HSLDA is Making a Difference Case by Case
The Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) is currently fighting a growing trend of trade schools rejecting applications of high school graduates on the basis that they were homeschooled.
The HSLDA is taking action at ongoing situations wherein homeschoolers are overtly denied access to American trade schools because their diplomas were not issued from traditional public or private schools.
HSLDA Director of Federal Relations, William A. Estrada says, “A homeschool graduate is accepted into a cosmetology or vocational school — but then, like a bolt from above, the admissions office reverses course. Officials tell the applicant that the school cannot accept homeschoolers.”
Estrada also says that the decision is solely based on the fact that they are homeschooled, and goes on to further state that homeschooled graduates are discriminated against and are required to go above and beyond the outlined prerequisites that conventional students are held.
“Sometimes this notification is accompanied by a stipulation that if the homeschool graduate takes the GED, the school will be able to accept the student,” Estrada explains. “Other times the rejection is final.”
HSLDA says that both parents and students are amazed at how most post-secondary institutions nation wide actively recruit and accept homeschool grads while most vocational schools continue to deny acceptance.
HSLDA attorneys cite several reasons for this, which include that vocational schools are often small, and many are not familiar with a homeschool graduate resulting in homeschoolers not being accepted. They also list the fear of the federal government as yet another reason as to why these schools shun homeschoolers.
“Vocational schools are more likely to be audited for compliance with federal higher education laws,” the legal experts continued. “They’re worried that if they accept a homeschooler who doesn’t have the documentation of a public school graduate, it could cost the vocational school its accreditation.”
Despite challenges, many former homeschoolers are experiencing improvements lately when applying to trade schools.
HSLDA lawyers have been handling an increase in concerns from homeschool graduates who have been denied access to vocational and cosmetology schools. Their work enables them to help prevent homeschool grads from being discriminated against, and they reflect that they have succeeded in the majority of cases. They attribute their advocacy as being effective in helping homeschoolers pursue their chosen career.
HSLDA does note that they still face challenges, however, when it comes to trade schools, and has not won every legal battle. Estrada says that almost all cosmetology and vocational schools are privately run, which means that they can set their own admission policies. Some have chosen to discriminate against homeschoolers and some even refuse to accept the graduates.
But it is noted that attorneys still face stiff challenges when it comes to trade schools, as HSLDA has not won every legal battle when representing homeschoolers.
The Role Of HSLDA
The HSLDA has worked diligently to ease concerns over accreditation over homschoolers and prevent resistance so that graduates will be treated fairly by federal higher education laws.
“[W]e are able to show them that homeschoolers are eligible for federal student aid,” Estrada stressed, “The U.S. Department of Education has made it crystal clear that not only are homeschoolers eligible for federal student aid, they do not need a GED.”
HSLDA gives the following advice for homeschoolers and their parents:
“When applying to a cosmetology or vocational school, your student should provide a parent-issued high school diploma, a high school transcript, and evidence of compliance with your state’s homeschool law. If the school insists that your child cannot be admitted or that they need to take the GED, please contact HSLDA immediately [for legal advice].”
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