|By Nathan (Homeschool) on Sunday, September 30, 2001 - 01:25 pm: Edit|
While researching different colleges’ admissions requirements, I came across a startling revelation. It seems most colleges (especially secular ones) have yet to recognize homeschooling as a legitimate form of education. I found this to be especially true at schools that require homeschoolers to take and achieve a specific score on the G.E.D.
As a homeschooler, and a potential applicant, I find this offensive. The G.E.D is generally recognized as a test given to those people who have failed to complete a secondary school education, but would like to receive a high school diploma. By requiring homeschooled applicants to take the G.E.D., a college conveys the message that homeschoolers are somehow inferior to other applicants. This notion is baseless and a slap in the face to the homeschool movement.
There are a number of other ways a school could verify that a homeschooled applicant has performed satisfactorily in the classroom and would be an excellent student at the collegiate level. Requiring homeschoolers to take certain SAT IIs, submit detailed transcripts and outlines of course offerings along with SAT/ACT scores should be sufficient. Why should homeschoolers be compared to high school dropouts and forced to meet unfair obligations in order to be admitted to the school of choice?
|By George Meany on Sunday, September 30, 2001 - 02:32 pm: Edit|
This is an interesting conundrum. On the one hand, you have colleges requiring homeschoolers to take a standardized test (the G.E.D.) to prove that they have learned some things at home. On the other hand, you have a growing list of colleges (~500, I believe) either making the SAT I (another standardized test) optional or "unrequired" (a new P.C. euphemism!) in order to show their contempt, or at least skepticism, toward standardized performance benchmarks. Isn't this a bit two-faced?
I note that this site's one commentator, Mr. Hawsey, is a college administrator in the enrollment area. Does he have any thoughts on this? Does his college--Albion--require G.E.D.s from its homeschooled applicants? If so, why? (That sounds like an essay question, doesn't it?)
|By Nathan (Homeschool) on Sunday, September 30, 2001 - 06:02 pm: Edit|
I think it is two-faced, and I have told three schools that I won't apply because of it. I'm trying to encourage one of my top schools to put in writing the requirements they want homeschoolers to acheive in order to be admitted, and I'm hoping they won't stoop to that level.
|By California Mom on Monday, October 01, 2001 - 02:43 am: Edit|
Here in California the law requires compulsory education until age 18, but if a student passes the G.E.D. before that age he may legally stop attending school. So basically, in our state the G.E.D. is often viewed as an alternative high school graduation, and is often used by students who have a minor issue preventing graduation, such as lacking a required credit in a non-academic subject.
Most states also now require or are implementing high school exit exams; I don't know if homeschoolers are required to take these.
I understand your point of view, but keep in mind that public high schools -- and most private ones -- are accredited by agencies that certify that they meet specific requirements. So when a college looks at my son's high school transcript, they know that this is from an institution that is required to meet specific standards to operate, including compliance with specific state and local standards for its curriculum.
Most colleges also specify specific courses they want to see on a high school record - typically at least 4 years of English, 2-3 years of a foreign language, 3 years of math, 3 years of lab sciences. Because of high school accreditation requirements, they know that they can rely on the transcript to accurately reflect the curriculum given.
Most homeschoolers I know do not want to be regulated or have the government telling them what the standards are. Generally there is no trascript. While some homeschooling families may use a packaged curriculum, others are "unschoolers" - they encourage learning by free exploration rather than direct instruction.
I think you are looking at it backward - the G.E.D. requirement is a way to open the door to homeschoolers, by allowing them an alternative to the high school diploma. The G.E.D. (like the high school exit exam) is not a difficult test - most 10th or 11th graders can pass it.
I agree with you that it would be a good idea for the schools to put in writing what they want homeschoolers to achieve -- but if they list the G.E.D. as one of the requirements, would you still object?
|By Nathan (Homeschool) on Monday, October 01, 2001 - 09:05 am: Edit|
Here in Ohio, the 12th grade proficiencies, are not required of homeschoolers. Indeed, no standardized test is ever required. Also, keep in mind that the California education system is unique unto itself. No other state operates its entire education system like California does. Admissions requirements to state schools there are extremely unique and strongly favor those who reside in the state.
It is funny that you mention accredited high schools. I am legally homeschooled, but attend a correspondence school which is accredited by the National Association of Private Schools. Most colleges will accept my transcripts, but they won’t accept the fact that I will have a high school diploma. I find this ridiculous because even if I were homeschooled, colleges want to see a transcript of some sort. Most homeschoolers have to make up a traditional transcript, and then supplement with outlines of every textbook they used in the course of four years. A G.E.D. doesn’t get a homeschooler out of providing a transcript, it just “verifies” that he actually completed the work. This is entirely unfair because most states require homeschoolers to prove that they have “passed” the current academic year before allowing them to continue on to the next.
You asked if I would object to a college requiring homeschoolers to take the G.E.D. Yes, I would object, and I have crossed several universities off my “apply” list because of their G.E.D. requirement.
|By CuriousGeorge on Monday, October 01, 2001 - 09:42 am: Edit|
Hmmm... if you object to the GED requirement, how else can a homeschooled student provide independent verification of accomplishments? I suppose a battery of SAT IIs would work, but I doubt if many home schoolers would go that route.
I think the point that California Mom is making is that most schools go through some kind of accreditation process - and not just in California. This doesn't guarantee that every student gets a great education, but it does insure that there are some standards in place. In addition, high schools tend to be fairly consistent over the years, and colleges know more or less what to expect from a graduate with a given set of courses and GPA.
I imagine that admissions officers must be perplexed by some apps from home schoolers, particularly if they haven't participated in a recognized correspondence program or some other recognizable curriculum.
|By Nathan (Homeschool) on Monday, October 01, 2001 - 11:20 am: Edit|
I was talking to an admissions officer at a school that doesn't require a G.E.D. and she said she didn't understand the test requirement either. If you have a good SAT score, it can be assumed that you can successfully take the G.E.D.
Homeschoolers should not be required to take any extra tests in order for a school to admit them. A transcript with course information, and SAT/ACT scores should be enough information for an admissions committee to go on. That a committee doesn't know how to handle homeschooled applicants should not be the fault of the homeschooler, and undo burden shouldn't be passed on to the applicant.
|By California Mom on Monday, October 01, 2001 - 06:19 pm: Edit|
Does the correspondence school you attend provide independent evaluations or testing at the completion of each course?
|By CuriousGeorge on Monday, October 01, 2001 - 06:32 pm: Edit|
Nathan, I agree that the GED is probably not the ultimate measure of academic achievement for a college-bound student... I imagine that some schools are grasping at straws to come up with objective measurements beyond the SAT, which tests a fairly narrow range of knowledge. Or, if you prefer a more cynical view, in some places the teachers unions lobbied to throw up an additional hurdle for homeschooled students.
|By Nathan (Homeschool) on Tuesday, October 02, 2001 - 08:52 am: Edit|
Yes, my correspondence school has quizzes and tests. My parents don't teach me at all.
Curious George- The homeschool community is well aware that teachers' unions don't like us because they view us as a threat to their livelihood. Any legislation they try to pass through Congress would be challenged by the Homeschool Legal Defense Association as unconstitutional. As far as I'm concerned, they are all talk, and no stick.
|By George from Tenn. on Wednesday, October 03, 2001 - 07:25 pm: Edit|
Nathan, quick question about your correspondence testing: Do you have to sign an honor pledge similar to those at colleges with honor codes?
|By Nathan (Homeschool) on Wednesday, October 03, 2001 - 08:47 pm: Edit|
It's a private school. If I cheated, and they found out, they would kick me out and I'd lose my diploma. That's a lot of money to waste.
|By California Mom on Thursday, October 04, 2001 - 02:25 am: Edit|
Nathan, I think if the correspondence school is accredited and they gave you a diploma, then it should be treated the same as any other diploma. So I see your point about the G.E.D. in that situation.
I think it would be different for a homeschooled student who didn't have some sort of outside course work - because there needs to be some way to document what the student has done. But I don't understand why a diploma accredited correspondence school is not simply accepted at face value.
Anyway, just wanted to add my thoughts.
|By Nathan (Homeschool) on Thursday, October 04, 2001 - 08:57 am: Edit|
I ran accross this HSLDA Link about college admissions requirements for homeschoolers. The first three articles are relevant to the discussion, but the second and third articles are the most interesting.
|By Homeskulmom (Homeskulmom) on Tuesday, January 06, 2004 - 08:40 am: Edit|
Many colleges do have a discriminatory admission policy towards homeschoolers, but justify it by saying homeschooled students need to prove they are prepared for the academic rigor of the institution.
Laughable! Students from traditional public or private schools don't guarantee that they will handle the rigors simply by finishing high school.
I am writing letters to some of these universities immediately, asking them to rectify this discriminatory practice.
|By Morgantruce (Morgantruce) on Tuesday, January 06, 2004 - 10:11 am: Edit|
Between my two daughters, they applied at 17 colleges. Only one college showed ANY amount of hostility towards home schoolers---the other 16 were openly enthusiastic!
|By Monarch (Monarch) on Thursday, January 08, 2004 - 01:49 pm: Edit|
Every school I've looked at accepts a correspondance diploma from an accredited High school, so I'm surprised that was a problem for you. I took the GED and have had no problem getting into my top choices. As an unschooler, I had absolutely no other concrete data to show them apart from the GED and the usual SAT I and IIs...perhaps somewhat different from your case. In any case, it required nearly no preparation, and sitting for a 7 hour test was only a minor inconvenience compared to being in school for 12 years.
I don't understand your objection to the GED. The fact that most people who take the GED are high school drop-outs does not change the fact that it is the only recognized alternative to a high school diploma.
This is not discriminatory, it just asks homeschoolers to meet equivalent requirements to students in school.
It is not surprising that colleges are somewhat wary of homeschooling. They are still part of the institutional schooling, after all, and by homeschooling you are deliberately not providing the sorts of information they are used to judging people by. Why should they accept from a homeschooler a lack of documentation that they would never accept from a traditional student? To a college, by opting out of an institutionalized education, we are high school drop-outs. I don't see why they would treat us differently.
|By Morgantruce (Morgantruce) on Thursday, January 08, 2004 - 02:30 pm: Edit|
I don't believe "Nathan" reads these boards any longer...
The one college that gave us grief about a lack of diploma suggested my daughter get a GED. I object to the GED because of its close association with being a high school dropout.
Don't believe me? Go to Google and seach on:
+"high school dropout" +GED
You will come up with 5,640 pages that link those two terms together. That's a lot of correlation. Not very scientific, but you get the idea. And, yes, there ARE a few other reasons people get GEDs. But, when you tell most people you have a GED, their FIRST thought is that you dropped out of high school. That sounds like a stigma to me. Of course, you don't have to TELL anyone that you happen to have a GED...
Most top ranked colleges actively seek home schooled students and do not require diplomas or GEDs. Lower tier colleges are more likely to require home schooled students to jump through hoops. Strange.
|By Homeskulmom (Homeskulmom) on Monday, January 12, 2004 - 08:53 am: Edit|
Interesting point, Morgantruce, about the discrepancy between top tier and lower ranked colleges. The New York State system is particularly hostile towards homeschoolers. In fact, it seems that many public institutions (not surprisingly, as they are the most connected to state governmental departments of education), require homeschoolers to jump through more hoops.
|By Morgantruce (Morgantruce) on Monday, January 12, 2004 - 10:04 am: Edit|
Hint: The one college that gave us grief is located in Poughkeepsie...
|By Texas137 (Texas137) on Monday, January 12, 2004 - 11:18 am: Edit|
I think that the GED requirement in New York is a state requirement, not something that individual colleges came up with. I know some homeschoolers who live in New York who are only applying out of state because of this issue.
|By Jamimom (Jamimom) on Monday, January 12, 2004 - 10:05 pm: Edit|
Morgantruce, it is a state requirement in NY. Even Juilliard requires the homeschooler to come up with the GED and of all school, that is one that would not care if someone is homeschooled or has a GED or finishes a certificate program.
|By Jamimom (Jamimom) on Monday, January 12, 2004 - 10:06 pm: Edit|
Morgantruce, it is a state requirement in NY. Even Juilliard requires the homeschooler to come up with the GED and of all schools, that is one that would not care if someone is homeschooled or has a GED or finishes a certificate program.
|By Awe02 (Awe02) on Tuesday, January 13, 2004 - 11:46 am: Edit|
What surpises me is that most of the homeschoolers i know arent aiming to go to top tier colleges. Most dont require a GED, and their score ranges for homeschoolers is somewhat lower than those for regular highschooled kids, and their acceptance rate is higher. 3 SAT2's/5(for columbia) seems to be enough to satisfy most big colleges. i got into NYU with 2SAT2s and 3rd one still to be taken.
Some colleges also ask for a transcript certified by the local homeschooling board. Seems strange because from what ive seen they dont really do much in the first place and wil lcertify anything you give them.
|By Candi1657 (Candi1657) on Monday, January 19, 2004 - 01:21 am: Edit|
Those must be only the homeschoolers that you know. Homeschoolers, as a whole, score better on standardized tests than traditionally schooled students.
|By Monarch (Monarch) on Friday, January 23, 2004 - 11:22 pm: Edit|
regarding your message earlier, I don't find it strange at all that lower tier schools are the ones that require GEDs. They have much more limited time and resources devoted to reading through people's files than upper-tier schools. They tend to be more numbers oriented. Upper-tier schools already tend to look more at the whole person than just plugging numbers into a formula, so they are more prepared to deal with the kind of personal attention necessary to evaluate a homeschooled applicant. (actually, in my opinion, that's really what would be needed for a schooled applicant too, and we homeschoolers are just lucky that we can pretty much force admissions officers to luck at us on our terms rather than theirs. At least, that's the case as you say at more top-tier schools.)
On another subject, what's so bad about being a high school drop-out that we shouldn't take the GED and risk being associated with them? Aren't all homeschooler school drop-outs in a way? Why do we avoid school by choice and then criticize those who, by choice or by circumstances, also avoid school?
|By Wasim (Wasim) on Friday, January 30, 2004 - 06:35 am: Edit|
I got rejected. ED II, home schooled, international, SAT 1460 (M790, V670), SAT II math I C 760, math II C 760, physics 760, writing 690.
|By Wasim (Wasim) on Friday, January 30, 2004 - 03:33 pm: Edit|
|By Homeskulmom (Homeskulmom) on Sunday, February 01, 2004 - 01:40 pm: Edit|
Awe02: what is a local homeschooling board?
|By Hsseniorpa (Hsseniorpa) on Monday, April 19, 2004 - 03:50 pm: Edit|
as I have said in another post it's not that big of a deal to take the GED...who cares what other people think?? once you get into college, only your college GPA will matter...trust me, if you get your PhD from Harvard or MIT, no one will care if you got your GED, a GED is only not so good if that is the last thing that you received
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