June 9, 2004

Adding Fuel to the GED Debate

Nebraska's Wayne State College will not admit homeschoolers unless they first gain a General Education Development (GED) Diploma. It doesn't matter how bright or mature the homeschool student is, there's no admission without a GED. Despite law changes, letters from HSLDA, and phone calls from Nebraska homeschoolers, Wayne State continues to cling to this policy. The overwhelming majority of colleges have either a dedicated homeschool admissions officer or a policy which encourages homeschool students to apply. These colleges seek homeschool graduates because they are typically excellent students.

One of the claims of GED proponents is that it provides a benchmark for an equivalent high school education. But, according to a recent article in the New York Times, http// this is far from the truth. The Times showed that a GED, for all practical purposes, is not as beneficial as a high school diploma. Anyone who obtains a GED carries the stigma of a high school dropout. Students that obtain a GED, the article says, "typically earn less than high school graduates, and are less likely to go to college." Quoting the director of the adult literacy program at Brooklyn College, the article says, "The G.E.D. was intended to be a second chance for adults; it was never intended to replace a high school education."

Yet it is this test, designed for those that cannot or will not complete high school, that Wayne State would impose upon homeschool graduates, even though those graduates may have proven their academic excellence in a myriad of other, much more tangible ways. Wayne State would reduce bright homeschool students to the level of dropouts in order for them to be admitted.

It is encouraging to note that Wayne State is part of a shrinking minority of colleges which still insist on this requirement. By working hard and pulling together, homeschoolers have shown the world that homeschool graduates are more than ready to face both college and career. They are experiencing great success.