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NY schools wanting proof of high school diploma


Nancy in NH
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I'm wondering if any out of state applicants have faced issues with colleges in New York and their requirements to provide an "official high school transcript from a regionally accredited high school".  I just phoned one admissions department and explained that my state does not grant a diploma from any 'agency' and that we do not have a state homeschool association.  I also explained my son will not be taking the GED (another option).  

 

The rep. was very nice and she seems willing to help us meet the requirements in some way, though she admitted to being new there and that she will have to consult her colleagues.  She suggested I check to see if the superintendent might provide a letter to verify DS has in fact fulfilled the requirements of graduation in our state.  I'm not sure I will get that kind of cooperation from the district, especially given the fact that they would be verifying something of which they have no knowledge.  And I really do not want to go that route anyways.  The rep. is checking on how we can meet this requirement if we cannot get a letter from the district, but in the meantime, I thought I'd check to see if anyone else has encountered this problem.  

 

I checked another NY college on dd's list and it requires pretty much the same thing, as presented in the section "Proof of High School Graduation" in their undergraduate catalog.  This school listed other examples that satisfy the requirement including NY Regents tests (not an option) or completion of 24 semester hours from a "registered degree or certificate program at a regionally accredited institution of higher education" (my son has completed his entire high school education in the home).

 

Just wondering how you handle issues like this.  Hopefully, this one school I contacted will accept the diploma I have granted DS, but there are 3 more schools in NY high on ds's list, and I am really not sure how to handle it.

 

Nancy in NH

 

 

 

 

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The 24 credit option is meant to be completed once you are in college--not before. The law is that the college cannot give a College Diploma without a highschool one, or one of the other proofs. It is not meant to be for admissions purposes.

 

I wonder what that college does in the case of public schools that aren't accredited.

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 "SUNY application process for out-of-state-homeschoolers"

This past thread is 3 years old, and the homeschoolers who succeeded in being admitted to NY school WERE NY residents who had the superintendent signature, so, don't know how helpful it will be, but at least worth a look...

 

From one of the posts in that thread, one of the NY homeschoolers mentioned that the SUNY schools do accept an "accredited diploma" (i.e., diploma awarded by a cover/umbrella school or organization) from places like Kolbe, NARS, Clonara, American School of Correspondence, etc). However, that's is an expensive route, and may be difficult to have the accredited organization accept you partway into the senior year… But if your student would be an excellent match for the NY school AND very likely to receive a large amount of merit aid, it could be worth the time, effort, and financial investment to look into this option for this year.

 

What about applying to private NY schools? Many of them are more inclusive in admitting non-NY state homeschoolers.

 

If your student has any of the following, you might see if the NY school is willing to accept any of these as proof of student's academic abilities (though, none of these will "prove" completion of high school credits, if that is what the schools are specifically looking for):

 

- ACT or SAT score

- AP scores

- CLEP tests

- dual enrollment classes

 

Another possibility, would they accept -- and would you be willing to pay for/have your DS do:

- SAT Subject tests (proof of working at a standardized national level of high school work)

- CLEP tests (passing grade of these tests grants college credit at nearly 3000 collges/universities)

 

Another possibility:

What if your DS spent his first year of college going full time to a local university or community college, and then transferring? Do the NY schools accept those credits, and no longer worry about having a high school diploma" done THEIR way"?

 

Finally: If the NY schools are unwilling to recognize the above options, and because a superintendent letter and the GED are out of the question, this may have to result with your DS looking at schools NOT in NY. What schools NOT in NY are in your area with programs that would be a good match for your DS? What about something like Tuition Break, which allows students to go out-of-state for in-state tuition cost?

 

BEST of luck! Warmest regards, Lori D.

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The 24 credit option is meant to be completed once you are in college--not before. The law is that the college cannot give a College Diploma without a highschool one, or one of the other proofs. It is not meant to be for admissions purposes.

 

I wonder what that college does in the case of public schools that aren't accredited.

 

Thanks for your response, but I'm confused.  This is taken from the Ithaca College catalog online:

 

"Ithaca College follows the New York State Education Department (NYSED) regulations that guide the admission of all students, including homeschooled students, when reviewing applicants for admission. Proof of high school graduation or the equivalent is required of all incoming students before online course registration for the students' second semester."

 

Nancy

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SUNY application process for out-of-state-homeschoolers"

This past thread is 3 years old, and the homeschoolers who succeeded in being admitted to NY school WERE NY residents who had the superintendent signature, so, don't know how helpful it will be, but at least worth a look...

 

Lori, thanks.  I did read that thread, and mostly what I got out of it was that it is such a hassle that some were dropping NY schools from consideration, some simply because they did not feel they should have to 'jump through the hoops'.  The idea of getting a letter from the superintendent got reactions similar to what I was thinking, that why would a superintendent be willing to write a letter validating the student had completed high school requirements when the superintendent would have no such knowledge of that being the case.  In NH, we simply state our intent to homeschool once when we begin.  We are required to have yearly assessments done--either testing or a portfolio review by a qualified teacher--but the assessments/tests are not turned in, we are simply required to keep them on file.

 

From one of the posts in that thread, one of the NY homeschoolers mentioned that the SUNY schools do accept an "accredited diploma" (i.e., diploma awarded by a cover/umbrella school or organization) from places like Kolbe, NARS, Clonara, American School of Correspondence, etc). However, that's is an expensive route, and may be difficult to have the accredited organization accept you partway into the senior year…

 

This isn't an option for ds.  I failed to mention he has already graduated and is in the midst of a gap year.

 

What about applying to private NY schools? Many of them are more inclusive in admitting non-NY state homeschoolers.

 

The schools in NY are all private schools.

 

If your student has any of the following, you might see if the NY school is willing to accept any of these as proof of student's academic abilities (though, none of these will "prove" completion of high school credits, if that is what the schools are specifically looking for):

 

- ACT or SAT score

- AP scores

- CLEP tests

- dual enrollment classes

 

Another possibility, would they accept -- and would you be willing to pay for/have your DS do:

- SAT Subject tests (proof of working at a standardized national level of high school work)

- CLEP tests (passing grade of these tests grants college credit at nearly 3000 collges/universities)

 

He has SAT scores only.  His education has been completed entirely at home, no outside courses.  More testing fees would put a strain on us financially, though I wouldn't rule out CLEP's as long as the schools would accept them for credit.  I will look into that, so thanks for reminding me.  I guess then the question is, would admissions accept the tests scores in lieu of the diploma.  It is definitely worth asking!

 

Another possibility:

What if your DS spent his first year of college going full time to a local university or community college, and then transferring? Do the NY schools accept those credits, and no longer worry about having a high school diploma" done THEIR way"?

 

Finally: If the NY schools are unwilling to recognize the above options, and because a superintendent letter and the GED are out of the question, this may have to result with your DS looking at schools NOT in NY. What schools NOT in NY are in your area with programs that would be a good match for your DS? What about something like Tuition Break, which allows students to go out-of-state for in-state tuition cost?

 

Starting at CC and knocking out liberal arts courses would help him get ahead with the liberal arts requirements, but put him behind in the requirements he'd need for music courses that music students take that first year (and which are not offered at the CC's around here, aside from maybe a theory class or two).  It would also mean putting aside the music experience he seeks--the ensembles, performance opportunities.

 

He has been back and forth about applying to our state university (the larger size of the school is one drawback for ds--he's not sure he would be comfortable attending a large school).  I don't know if he'd consider attending it for a year, knowing it would be temporary.  Also, I assume this would affect aid/scholarships.  The other schools here just don't seem to be the right fit for him at all.  He is also applying to a few schools not in NY.  It just so happens that the schools in NY are high on his list.

 

There is a 2 year music program at a Mass. community college, and it is under consideration as well.  We just need to know a bit more about it.  It's on the very long 'to-do' list!   :svengo:

 

I am not keen on the idea of asking the superintendent to write a letter.  I also don't know if he would be willing to write it, and I'm not sure how each school would respond to our particular situation if the superintendent refuses.  The counselor I spoke with today said she would get back to me as early as possible next week, so I'll just wait to see what the response is.  I will definitely ask her about your CLEP suggestion.  I don't know how ds will respond to that option.  He would want to hit the books again, I'm sure, to feel prepared to take them.  He has been out of school since May.  Part of the reason he took a gap year was to get where he wanted to be for auditions, but he also felt he needed a break from school work in order to be ready to handle the demands he'll face once he commits to going to college.  I guess he would have to decide what he wants more--the break (if you can call working and countless hours of piano practice every day a break!) or the opportunity to apply to his top choice schools, if the CLEP becomes an option to overcome this diploma hurdle.

 

Thanks so much, Lori, for your suggestions.  You have always been such a help to us all on these boards, and I have benefitted often from all you share with us here.

 

Nancy in NH

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Both of my dc were admitted into NY state schools with only home diplomas and college credits. SUNY Geneseo wasn't even a hassle. The other I had to keep repeating that they would quality for a GED by college credit once they finished a couple more classes. It's so crazy because a good private university gave them great scholarships without a high school diploma. 

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Lori D,

 

I just read this from you on another thread:

 

"PS -- I FORGOT!! BIG financial concern here if the student will be going to college right after the gap year:

 

The BIG thing to be aware of about in taking a gap year is that the student can NOT take ANY college courses of any kind (in person, online, CLEPing, interning for credit, etc.), as those credits will automatically bump the student into TRANSFER student status, and out of FRESHMAN student status, which will bump the student from being able to apply for freshman scholarships after the gap year."

 

I guess we'll have to scrap that idea, as ds is taking a gap year right now.  Oh, the complications...

 

Nancy in NH

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Lori D,

 

I just read this from you on another thread:

 

"PS -- I FORGOT!! BIG financial concern here if the student will be going to college right after the gap year:

 

The BIG thing to be aware of about in taking a gap year is that the student can NOT take ANY college courses of any kind (in person, online, CLEPing, interning for credit, etc.), as those credits will automatically bump the student into TRANSFER student status, and out of FRESHMAN student status, which will bump the student from being able to apply for freshman scholarships after the gap year."

 

I guess we'll have to scrap that idea, as ds is taking a gap year right now.  Oh, the complications...

 

Nancy in NH

 

Oh dear, Nancy!  :grouphug:

 

Ug.ug.ug. Well, just to encourage you, our DS#1 did the community college (CC)and transferred to a 4-year university. He received scholarships at the CC, and maintained a high GPA, so he also was awarded a renewable transfer scholarship, and this year, an additional leadership work-for-$$ scholarship. So time at the 4-year school has been cut to 2 years, from 4, and the scholarships have cut the total cost of tuition + room & board in half, making it an affordable degree. However, he's NOT in the highly competitive field of Music, where you need to have as many performance options as possible, and network like crazy… Anyways, just to say that transfer student scholarships ARE a possibility, as are scholarships at a CC.

 

 

I just saw this article: "Top 15 Music Colleges in the US" -- would one of these be a match for DS? A number of these schools are NOT in NY. Several have generous endowments which enable the schools to offer more merit-aid and need-aid, and the school chosen in the article as #1 (Indiana University Jacobs School of Music) is one of those well-endowed schools...

 

And while the recommendation was specifically for the Studio Arts program at Virginia Commonwealth University, several people on this recent thread ("Which public universities have highly-regarded Fine Arts programs?") had good things to say about the school overall and it does have several music degrees... 

 

What about a tuition-free college? "20 Colleges Providing Free Tuition" (do research carefully, as some colleges say they are tuition-free, and then hit you with $$$$ in "fees") several of the schools on that list have music degrees:

Curtis Institute of Music (PA)

- College of the Ozarks (MO)

- Berea College (KY) -- I know I have seen good comments about this one on these Boards

 

Wishing you and DS the VERY best in finding the music program and school that are the best fit for DS! Hugs, Lori D.

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Gah. Those are the only affordable state schools for us. Sigh. Now you're making me think I was too hasty not using NARHS...

Don,t panic. The four yearly approval letters serve the same purpose as a letter from the superintendent of your school system saying your student graduated. You can include a cover letter saying that these show that your child has completed an equivalent high school education approved by your local regionally accredited school system. They are your legal proof, according to my public high school. I was told that if questioned, I should say that in Mass., schools don,t sign transcripts, that they sign these approval letters instead, and that the phrase "equivalent education" was important. My son used these for state schools in Mass., VT, and Maine. He even got into UMass Amherst,s engineering school. (Whether they would have graduated him is a different question. He had CC credits as well.) Don,t forget about UVM. They gave my son scholarships that brought the price down to UMass Amerst,s price. Only UMass Amherst asks for a GED and they accepted youngest without one, despite a series of letters saying they wouldn,t beforehand. There is also the regional tuition discount. One of mine used that and it helped. All 7 schools youngest applied to wanted those four letters, and I had to send extra copies to some financial aid offices because they wanted them for federal financial aid. I ended the application process deeply grateful that we lived in Mass., where homeschooling laws provided us with four pieces of paper containing our local school system,s signature.

 

Good luck,

Nan

 

ETA RPI in NY accepted my son (with scholarship) and I,m pretty sure others here have been accepted there as well. Just in case that helps anyone.

 

Nancy, I,m so sorry. What a hassle. I hope everything turns out to be easier than it appears.

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Contact the school directly.  If your state allows you to issue your own diploma then the school should accept it.  If you contact them and they say they will not then if you are a member of HSLDA or a similar organization I would contact them.  Usually the only issue is that the admission office does not understand the homeschool regulations of a particular state.    You could always just submit a copy of the homeschool regulations with the transcript too.

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I am having the same problem since dd is targeting a number of NY schools. Iv'e had discussions with them and I've finally asked HSLDA to help me respond back to convince the schools that a GED is not needed. My state's homeschooling laws sound like NH's, but the problem is our state has a homeschooling FAQ page on their website which makes it sound like homeschoolers need to take the GED, or that we can get a diploma through a state homeschool organization (which is really stupid for them to even put that on the website as our state does not recognize any official homeschool org!)

 

It has been a discouraging week for me due to this. I am second-guessing myself about homeschooling dd through high school, that I'm going to lessen her chances of getting into some of her desired schools (ranging from safeties to select.)

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DD has several NYS schools on her list also, and I am concerned about this problem. Are you targeting state SUNY schools or private schools? I know of a few out of staters who got into private schools in NY and wonder how when I hear of all these issues.

 

I am having the same problem since dd is targeting a number of NY schools. Iv'e had discussions with them and I've finally asked HSLDA to help me respond back to convince the schools that a GED is not needed. My state's homeschooling laws sound like NH's, but the problem is our state has a homeschooling FAQ page on their website which makes it sound like homeschoolers need to take the GED, or that we can get a diploma through a state homeschool organization (which is really stupid for them to even put that on the website as our state does not recognize any official homeschool org!)

 

It has been a discouraging week for me due to this. I am second-guessing myself about homeschooling dd through high school, that I'm going to lessen her chances of getting into some of her desired schools (ranging from safeties to select.)

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DD has several NYS schools on her list also, and I am concerned about this problem. Are you targeting state SUNY schools or private schools? I know of a few out of staters who got into private schools in NY and wonder how when I hear of all these issues.

 

 

My son got into three private NY state universities as an out of state homeschooler. I don,t remember seeing anything on any of the three that made me think my son needed a GED. He certainly doesn,t have a transcript or diploma signed by our school system. I did send the four approval letters. (Mass. Homeschoolers have to send an assessment and a plan for the next year to be approved by their school system each year.) I don,t remember seeing anything on the sites that made me think I needed to send them, but I knew that our local community college had asked for them in order to give us a scholarship, something about needing to know we were homeschoolers and not high school dropouts. (High school dropouts need to take the GED.) I assumed that that was the true issue - colleges needing to know that we really were homeschoolers, not dropouts, and that they were just ignorant of other states' homeschooling laws, hence the wording on the sites. I assumed that if I had complied with the homeschooling laws in my own state, they would not have a problem, so I sent what proof of that I did have (those four approval letters) with a cover letter explaining very briefly how homeschooling worked in my state, and saying that in my state, the parent/administrator issued and signed the transcript and diploma. I did this for all the colleges, even the frustrating INstate UMass Amherst, with whom I had had a very homeschooling unfriendly exchange of emails in which they continued to insist on a GED. (I pretended the conversation hadn,t happened. They accepted my son to the engineering school and honours school, with scholarships. Sigh. Whether they would have graduated him without a GED we didn,t ask. He went elsewhere.) My son did have a number of CC classes, so it may be that those were what let the NY colleges say yes? I don,t know. But I would assume that if you send a letter explaining your state,s laws and send any proof you have that you are a legal homeschooler if your state has such a thing, that that will substitute for whatever uni,s are asking for from instate homeschoolers, at least with the private schools.

 

HTH

Nan

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My understanding is that all colleges in NY, private and public, are subject to the same regulations from the NY board of Regents.  The issue is that under those regulations the requirements have to be met by college graduation, which is actually no problem since once you are ready to graduate you will easily have the 24 credits which meet the requirements.

 

Unfortunately some NY schools, private and public, want to see the requirements met before you start at the college.  Which I think is a misreading of the regulations, but good luck trying to convince an admissions officer of that. That is why there is such inconsistency, and why you have to contact each college to find out their policy. It seems like most, but not all private colleges are not an issue, and SUNY schools vary widely, from Genesseo which doesn't care to Brockport, which won't even look at your application without the right paperwork.

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I also wanted to point out that many of these small colleges that enroll mostly NY state students, like Ithaca College, might not ever have seen a homeschooled applicant from your state.  If only 1% of the high school population is homeschooled, and the college enrolls mostly in state students then all they are used to seeing is NY homeschoolers, and not very many of those.  The big, national schools like Cornell and Colgate know how to handle non-NY homeschoolers, but the smaller schools might not.  So don't hesitate to educate them about the laws in your state, because they ought to be willing to work with you.

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Thanks, this is helpful. DD is eyeballing Cornell, but also looking at two SUNY schools. I've given her a heads up that those SUNY schools might not be open to a homeschool graduate from a state like Virginia (which has little authority oversight over homeschooling), but we'll probably try for those also.

My son got into three private NY state universities as an out of state homeschooler. I don,t remember seeing anything on any of the three that made me think my son needed a GED. He certainly doesn,t have a transcript or diploma signed by our school system. I did send the four approval letters. (Mass. Homeschoolers have to send an assessment and a plan for the next year to be approved by their school system each year.) I don,t remember seeing anything on the sites that made me think I needed to send them, but I knew that our local community college had asked for them in order to give us a scholarship, something about needing to know we were homeschoolers and not high school dropouts. (High school dropouts need to take the GED.) I assumed that that was the true issue - colleges needing to know that we really were homeschoolers, not dropouts, and that they were just ignorant of other states' homeschooling laws, hence the wording on the sites. I assumed that if I had complied with the homeschooling laws in my own state, they would not have a problem, so I sent what proof of that I did have (those four approval letters) with a cover letter explaining very briefly how homeschooling worked in my state, and saying that in my state, the parent/administrator issued and signed the transcript and diploma. I did this for all the colleges, even the frustrating INstate UMass Amherst, with whom I had had a very homeschooling unfriendly exchange of emails in which they continued to insist on a GED. (I pretended the conversation hadn,t happened. They accepted my son to the engineering school and honours school, with scholarships. Sigh. Whether they would have graduated him without a GED we didn,t ask. He went elsewhere.) My son did have a number of CC classes, so it may be that those were what let the NY colleges say yes? I don,t know. But I would assume that if you send a letter explaining your state,s laws and send any proof you have that you are a legal homeschooler if your state has such a thing, that that will substitute for whatever uni,s are asking for from instate homeschoolers, at least with the private schools.

 

HTH

Nan

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Thanks, everyone, for your responses.  My immediate reaction was to panic a little, because in NH now we no longer get any kind of communication from our super's office verifying we have fulfilled the requirements.  Years ago, homeschoolers here were pushing back against more regulation.  It ended up going back and forth as a political battle between administrations.  Those homeschoolers who fought that fight achieved what they hoped for--to relax the regulations.  We have always been required by law to do an annual assessment--either through testing or a portfolio evaluation (by a licensed teacher) or some other method agreed upon between the district and the homeschool.  In the past, we had to communicate those results by sending it to our district.  They would then verify in writing that they had received it and we were "in compliance".  After the regulations were relaxed, the requirement for annual assessments remained, but now we only have to keep them for our records--we no longer send those results to our district.  The only 'validation' I have is the letters that our homeschool evaluator provides us each year that I keep on file.

 

I realize this satisfies our state requirements and I will educate each admissions rep. about the laws on our state.  I had lunch with a friend from Albany, NY yesterday and we discussed this.  Her husband homeschools their son and she works for a school of higher education in NY.  She said much of the same about the 24 credits in college satisfying the requirement (though she did state, as did Ithaca's website) that the 24 credits are a very specific requirement, so one must make sure to take courses that will satisfy the requirement.  She agreed most schools probably have 'core' liberal arts requirements that would probably fulfill this goal, but she advised it is wise to make sure the student will satisfy those requirements before graduating.  Ithaca's website states 6.0 semester hrs in English, 3.0 in math, 3.0 in natural sciences, 3.0 in social sciences, 3.0 in humanities, 6.0 in any other courses that are part of a degree or certificate program.  I will check each music program/core curriculum for each of the schools ds is interested in, just to be certain he'll be covering those bases.

 

Now that I have a better handle on that legal requirement in NY, I just have to convince the admissions rep's that we have satisfied the legal requirements of our state and that by way of enrollment, the student will go on to satisfy the NY requirements in lieu of a diploma.  It seems the concern over meeting the laws in NY to satisfy the diploma criteria have simply spilled into the admissions process of some NY schools, probably because they want to ensure there will be no problem down the road.

 

Based on the reaction I got from our super's office for another written request (which was simply to verify we were in fact homeschoolers), I am not very hopeful that the super's office will be willing to verify we have met the requirements, when they have no such knowledge.  I am going to try to work with each admissions counselor before asking the super's office for a letter.  I will let everyone know how things turn out, in the hopes that this will help someone else down the line.  I'm less worried about it, now that I understand what is most likely driving these schools to request something 'official'.

 

Nancy in NH

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DD has several NYS schools on her list also, and I am concerned about this problem. Are you targeting state SUNY schools or private schools? I know of a few out of staters who got into private schools in NY and wonder how when I hear of all these issues.

 

 

DD is targeting private schools. I think one of the schools would have been okay with our home transcript and diploma were it not for the state homeschooling FAQ page. That's why I went to HSLDA for help. I hope to hear back from them next week.

 

It does vary between schools. One of her target schools is a private school in NY and they will accept my homeschool transcript and diploma.

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I just saw this article: "Top 15 Music Colleges in the US" -- would one of these be a match for DS? A number of these schools are NOT in NY. Several have generous endowments which enable the schools to offer more merit-aid and need-aid, and the school chosen in the article as #1 (Indiana University Jacobs School of Music) is one of those well-endowed schools...

 

And while the recommendation was specifically for the Studio Arts program at Virginia Commonwealth University, several people on this recent thread ("Which public universities have highly-regarded Fine Arts programs?") had good things to say about the school overall and it does have several music degrees... 

 

What about a tuition-free college? "20 Colleges Providing Free Tuition" (do research carefully, as some colleges say they are tuition-free, and then hit you with $$$$ in "fees") several of the schools on that list have music degrees:

Curtis Institute of Music (PA)

- College of the Ozarks (MO)

- Berea College (KY) -- I know I have seen good comments about this one on these Boards

 

Wishing you and DS the VERY best in finding the music program and school that are the best fit for DS! Hugs, Lori D.

 

Thank you, Lori, for compiling this information.  Ds has put in an unbelievable amount of time searching for schools that suit him (where he feels he can have a successful audition, meets the academic criteria, has a music program and ensembles that suit his goals, etc.), and I think he's narrowed it down quite well.  He is not looking at competitive conservatory programs, and he is trying to stay relatively close to home.  The furthest school on his list is about 9 1/2 hours away, and I'm surprised it remained on the list due to how far away it is.  I mentioned your suggestions to him this evening and he is settled on his list for now.  I called the one school last week and it seems to be the only NY school on ds's list that has statement regarding this diploma issue affecting admissions.  I dug further and can report that Nazareth won't be a problem.  They ask for a statement to be signed by the parent (and this is for financial aid, no mention of anything special required for applying), that the student has graduated following the guidelines of his/her state.  I think we'll be fine with Ithaca, Naz, and St. Rose.  If the other school becomes a problem, it will likely drop off the list.

 

Thanks for all your support!  This is all so overwhelming at times!

 

Nancy in NH

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Now that I have a better handle on that legal requirement in NY, I just have to convince the admissions rep's that we have satisfied the legal requirements of our state and that by way of enrollment, the student will go on to satisfy the NY requirements in lieu of a diploma. 

 

You can always include a qualifier on your transcript -- something like: "Home education completed in full compliance with New Hampshire state educational regulations governing homeschooling (N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 193)."

 

 

Sidenote (Nancy -- the following is not suggesting your family didn't award a diploma! ;) )

JMO: All high school students -- whether public school, private school, charter school, or home schooled -- SHOULD be awarded their diploma when the student has completed the credits and course of study required for high school graduation by the educational administrator or institution. In the case of homeschooling, that administrator is the parent; homeschooling is legal in all states of the U.S., and parent-awarded diplomas are accepted by the U.S. Military and virtually all U.S. colleges and universities -- so no reason for a homeschool parent to NOT award the diploma. There are times when a copy of that physical high school diploma is required (from anyone, not just from homeschoolers). And most of all, it is only fair and right to acknowledge the student's efforts and completion of requirements with a diploma.

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I know from the URochester vs RIT thread that UR appears to have more requirements listed on their page at this point, but my guy made it in 3 years ago with nothing special other than a high ACT score and 2 AP/3DE courses.  I didn't even do course descriptions.  His ECs might have helped (state chess champ in his division, a worthy graduation project, our travels/scuba, as well as a couple impressive deals associated with his youth group, etc) and our rural zip code might have helped.

 

I believe private colleges in NY might do what they want in spite of what's on their website.

 

My guy hasn't disappointed those who accepted him.   :coolgleamA:  He's been one of their top students from the beginning and hasn't slipped.  His experience should boost their opinion of homeschoolers, but I've no idea about any others they've accepted.

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You can always include a qualifier on your transcript -- something like: "Home education completed in full compliance with New Hampshire state educational regulations governing homeschooling (N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 193)."

 

That is a great idea!  I will definitely include that.

 

Sidenote (Nancy -- the following is not suggesting your family didn't award a diploma!  ;) )

 

 

Oh, no worries!  We did award ds a diploma.  I remember opening the package and bawling my eyes out when I first saw it.  Ds is quite proud of it and so am I!  

 

Nancy in NH

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I would consider asking your evaluator for a letter, if you've used the same one for all four years...otherwise, I'd submit your copies of the actual evals with a cover letter explaining THAT is the record of compliance which demonstrates that your high schooler has received  an equivalent education in your state.

 

From what I understand from friends in NY with children this age, they have to request a letter of equivalence from the superintendent. All it really says is that they've handed in the required paperwork every year...basically a plan of intent, quarterly report cards, and standardized testing.  That annual plan is required to cover the mandatory subjects for graduation (which are to be "substantially equivalent to the education received in public school," hence the odd phrasing), and all the paperwork goes through the superintendent or designee.  So, translating that to another state, I would suggest just proving that you have submitted intent and done the evaluations, using whatever entity can testify to that (namely the evaluator or standardized test company).  

 

If they get into asking whether or not your child completed graduation requirements in the sense of what credits he received, I would think they could verify that by looking at your transcript, so I'd point that out if they mention it.  If you need to see what graduation or homeschool requirements are for NY, try looking on their largest homeschool association's website, www.LEAH.org for their regulations manual, or on www.nysed.gov, section 100 is the part of the law that pertains to homeschooling.  LEAH may have something on there regarding advice to in-state members as far as obtaining their letter and what it should say...it's not something the superintendents send out automatically, and I get the impression that some of them are just as hesitant as yours to issue it.

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There have been a number of students over the past few years accepted at IC from this board... I wonder what their experiences were? Maybe if you start a new thread with Ithaca College in the title you might get more specific info.

 

I believe that the high school 'diploma' that you issue would be considered acceptable there, as long as you have followed the regs for your state.

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I would consider asking your evaluator for a letter, if you've used the same one for all four years...otherwise, I'd submit your copies of the actual evals with a cover letter explaining THAT is the record of compliance which demonstrates that your high schooler has received  an equivalent education in your state.

 

I had mentioned the evaluator to the school, though the counselor suggested the homeschool evaluator write one of the teacher rec's.  My son was almost entirely schooled at home, and we have one recommendation coming from an academic instructor (a writing teacher).  The only other 'instructor' he's had outside our home is his piano instructor.  The school suggested we use the writing instructor and homeschool evaluator for the two required recommendation letters.  They initially said they would accept the piano instructor.  So, when I get the call back, I will let them know we intend on using the writing instructor for one rec, and I think it's entirely appropriate to use his piano instructor for the second (especially given he is applying as a music major).  That will leave the homeschool evaluator's written reports to serve as the proof validating that my son exceeded graduation expectations in our state.  I can always provide them with a copy of the NH homeschool law, and do exactly what you suggested--send a letter explaining that the eval's are the record of compliance.

 

Thanks so much for the suggestion.  It helped me work out how to present all this to the admissions offices.

 

 

From what I understand from friends in NY with children this age, they have to request a letter of equivalence from the superintendent. All it really says is that they've handed in the required paperwork every year...basically a plan of intent, quarterly report cards, and standardized testing.  That annual plan is required to cover the mandatory subjects for graduation (which are to be "substantially equivalent to the education received in public school," hence the odd phrasing), and all the paperwork goes through the superintendent or designee.  So, translating that to another state, I would suggest just proving that you have submitted intent and done the evaluations, using whatever entity can testify to that (namely the evaluator or standardized test company).

 

Yes.  Exactly.  Makes so much sense to me now that I'm more clear-headed!

 

 

 

If they get into asking whether or not your child completed graduation requirements in the sense of what credits he received, I would think they could verify that by looking at your transcript, so I'd point that out if they mention it.  If you need to see what graduation or homeschool requirements are for NY, try looking on their largest homeschool association's website, www.LEAH.org for their regulations manual, or on www.nysed.gov, section 100 is the part of the law that pertains to homeschooling.  LEAH may have something on there regarding advice to in-state members as far as obtaining their letter and what it should say...it's not something the superintendents send out automatically, and I get the impression that some of them are just as hesitant as yours to issue it.

 

This part doesn't concern me too much.  Ds far exceeded our state's graduation requirements, as well as requirements you'd except an Ivy to recommend.  The LEAH resource did provide some advice on what the super's letter should say, and that might help my evaluator if she agrees to write such a letter for ds, if in fact the school agrees to accept that.

 

One school in NY has a nice letter for a homeschooler to sign stating they have fulfilled the graduation requirements for his/her state.  It is for financial aid purposes, and since they don't require such a letter for admissions, it seems they just want to cover the bases for aid and aren't worried about the diploma issue.  It must be that they are well-informed about the law (including the 24 credits earned in college satisfying the requirement).  The school I called quite possibly hasn't run across this before.  It could also be that the admissions counselor for NH is brand new there (and from NH!).  Waiting to hear back.  I'll let everyone know how it turns out.

 

Nancy in NH

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There have been a number of students over the past few years accepted at IC from this board... I wonder what their experiences were? Maybe if you start a new thread with Ithaca College in the title you might get more specific info.

 

I believe that the high school 'diploma' that you issue would be considered acceptable there, as long as you have followed the regs for your state.

 

Ithaca's website doesn't have anything that leads me to believe it will be a problem.  They have a little questionnaire to help guide you through the admissions process--Are you applying early decision?  Are you applying to music?  Are you a homeschooler?  Then it spits out what is needed in order to apply.  Nothing is mentioned about supplying a diploma or anything else that seems to suggest we'll have to jump through a lot of additional hoops in order to satisfy them.  The other school I mentioned had something specifically stated on their website, so it caught my eye, and subsequently prompted me to pick up the phone.

 

After seeing that, I became concerned about this being a problem in all NY schools, but it seems I may have been a little hasty with my concern.

 

I appreciate your help and everyone else, too!

 

Nancy in NH

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Nevermind; you already answered my question.

Just to share something positive. Here is a reply from an NY school when I inquired last week about homeschool transcript and diploma:

 

"The official document from her home-school should suffice."

 

Short and to the point.

 

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IN NYC the dept of homeschooling can issue a "letter of substantial equivalency" signed by the superintendent.

 

This is good for CUNY, SUNY, etc.  My son will be applying to both CUNY and SUNY colleges this fall.

 

You have to meet all the requirements for NYS graduation, which does not include Regents Exams.

 

We submitted  Stanford Achievement tests every year as part of the NYC homeschooling requirements along with IEP and quarterly reports.

 

 

Private colleges and universities don't need this document.   They want Standardized  test scores, letter of recommendation, transcripts, course descriptions, etc.

 

 

Hope this is helpful.

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