Proof of Graduation (2013)

Recently it has come to our attention that some colleges and universities, around the country, have begun asking for proof of high school graduation, using the same criteria used by the federal government for purpose of the FAFSA. The problem is that many of these colleges do not understand that in Illinois a homeschooler's graduation is not verified by the state. FAFSA's letter below clarifies their policy with respect to homeschoolers. For any homeschooler encountering this difficulty with college applications, presenting this letter to the college admissions department should resolve the issue.


Subject: 81 RE: Form submission from: Contact Us

Date: Tue, 23 Jul 2013 15:09:11 +0000

Thank you for your inquiry about federal student aid.

The Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, requires that a school award federal student aid only to students who are sufficiently prepared. Effective July 1, 2012, a student is considered sufficiently prepared if he or she has

     * has a high school diploma,

     * the recognized equivalent of a high school diploma (such as a General Educational Development [GED] certificate), or

     * has completed a home-schooling program approved by the student's state.

Though homeschooled students are not considered to have a high school diploma or equivalent, they are eligible to receive federal student aid funds if their secondary school education was in a homeschool that state law treats as a home or private school. Some states issue a secondary school completion credential to homeschoolers. If this is the case in the state where the student was homeschooled, the student must obtain this credential in order to be eligible for federal student aid.

For homeschooled students in states where secondary school completion credentials are not provided, the student submits to the postsecondary school a transcript or the equivalent signed by the parent or guardian that lists the secondary school courses completed by the applicant and documents the successful completion of a secondary school education.

The U.S. Department of Education is responsible for administering federal laws that apply to education. The Department does not determine what provisions are included in the law or how language is used in the law. Changes to the current provisions or language used in the law would require Congress to pass additional legislation. However, the Department is prohibited from lobbying Congress, and it does not recommend or provide lists of lobbying groups.

We hope this information is helpful.

E-Mail Unit

Federal Student Aid