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debbiec

Talk to me about diplomas ~ and homeschooling high school fears

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We homeschooled/classical schooled for many years and this year we sent ds to public high school for 9th. He wants to come back home and finish with tutorials and on-line. That is all great, but truthfully, of all my years on the boards, and I haven't paid a lot of attention to the graduation issues for high schoolers, particularly in regards for college entrance, thinking he would be in school and we wouldn't have to deal with that.

 

So ~ diplomas. My understanding (I'm asking here), is as far as colleges are concerned, if it's from an unaccredited school (private or homeschool), it's really not worth anything, and the college mainly relies on the transcript. Yes, I know a diploma is not "worthless" because it means a lot to the student, etc.....but in terms of college entrance ~ and having to "prove" the quality of your education?

 

One reason I'm worked up about this is that the classical school we were at a few years back was not accredited and when we phoned various universities in state (mostly private, as that would be our choice), they said a diploma from an unaccredited school would not be valid, however, you would just have to provide class transcripts and possibly course descriptions and samples for consideration, just like a home educated student. Just more hoops, but doable.

 

And now VP is offerering a diploma program for on line school, and I'm wondering if it's really worth it to comply with their scope to get an "accredited" diploma (from the National Association of Private Schools, they hope to be accredited within a year).

 

I think I may be making WAY too much of the diploma/accreditation issue, when my child will be fine getting into a college with his transcript and sat/act scores. I think this is what happens when you come out of public school :001_smile: - panic - to take the "unconventional way" ~

 

So tell me that my child will be able to get into a good college and it won't be too many hoops to jump through than the average person coming out of accredited institutions!

 

Tell me he will be able to get scholarship money for college, which he'll need. That was one reason he went to the high school (academic magnet) was because of all the scholarship money these kids come out with). But, doing four years there he just can't do. He really missed the more indepth books, more thoughful material, etc...

 

Tell me we can do this ~ :bigear:

 

TIA. I have read MANY of your wonderful success stories of launching your kids to college, but I haven't been on the boards since fall, so I will have to go abck and search for some of those.

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I'm still confused about a diploma. Is there inherently something special about it? I just have always thought that is just a confirmation of completion, like one would earn an award certificate. I guess I should view the official diploma more officially as a "license."

 

Someone please explain this to me.

 

I have somehow missed something along the way about this. For example, if I have graduated from college and never actually recieved my physical diploma, does that mean I didn't graduate or just that I did, but didn''t have anything except my transcript to prove that? Does that make sense?

 

Is anyone during the college admission process going to request to see a diploma, or just a transcript?

 

Thanks, Debbie

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My information says transcript. I know many home schooled students that have gone on to private and state colleges.

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I think you need to focus on your goals for him.

 

It sounds like college is one of your goals. I would start by calling a couple colleges you think he could possibly attend to see what they require from homeschoolers. Maybe call a public and a private. That will tell you what you need to aim for. Do they require a diploma, if not, what do they want to see?

 

Then I would consider his academic potential and how important scholarship money may be to your family. I mention this, because if he tests well and might be a scholarship type student, then you may want to jump through hoops anyways in order to win scholarship money. Those hoops may be SAT/ACT Scores, dual enrollment and AP Classes along with AP tests, leadership skills, & service activities to prove he's a good college candidate. If you plan to do all this anyway, it may make an official diploma a mute point.

 

If he's not a high academic achiever, than dual enrollment may help or your plan to obtain an accredited diploma may help.

 

Also, if you're in a state where state scholarships are given to kids making a certain GPA from an accredited school, then I would definitely pursue one also.

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Well, ACT/SATs we are definitely planning on. He has always scored very high on testing and is classified as "gifted" ~ though our problem is, he's not always motivated. The school he is at now (our local public academic magnet) is wanting them to start taking AP courses in 10th grade, and frankly, he could do it, but doesn't want his youth enslaved (in his view) to his grades and classes. He wants a good education, but isn't THAT high achieving (or doesn't have the desire) ans wants time for the other things he enjoys. I can't blame him.

 

Yes, in TN we have state scholarships (if you stay in state) ~ I have no doubt he'll qualify.

 

And like you said, the diploma will be mute at that point. So, I shouldn't be concerned about it, eh?

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You do need to find out what colleges want, but I can tell you that every college my kids have applied to, they were accepted. All I sent was this transcript. My kids filled out the forms and we sent anything else they requested--but no one appeared to flinch twice over the transcript. I think a good ACT helped a lot--there was no reason to believe that my kids had not done their work in high school. FWIW.

Jean

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Thanks, Jean. I think that is what I'm wanting to hear :) Did you keep meticulous records anyway?

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We did have some difficulty. My oldest applied to three private colleges who accepted her as a homeschooler and did not ask for an accredited diploma - just her transcript and SAT scores. One was a Christian college - no problem. One was a large private universtiy - no problem and they accepted her to an Honors program with a nice scholarship - not mentioning that to be boastful but to show that they really looked at her transcript, SAT scores and essay and did not care about a diploma.

 

As the third school was unfamiliar with homeschooling *and* my daughter was applying for the Honors program with a full scholarship (still keeping our fingers crossed!), I added copies of the syllabus we send the school district every summer. I also let then know that our school district can provide a letter that states our daughter has finished her home school program in accordance with NY State Law (we'll get that letter in June). These things made that particular admissions office happy, though I don't think they would not have accepted her without them - I am just hoping for Honors/full scholarship and every little bit helps!

 

But. NY State Law requires that every student admitted to the State or (NY)City Universities have an accredited diploma, period. They have also turned down students from an unaccredited Christian School here in Brooklyn! They tell all homeschoolers (and kids from that school!) to get a GED.

 

The Honors programs at Brooklyn College (part of the NY City University) not only required a GED from my daughter, they required the results as a part of her application. So my daughter took the GED (oh, it was so hard for me to have her do it!!) last fall so she could apply to this program. I really hated having her do it but....this college is only 15m. from our home, good core curriculum, attractive Honors programs with a lot of full scholarships available, inexpensive even if she does not get a scholarship. Plus, the campus is really lovely - they filmed several episodes of Fringe there! And she has several friends there and well....it has not been what I wanted for her but I did not want to tell her not to apply to a program that appealed to her because of my pride, kwim?

 

As she is finishing her 12th grade work she will still be able to say that she finished her homeschool work independent of the GED. I will be getting that letter form the school district for my own records and I think of her as graduating this spring - the GED was just a hoop to jump through.

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Debbie - I should just have said that it depends on the college and to take a look at several before you make a decision...you don't live in NY so none of that even applied to your situation. I got a little carried away :rolleyes:

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If you are in TN and register with an umbrella school, then doesn't the umbrella school give a diploma? I know they do the transcripts. We are new to TN and I don't know all the homeschool regulations that well. Some umbrella schools offer free of charge councelling for this type of information. If you what to do high school the classical way, Franklin Classical has an umbrella program.

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I have two kids in college and it hasn't been a big deal. A few things we had to do - to qualify for a state scholarship my daughter had to take our states high school proficiency exam, the test they make all high school graduating seniors take to make sure they learned what they were supposed to. They wanted a transcript with grades and compared the transcript to how she did on the ACT. The gal at the university mentioned they had homeschoolers with inflated transcripts and terrible ACT scores. They also wanted a diploma, literally, a piece of paper. We tried explaining the homeschool thing but they couldn't think outside the box and so I asked my daughter what she would like her diploma to look like, printed one up on Printshop and mailed it off. :001_smile: That appeared to satisfy them, they could check off that box on the admissions form. My best advice is to call the school admissions office and ask them what they need/expect and to start keeping the transcript now in case you need one.

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I went to an accredited public school and never ever was I asked for my diploma. I have no idea where it is. I got in to 3 private colleges and the state university and all they wanted was a transcript. I always thought of a diploma like a certificate that you hang on the wall. It means something because of the work it represents but it doesn't prove anything.

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Well, yes, the umbrellas DO issue a diploma. But the diploma is still "unaccredited" when it comes right down to it. Yes, we may register with FCS this year and/or do their tutorial they just announced....we;ve been doing classical since 3rd grade, with the exception of this public off year we are currently in. I've already called everyone under the sun here in Middle TN. It alll comes down to accreditation and if it matters or not. I don't think it really does mostly. I don't think the accreditation is worth having to change my education goals, KWIM.

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That was my thoughts exacting about the diploma. I know when I contacted xxx (large private Nashville university) xx Dean of Admissions, they have a manual of all the accredited schools/organizations in the nation. The accreditation is what they want to see, then your transcript and ACT/SAT scores. She pretty much said the same thing about the diploma....it doesn't prove anything, especially from an unaccredited source (private or homeschool).

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Most homeschooling parents issue diplomas to their dc and compile transcripts, and their dc have no problems with colleges wanting transcripts from accredited schools. There may still be a scant few colleges which do, but there are not many. I graduated many students from my unaccredited umbrella school and those who wanted to go to college had *zero* problems because of the school's lack of accreditation.

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I apologize for jumping in here, but diplomas don't mean anything, regardless of the school. Kids can get diplomas from public schools with horrible grades and easy classes.

 

Transcripts are what really matter! Work through rigorous courses with your son and show that on your transcript, along with appropriate grades. Study hard for the tests; they really do matter.

 

I know lots of students who have transitioned to college just fine. Most colleges are familiar with homeschoolers and are eager to enroll them.

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that if I remember correctly in SWB's talk about preparing for college, she mentions a diploma, not so much for college, but that you should have it filed away somewhere in case eg you ever apply for a government (state even) type job or some other type of job where they require that kind of thing... that they will ask you for a copy of your diploma. Maybe you can check out her talk....

 

What your diploma actually means is completely variable like others have said, so it really is not a big deal.

 

Just to say that my son has just applied for a masters program here in Geneva and they DID ask him for a copy of his high school as well as his university diplomas! But my impression is that that is not common in the US.

 

Best,

Joan

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Ironically, the only time I have needed my high school diploma is to prove to the state of NC that I am a highschool graduate, and, therefore, I'm qualified to homeschool. I suppose I could have provided my college diploma, but I wanted to give them the minimum of what they required.

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Ironically, the only time I have needed my high school diploma is to prove to the state of NC that I am a highschool graduate, and, therefore, I'm qualified to homeschool. I suppose I could have provided my college diploma, but I wanted to give them the minimum of what they required.

 

:iagree: The only time I've had to show a diploma was my Bach. so I can proctor the Iowa Test. (And what a music degree has to do w/proctoring a test I'll never know!)

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