May 29, 2008

Mineral Area College Drops GED Demand

Home School Legal Defense Association members Sherry and Norman Kissinger enrolled their son in nearby Mineral Area College in Park Hills, Missouri, but were told he would not be eligible for financial aid unless he had a GED.

The family called HSLDA for help. Attorney Scott Woodruff wrote a letter to Financial Aid Director Denise Sebastian. He explained that back in the 1990s, the Federal Student Aid Handbook created problems by misconstruing federal law in such a way that some believed, incorrectly, that homeschool graduates must have a GED to be eligible for financial aid. He explained that HSLDA subsequently worked with the U.S. Department of Education to revise the handbook and provide proper guidance. It is now very clear that homeschool graduates are eligible for financial aid without a GED. They simply certify that they completed their secondary education program.

After receiving this letter, Mineral Area College changed their policy. The Kissingers’ son was allowed to pursue financial aid without a GED. The family passed the word on, and many homeschoolers have subsequently been admitted and allowed to seek financial aid without a GED.

Community colleges can be an excellent resource for older high school students to get exposure to college-level work and earn college credit while still in high school. Community college teachers are often willing to talk to parents to help them decide if they would be comfortable with their student learning under the teacher.