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Homeschooled Diploma or GED

Which Should We Do and Why?

How will my child's homeschooled high school years end? Answering this question early in your homeschooling career will help keep you on track when you hit the high school years and people begin to question your choices yet again! The following information was taken from the HomeschoolChristian.com message boards.

Marcelyn: We felt the GED was more like a drop-out type diploma and we didn't want that stigma attached to our kids. We made up our own diploma and presented it. All three that we have graduated have gone to college and been accepted without any problem. They also have gotten jobs without any problem. When people ask if they have a high school diploma (actually only one has ever asked that) they simply say "yes." The important thing to realize is that your homeschool diploma is just as valid (if not more valid) as a public school diploma. You have to consider it so. Your school is just as good, just as qualified, and just as legal.

CLW: We are going to keep transcripts here and supply our children with a diploma of some sort by either making one as Barb Shelton recommends in her book FORM+U+ LA for High School or purchase one for the girls. Our state is very lenient with regard to homeschool requirements. I know we as an employer don't like to see a GED unless if the applicants were homeschooled.

Many folks here enroll their children in community college courses at 14 year old and they gradually work on obtaining/an AA by /the time they are ready to graduate high school or shortly thereafter.

Kris: Here you can go to community college without a GED. Many people have their kids go to the community college, and then transfer to the universities with no problem. But most private colleges will take your homeschool diploma. For what it's worth, when my daughter started looking at the military, every recruiter told her DO NOT TAKE THE GED. They were very adamant about that. It would have automatically put her into a lower classification and limited the jobs they would put her in.

Kim: There are some programs at the college that will require a GED (education, nursing) if you get an associates degree. As far as the military is concerned, my brother-in-law used to be an Air Force recruiter. He said that if you have 12 or 15 credit hours of college, the GED is not required. Sometimes, you have to stand up for your beliefs. People will try to tell you things are required when they really aren't. My youngest wanted to go back to public school a few years ago, and the school said they needed to see his work, so they could place him. We told them we didn't have to show them anything and mentioned a few homeschooling laws, and they quickly backed off.

Kysa: Generally speaking you do NOT want your children to take the GED. And if they do need to take it, consider it an entrance exam NOT their diploma. It is legal in all 50 states for parents to award their child a diploma. Reasons NOT to take it:

  • Employers consider a GED applicant less well than a diploma applicant.
  • The military will DEFINITELY lower the eligible training/positions with a GED.
  • Many states do not allow GED testing until 18 or 19--a later age than many students are applying for college/vo-tech schools.

There was a college recruiter there at our conference, and he was very helpful. (The school he represented does NOT require a GED of homeschooled applicants, they require ACT exam scores and either a transcript or a portfolio.) However, he did know of some state funded financial aid which required a GED of homeschooled applicants. Their financial aid office tells students eligible for those loans to take the GED, but consider it just another entrance test (like the ACT/SAT). The school and later employers are to consider the homeschool diploma as the child's completion of high school.

There was a college recruiter there at our conference, and he was very helpful. (The school he represented does NOT require a GED of homeschooled applicants, they require ACT exam scores and either a transcript or a portfolio.) However, he did know of some state funded financial aid which required a GED of homeschooled applicants. Their financial aid office tells students eligible for those loans to take the GED, but consider it just another entrance test (like the ACT/SAT). The school and later employers are to consider the homeschool diploma as the child's completion of high school.

My children were very insistent that we state they were homeschooled in the application. I did name our school, but especially my daughter said she did not want anyone thinking she went to a private Christian school. Not only did NO ONE question our home provided transcript, but I think the schools were actually pleased to know they were homeschooled. As an aside--my daughter had her high school graduation ceremony at the end of a homeschool support group performance night. She graduated March 31, 2000, which was 2 months sooner than any of her friends. After the ceremony, she said she thought her diploma didn't look very "professional". 2 months later, when her friends had their diplomas, she decided hers looked MUCH nicer than her friends.

Wendy in LA: A lot of companies don't even ask for your diploma, just ask if you graduated. I have never even had an employer want to see my high school or college transcripts.

Martha R.: In my state (Florida), homeschooled students at a tenth grade level can start dual-enrollment at the community college FREE. (Parents do have to pay for books, but the tuition is free.) They can easily finish the 61 hours required for an Associate Degree before finishing high school if they choose to. All hours earned at the community college and A.A. degrees transfer to the state universities with no questions. Homeschooled students can also do a vocational degree or certificate while dual-enrolled. Any of this additional training negates the need for a high school diploma.