Bulletin #9 - Regarding HEA and Byrd scholarships 111/17/2003


Did you know:

HSLDA has made these statements:


"Congress has revised and clarified federal law affecting homeschoolers. The U.S. Department of Education has changed its policy as well. Both point to a common principle: homeschoolers should be admitted to colleges and granted financial aid without having to take additional tests beyond what is required of traditionally schooled students. Ignoring a homeschool graduate's diploma and requiring him to take a GED, SAT II, or ability-to-benefit test, while graduates from traditional high schools are not required to do so, is seen as discriminatory by Congress.

Furthermore, institutions of higher learning that receive federal aid can admit homeschool graduates, at any age, without endangering their institutional eligibility. For federal financial aid, homeschoolers need only self-certify their homeschool diplomas. "

- (June 19, 2003 Federal Requirements for Homeschoolers Seeking College Admission and Financial Aid)


"In other words, in the past, homeschool students below the compulsory attendance age were able to receive federal student aid for college, but yet the Handbook stated that those same students could not be accepted into a college because the college would lose its financial aid. This absurd result was clearly fixed by the "Dear Colleague" letter, which can be found at the U.S. Department of Education's financial aid website at: http://ifap.ed.gov/dpcletters/GEN0211.html.

The "Dear Colleague" letter also states that homeschoolers can self-certify their completion of their secondary education in a homeschool setting. No proof is required to be submitted in order to receive student financial aid."

- (June 19, 2003 Federal Requirements for Homeschoolers Seeking College Admission and Financial Aid)


"Paying taxes which support government programs does not automatically give someone the right to participate in that program. " (August 25, 2003 Equal Access)



How come HSLDA is asking for changes in the Higher Education Act if they already say the problem has been resolved?


IF HSLDA recognizes that all taxpayers may not be entitled to participate in all government programs, then why are they pressing to have homeschoolers included in the Byrd scholarship program, or the Coverdell Education Savings Accounts?


We recognize that the HEA problem has been resolved sufficiently, and any problems are the result of miscommunication or misunderstanding. We also recognize that many scholarship programs are not all inclusive and that there are many other ways to fund a college education. The risks of adopting federal legislation to fix purported problems in existing legislation are great and the benefit to homeschoolers will be minimal at best. Therefore, we do not support HR2732/SB1562.


Attorney Deborah Stevenson - Executive Director of National Home Education Legal Defense. www.nheld.com or email : info@nheld.com

Judy Aron - Director of Research, NHELD imjfaron@sbcglobal.net