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Homeschoolers and Federal Student Aid

The FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) asks: "When you begin college..., what will be your high school completion status?" and lists "Home schooled" as a possible answer.

The 2017-2018 Federal Student Aid Handbook, Volume 1, Chapter 1 clarifies that:

"A student may self-certify on the FAFSA that he has received a high school diploma or GED or that he has completed secondary school through home schooling as defined by state law...

"Though homeschooled students are not considered to have a high school diploma or equivalent, they are eligible to receive FSA 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, she must obtain this credential in order to be eligible for FSA funds. She can include in her homeschooling self-certification [see above] that she received this state credential. An eligible institution is defined in part as one that admits as regular students only those who have a high school diploma or equivalent, are beyond the compulsory age of attendance for the school’s state, or are dually enrolled at the college and a secondary school.

For students who finish homeschooling at a younger age, the Department considers them to be beyond the age of compulsory attendance if your school’s state would not require them to obtain a secondary completion credntial as provided under state law, or if not required by state law, has completed a secondary school education in a home school setting that qualifies as an exemption from compulsory attendance under the law."

As of July 1, 2012, there are some new requirements for federal student aid programs. However, homeschoolers do not need a High School Equivalency Credential in order to be eligible for federal student financial aid.

At Massachusetts community colleges, homeschoolers do not need a GED to be eligible for federal financial aid as a matriculated student, but depending on the college, you may need a GED to be admitted as a degree candidate. Policies regarding admission of homeschooled students differ: some CCs require the GED, others will accept a letter from your local school acknowledging that you had an approved homeschool program. Check with the individual college.