State council approves plan for home-school grads to get student aid The Virginian-Pilot
By Denise Watson Batts
The State Council of Higher Education for Virginia approved new criteria Tuesday that will allow home-schooled graduates to qualify for state financial aid that they were previously barred from receiving.
More below on the Organization of Virginia Homeschoolers‘ February legislative updates site. (The VA homeschool support group supported this legislation):
Federal laws and regulations have clearly established homeschooler eligibility for federally funded financial aid, such as Pell Grants and student loans. However, these laws do not apply to state-supported financial aid programs, which often provide a significant portion of aid for needy students.
One such state-supported program is the Virginia Guaranteed Assistance Program (VGAP), which provides aid to students with significant financial need. VGAP currently specifically excludes homeschoolers from participating, by saying that participants must have graduated from a Virginia public or private school and must have a GPA of 2.5 or higher. SB 1547 is intended to address this problem by allowing home instructed and religious exempted students to be eligible to participate in state-supported programs like VGAP.
SB 1547 Financial aid programs, state; persons who have successfully completed home school instruction, etc.
Eligibility for state financial aid programs. Provides that persons who have completed a program of home school instruction and certain persons who have been excused from school attendance shall be deemed to have met any high school graduation requirements for purposes of eligibility for any state-supported financial or other higher education programs. Also, when a high school grade point average, class rank, or other academic criteria is specified as a condition of participating, the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) will develop an equivalent measure for such students.