little more fairly. Homeschool grads will have an added option to receive funds as incoming freshmen provided they post an impressive SAT or ACT score (93rd percentile or higher).

The bill also improves HOPE scholarship eligibility by reducing the required SAT or ACT score to the 75th percentile for homeschool graduates who wish to receive scholarship funds as incoming freshmen. Current law requires homeschoolers to score at the 80th percentile while Public school students only need to show graduation from high school with no required SAT or ACT minimum score. Homeschool grads who do not score at the 75th percentile on the SAT or ACT can still qualify after their freshman year by posting a 3.0 GPA after one full year of college.

HSLDA believes homeschool graduates should qualify for these scholarships on the same basis as public school students. While this bill does not go all the way in accomplishing this goal for equity, it takes a couple steps in the right direction.

HSLDA extends a thank you to GHEA and all of those who took the time to contact their elected officials!