Hopefully, you already know that, as a homeschool parent, you have the right to issue a graduate their high school diploma. However, parents always worry about their kids, and it’s normal to ask whether employers will accept homeschool diplomas. With all the advances in homeschool rights, it only makes sense. Moreover, since homeschool is a legal right, and so are the diplomas issued by parents, it means that those are the same as getting a diploma from an accredited institute. On the plus side, most companies have little trouble hiring homeschoolers because they are highly desirable employees. Regrettably, the flip side of that is that there is no legislation in place regarding private employers. In short, they don’t have to hire your homeschool grad. It’s rare that a company truly refuses to employ a homeschooler, but it can happen. I’ll walk you through how to defend a homeschool diploma and some easy ways to prevent this from happening by getting that accredited diploma instead.
Do employers accept homeschool diplomas? Most employers accept homeschool diplomas. Unfortunately, private companies make their own hiring policies, and with a lack of legislation, homeschoolers aren’t one of the groups that they cannot discriminate against. Until the laws change, employers can technically require an accredited diploma. This means they are turning away highly-qualified applicants legally.
Most Employers Don’t Ask
Employers tend to accept diplomas. Whether they come from homeschool or not is seldom the issue. When you fill out a job application at most companies, the form has a spot somewhere that asks if you graduated high school or have a GED. When you fill this in, the honest answer is yes. For most, that’s as far as it ever goes.
As a graduate, you tell the truth. There’s no particular need to volunteer additional information if the form doesn’t ask. Moreover, few HR departments check, and the chances that any applicant will be asked to produce a physical copy of their diploma is incredibly slim.
Some larger companies do a background check, which is where you may run into trouble. The companies that perform these checks seldom have the resources and understanding to validate homeschool diplomas, or they don’t bother. Instead, they check accredited school information only, which creates an unfortunate situation for the homeschool graduate.
The Homeschool Legal Defense Association has helped graduates resolve confusion about their diplomas more than once. Recently they had a young man who moved from Virginia to Texas approach their legal team for help. He applied for a job in his new home-state only to be told his diploma wasn’t valid. Naturally, he didn’t simply accept the result, and the human resources department sent the diploma to a second company.
Regrettably, the second company also refuted the validity. However, this smart homeschooler had worked with the HSLDA in the past and knew they are a great resource for homeschool families and individuals. With the help of their legal team, he could get a letter clarifying the issue for the background check company. In that case, he was allowed to continue his application without further issue.
By becoming a member of the HSLDA or working with another lawyer who practices in a field related to homeschool rights, graduates can often help correct misinformation that leads to rejection. Homeschool may be popular, but it’s not so widespread that every person working in a hiring department or a background check agency is familiar. There is a persistent misconception about high school that every valid diploma comes from an accredited school, which is sadly not true.
Show Employers Your Homeschool Diploma is Valid
If an employer asks to see your homeschool diploma, they are hopefully looking for a reason to accept it. Since a company can say you’re not the right fit for the job without further comment, it’s safe to assume that they like your application otherwise. In this case, show confidence, and take extra steps to ensure that they see you’re capable.
First, you need a well put together and official-looking diploma. Answer any questions honestly and briefly while maintaining a confident tone and demeanor. If you behave as though you’re nervous, it will make it seem as though your diploma is fake or less valid when it’s actually perfectly acceptable—presentation matters. Have your parents make a diploma that has all the appropriate information.
Homeschool Diplomas Need These Things
When parents create a diploma, it’s important to put some forethought into the process. While a handwritten note is technically just as valid if signed in black ink, it will certainly not be received the same as a high-quality, printed, official-looking copy. Like any other first impression, the first look at a diploma will help determine how it is received and perceived.
- The name of the graduate.
- Graduation date.
- A signature from the issuing parent.
- A clear statement that it is a high school diploma that is awarded for completing all the required work.
- The name of the school, whether you use a family name or another title for your homeschool.
Consider framing the diploma in a nice but not too ornate frame to present it. It also helps to buy a prefabricated form with watermarks and a foil sticker to make it look more official. However, don’t stop there.
More Is Better
When asked to submit a physical copy of your homeschool diploma, this is a chance to shine. Show your future employer how thorough you can be by going above and beyond. In short, bring the diploma and a packet of validating information.
Include a professional-looking signed diploma and a copy of your transcript. Print a copy of your states’ homeschooling laws and, where applicable, a signed affidavit from the superintendent that says you complied with all local laws and completed your schooling at home. Beyond that, including SAT or ACT scores can help. Likewise, if you have a degree or any college credits, showing those will also add to your proof.
Finally, if you must, ask a lawyer to contact the HR department on your behalf to explain the relevant laws. While no one wants to hire a lawyer merely to finish an application, sometimes it is worth it if you are seeking your dream job. Furthering your career is worth the extra effort.
Other Ways to Graduate at Home
Parents who don’t want to worry over whether employers will accept a homeschool diploma should consider other ways to graduate a home learner. An accredited diploma is a simple and achievable solution for any high schooler. Attending a virtual high school or correspondence school will allow students to study at home without worries over the diploma. Choose a high-quality accredited school to finish the last one to four years and get the institution’s paperwork.
Many outstanding schools have the necessary accreditation. Always check into the school before your student enrolls to ensure that the accreditation is from an approved source. Sadly, there are false companies that will offer ‘accreditation’ to anyone who pays, but on closer inspection, these businesses are a scam that do not offer the necessary educational oversight.
Citizens Online High School has a course designed specifically for homeschool students. Parents have full access to the online curriculum and can teach subjects themselves. With as few as five or six courses from the extensive catalog, students can transfer those credits and obtain an accredited diploma from Citizens. Thus you can still homeschool and still get the diploma employers can’t question.
Seton Home Study School offers catholic homeschool for all students in K-12. This top-notch school offers a more traditional religious education to the ever-growing Catholic homeschoolers population, with all the benefits of homeschool and traditional accredited school. Parents get education support and access to student records, with online resources, catholic educational materials, and a superb curriculum.
The American School of Correspondence was chartered in eighteen ninety-seven. While technology has changed, ASC’s commitment to getting students everywhere, a high-quality home-based education has not. Parents and students can choose from three different tracks with independent study, standard high school, or college prep school. Additionally, this school has SAT and ACT prep and so much more to offer students, including an accredited diploma for those who complete their course of study.
No sensible company will refuse a homeschooler with good transcripts. So long as they know the statistics on how well homeschoolers perform, it wouldn’t make sense to deny a homeschool diploma. Offer to provide hiring managers with all the information they need.
Ultimately, a company does not have to hire you for any reason. If they persist in refusing for such a silly reason, aim higher. Ivy League schools and the US armed forces will take you, and so will plenty of incredible businesses that care more about the people they employ.
For families who wish to avoid possible complications, an accredited diploma is a great way to clear any obstacles from your grads’ path. Best of all, they can learn at home and still earn a diploma from a well-respected institute.