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Homeschooling High School Diploma

Olga Said:

Getting a high school diploma through homeschooling?

We Answered:

It is nothing at all like a GED unless you choose to get your GED instead, which you shouldn't do unless you're not planning on going to college.

If you homeschool through an accredited program or online school, you get an accredited diploma. If you homeschool the more common way, using your own curriculum materials that you choose yourself (with parents of course), then you either don't get a diploma, or your parents issue you a non-accredited diploma. In both cases, the diploma is worth about as much as the paper and ink used to print it. Universities do not care about your diploma. It is no different from any other award certificate (kindergarten diploma, award for being the MVP on your soccer team, etc). It's just for show. It's just for you in this case.

When you apply to universities as a home schooler, they do not ask for your diploma. They ask for you transcript of grades, your SAT or ACT scores, and any other standard application requirements such as essays or interviews. Some universities may also ask that home schoolers provide a list of materials used throughout high school, a few work samples, or some additional testing like the SAT II tests, but they don't ask for anything unreasonable. It of course will also help if you have a good resume, lots of extracurricular involvement and some community service or awards to brag about.

Home schoolers typically get into the university of their choice on a higher rate than public schoolers, and colleges and universities have lately begun actively seeking and recruiting home schoolers due to their high achievements, self-motivation, independence, and maturity. You will also add diversity to a student body which never hurts. You don't need a diploma. As long as you work hard and do well in high school, you will have no problem getting into college.

Laura Said:

After homeschooling, how can you acquire a high school diploma?

We Answered:

In the US, most states consider homeschools to be private schools, which means your parents issue you a diploma and it's the same as one from any other public or private high school. If you "attend" an accredited program (A Beka, BJU HomeSat), they will issue you a diploma.

You are NOT required to take the GED to be considered "done" with high school - there are no states that still require this. GED still holds the stigma of drop-out, which homeschoolers are not.

For specific info for your state, check out the HSLDA website (see link below).

Mae Said:

Are you able to get a high school diploma if you undergo homeschooling?

We Answered:

A diploma is just a piece of paper. Your parents can issue one to you, or you can use a public charter, independent study program, private online school, all of which will also issue you a diploma.

There are thousands of people who graduated homeschooling and went on to successful lives with parent-issued diplomas or none at all.

Time to think outside the box.

All the best.

Michael Said:

do you have to enroll in a high school diploma program senior year of homeschooling?

We Answered:

Here is what the Home School Legal Defense association says about this on their website.

What does a diploma mean?

In general, a diploma is a certificate by which a person or organization certifies that the person named on the diploma has successfully completed a program of study. A high school diploma certifies that a student has successfully completed a program of secondary education.

Where do I get a diploma?

A blank diploma can be purchased from several organizations (including HSLDA) or possibly obtained via the Internet (make sure copyright laws are not violated), but it is not valid until it is signed by the person who has verified that the student has finished the program that was set before him.

Can I make my own diploma?

Yes, but bear in mind a diploma that looks like it was prepared by an amateur may not make the desired impression. A diploma will have the following features, at a minimum: 1. It will state that it is a high school diploma. 2. It will state the name of the student. 3. It will have words stating, in effect, that the student finished the program of secondary education that was required of him. 4. It will bear the signature of the person who knows the student finished the program. 5. It will bear the date it was issued or signed.

Who must sign the diploma?

Because the diploma attests to the fact that the student finished his high school program, it should be signed by someone who exercised authority over the student's high school program and who has verified that the student successfully completed the program. In the case of a homeschooled student, the parent is generally the appropriate person to sign. If a school is issuing the diploma, a school official will sign it.

Can a parent sign a diploma even if he did not personally teach all the classes?

Yes. For a homeschooled student, the parent designs the student's high school program. Only the parent knows if the student truly accomplished what the parent required. Even if persons outside the family taught the student, the parent will still know if the student accomplished what was required in the class.

Can more than one person sign the diploma?

Yes. There may be several people equally qualified to sign the diploma—such as both parents, in the case of a homeschooler. Additionally, other persons can sign the diploma as witnesses to verify the fact that the diploma was issued, but this is not essential.


One thing you should be aware of though is that usually a Diploma is just keepsake. Very few people ever ask to see it. Instead they ask if you graduated. To be able to legitimately say that, just be sure to meet your state's graduation requirements in regards to subjects and credits.

You are far more likely to be asked for a transcript then a diploma. Again, your parent can make this out for you. I know of only one state that has laws saying that parents can not issue a diploma, and Missouri is not it.

Morris Said:

With a home schooling high school diploma will employers overlook me?

We Answered:

No. Both my brother and I got our diplomas through home school programs and I have actually been told by my employer that I am better off. Because if you are home schooled, the idea is that you have more one on one time with the teacher and supposedly learn more. It is the same as if you went to a high schooll. Employers dont care about what you did in high school, they care about what you are doing AFTER high school.

Ivan Said:

Is there anyway I could earn a high school diploma through homeschooling?

We Answered:

Yes, you get a high school diploma when you homeschool. If your parents are in charge (not through a charter or correspondence school) they sign your diploma. If you are through a program that offers a diploma, the program signs your diploma.

In both cases, the diploma you get is every bit as legit as one from a public or private school. There is no need to go with an accredited program, as accreditation in high school means just about nil. (Accredited college work is important, but in high school, it really isn't.)

In Tennessee, you can either homeschool independently (which means more reporting to the state) or homeschool through a church-related school/as a satellite of a church-related school (little to no reporting, less testing, etc.).

Cedar Creek sounds like it would be a church related school, which would absolve your parents of various requirements. The church related school takes on those requirements instead of your parents (college degree, reporting, testing, etc.). Whether they would offer you a diploma, or whether your parents would sign it would likely be up to the school. Either way, yes, you can get a legit high school diploma through homeschooling.

Edit - I just looked it up, it's not an alternative school. It's a church-related school, which works something like a private school/home school hybrid. It's a form of homeschooling that (as far as I know) is pretty common in TN due to the laws.

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