Hello, everyone! Tia from “Where Homeschooling Meets Reality” here. Homeschoolers are often curious about how they can graduate with everything they need to get into college. These questions usually revolve around diplomas, transcripts, and standardized testing scores. Today, I have a question from Melissa about graduating with a diploma. This is a great question, Melissa, and as a homeschool graduate, I’m very happy to answer it!
Here’s her question:
What did you do for a diploma? And I really hope I can get an answer about Abeka curriculum. I’m doing the independent study right now but if I do the accredited my senior year I can get a diploma right? Or do you have to do it accredited all four years? Thanks!
Getting a diploma is actually really simple. First off, there are numerous sites online that provide templates for a diploma. All these require is customizing the information such as the student’s name, date of graduation, “school” name, and parents’ names. After that, they just check out online, and the diplomas are soon in the mail. We ordered mine from here (it also came with a nice case to protect the diploma), but there are also templates here, here, and here.
In case you’re concerned that it won’t be accepted without actually coming from a “school,” don’t worry. Any diploma that says “High School Diploma” across the top will be accepted by nearly any workplace, college, and university. “Homeschool Diploma” probably isn’t the best idea, considering it doesn’t sound quite as official, and could cause people to take a double-take. Now, there are different homeschool laws for states; if you’re concerned about that, check out this link.
There’s even an easier way to get a diploma: your parents can simply print one up. Once again, as long as it says “High School Diploma,” contains your full name, graduation date, school name, and parent’s signatures, it should not be questioned. If it is, bring out your state laws showing that it is perfectly acceptable – just as much as any other diploma printed in a public school. In fact, my own church pastor used to work as the principle in a public school, and printed up hundreds of diplomas every year. He shared with me that there isn’t anything special about it – it’s just designed in a regular computer program and printed up in a regular printer. It only seems official because it’s coming from a public school.
Now, about Abeka. As long as you fulfill the graduation requirements, you should receive a diploma from Abeka, whether you studied in the Academy for all four years or for just one year. Even if Abeka does not provide you with a diploma, as mentioned above, your parents can always order/print one for you!
However, Abeka DOES provide a transcript, which is what is most important to colleges. Many homeschooling families are concerned about having a diploma for getting into a college or university, but the emphasis is actually placed on transcripts. A diploma is basically a certificate showing that you completed all the requirements necessary to finish school; a transcript shows exactly what you did TO complete that school, and how much time/work you put into everything – which is what colleges are interested in. Also, there is always the option of sending two transcripts to a college – one that your parents have created/recorded, and the Abeka transcript. Your parents could also use the template of your online school and create a single homeschool transcript, which may be the preferable option versus sending more than one transcript.
Another option is using the Let’s Homeschool High School Transcript Download to create your own, in case it happened to slip your parents’ minds. My parents hadn’t even thought about transcripts until after my older brother was graduated, and it was a lot harder to gather all his curriculum throughout high school at that point.
I hope this helps answer your question. If you’re interested, you can also read more about high school diplomas by following this link, homeschool graduations here, and homeschool transcripts here.
Tialla Rising is a homeschool graduate and a published author. She lives in the mountains of Arizona with her amazing husband, where she enjoys reading, Netflix, writing, and more! Visit her website at http://www.tiallarising.com.