The Truth on How to Get A Homeschool Diploma
Interested in getting your high school diploma from home? Read on as I will guide you through the requirements and much more.
For homeschool high school students, earning a diploma is an important step for those looking to pursue higher education or future employment. Whether your child completed his or her high school education at home or in tandem with an accredited institution--either online or brick-and-mortar--a diploma marks an important academic achievement.
As a homeschool parent, you might not know all of the necessary information on obtaining a homeschool diploma. Keep reading to learn about how you can acquire a high school diploma at home including: requirements for home school diplomas, resources on how to create a diploma, and what to know for college applications.
Requirements for a Diploma
In most states, parents have the freedom to set their child’s graduation requirements. As an educator, it is your responsibility to determine your standards before issuing a self-certified diploma. While you are not obligated to model your homeschooling after public school curriculum, referencing state high school graduation requirements can be a useful tool in assessing your child’s readiness for continued education.
State laws vary across the country. Some states require little to no action while others require parents to send notifications to the state, provide student test scores, and/or undergo professional evaluations before a student is considered eligible for high school graduation. Other criteria such as minimum age and sufficient credits in math, language, and science must also be met in order for a student to graduate.
It is important to check your state laws regarding home school requirements prior to awarding a high school diploma.
How to Create a Diploma
In most states, homeschools are considered private institutions. This means that you have the freedom to create and print a diploma in whatever fashion you like. Most commonly, parents choose to create a diploma from a pre-existing template or order a professionally printed one. Students can also acquire a “certified” diploma through various accredited schools and institutions.
Free Diploma Templates
A simple google search will yield hundreds of different template styles for diplomas. Regardless of the template you choose I would recommend printing the diploma on high quality paper with new ink and including the following information to give the diploma a polished appearance:
- The graduate’s name
- The name of the institution awarding the degree
- An explicit mention of a “high school diploma” or completion of a “high school education”
- The date, city, and state where the diploma was awarded
- Your signature (or an educator’s signature who facilitated the student’s lessons)
Some parents notarize the document to give it the look of an official high school diploma.
Professionally Printed Diplomas
For a truly tailor-made degree, websites like Diploma Store and HSLDA offer professional-looking high school diplomas that can be fully customized and personalized. This option offers a quality finished product that will serve as a proud display of your student’s accomplishments.
From Accredited Educational Institutions
Some universities and employers favor state-certified diplomas over homeschool high school diplomas, though this is rare. Students who complete graduation requirements (either on campus or online) from certain accredited schools and organizations can receive a “certified” diploma.
It is important to note that public high schools are not necessarily accredited, and therefore the diplomas they issue are not accredited either. Despite this fact, the vast majority of universities willingly accept these diplomas as legitimate. By and large, homeschool students should not have any issues submitting a self-certified diploma.
Do Universities Accept A Home school Diploma?
With hundreds of universities accepting home school applicants--even top schools like Harvard, MIT, Duke, Yale, and Stanford--home school students have more accessibility to higher education than ever before. However, a diploma itself is a only symbol of a student’s academic achievements: simply providing a diploma is not necessarily enough for university admissions.
While you should check your prospective schools’ requirements for homeschool applicants, many universities require an academic transcript, SAT/ACT scores, and a course syllabus for all lessons. A course syllabus should cover the name of the subject, a brief overview of the subject matter, and materials used during study. Be sure to include textbooks, videos, interactive games, websites, and other learning tools.
Keeping organized and detailed notes about your child’s lessons and academic progress will help streamline this process.
As a homeschool parent, knowing your state laws is crucial before you issue a homeschool diploma. You should also consider your own education standards as a factor in your child’s educational success. A good homeschool education can be considered an extension of good parenting, so ensuring that your child possesses all the necessary skills to excel in school is hugely important.
Whether you choose to create a high school diploma at home or order one professionally, it should reflect your student’s hard work and dedication. While the diploma itself is simply a piece of paper, the academic effort it represents is worth celebrating.