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University without diploma?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Does anyone know exactly how to do this? I began unschooling myself during high school (when it was called dropping out). wink1.gif

I took a GED pre-test, aced it, and never chose to finalize my GED. Something about those three letters made me never want one. I never wanted to attend college in my teens or twenties, and jobs were easy to get when I needed them.

Well, fast forward to my encroaching mid-thirties. I suddenly am feeling more and more interested in a degree in the future. But must I bother with GED?

I went to the advisor at our local community college a few years ago- before I knew much about homeschooling laws- and was flatly denied any further discussion without diploma or GED. It hadn't occurred to me to present myself as homeschooled during high school or anything like that.

According to our laws in TX, I should only need to SAY I received a homeschool diploma, and that should suffice.

Should I just go try again with my new understanding? Has anyone had experience doing this?
post #2 of 11
Thread Starter 
Oh, and my hope was to start at Community College to get an associates degree, then transfer to a university or state school for the rest.
post #3 of 11
Hi mamaamie. I dont know how much help I can be since I dont live in your country let alone your state. Can I ask, are they saying that unless you did the GED when you were the correct age, still in high school, they wont look at you? Or is one option simply to do the GED now? If that is not an option are there other exams you can take? In my country, for example, its very usual for adults who dropped out to decide to return to education and what they would normally need would include evidence of recent study-there are specific courses at adult education centres to prepare adults for that. There are also distance learning options. In the UK its totally possible to do a degree from scratch without any prior study and i know overseas students are accepted. Just saying there will be ways smile.gif
post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 
Fillyjonk, they told me that without a GED or diploma, I couldn't get in. I asked if I could somehow "test in", and that was declined. I know if I were 15, I could be taking classes there for college credit. I have trouble making time for spending time and money on a GED, when those three words make so many people immediately conclude that I am irresponsible and under qualified vs. diploma or other. If so many private schools are not accredited, why shouldn't those kids have to get GEDs to supplement and prove their knowledge? Now that GED has been turned for-profit and will quickly become less attainable for those who need it most, there's an additional layer of distaste.

I appreciate your mentioning overseas options. I will look into that. smile.gif. I think I may prefer joining some online high school for diploma instead of GED, if those are my only options for getting in.

I was wondering if taking ACT and SAT would make any difference. Can anyone take those?
post #5 of 11

Ah my apologies, I assumed the GED was what everyone graduated with-is it an equivalency qualification?  Wow, that seems to me to be a very inflexible system! Sorry, I know I'm not being much help because I don't know much about the specifics.

 

I pretty much dropped out of high school, tbh, and did other things. Working, living away from home, travelling, writing, green/leftie/feminist politics and activism. Basically, doing a lot of what interested me. I'm so glad I did that, those four or five years were probably the most formative of my life. I'd hate for people to be penalised for doing such a thing so I really do hope there is a way for you to do this.

 

Would it really be a lot of time and effort to take the GED? And how expensive is it? 

post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
Yes, it's the equivalency test / diploma. No, it isn't THAT big of a hassle (especially compared to attending college), but it's still not my top priority or most desired route. This also concerns my children- since they are unschooled. I want believe they will have post secondary education options without the GED. I guess I will probably just have them go through an online high school OR start community college during those years if they are willing. The GED is just so widely associated negatively with drop-outs, and it feels like an unfair bias/representation.
post #7 of 11

Ah I am with you. It is interesting hearing how it works over where you are. I've often felt that unschoolers can be at a bit of a disadvantage here in the UK as to get to uni at 18 you basically, from everything I've read, HAVE to have a handful of A levels Our A levels are specialist qualifications in three or four subjects and, IMO, mainly too specialist for a family to teach at home unless you had real in depth knowledge (between dp and I we'd be happy, I think, to cover maths and the "hard" sciences, but that's about it). So to get to uni, kids almost always seem to go to college first.

 

My understanding really was that US unis were much, much more used to accepting homeschoolers with a portfolio in place of a GED-that's nearly, though not quite, unheard of here. So this is interesting to me. 

 

But sorry to hijack with nothing of use-I hope someone comes along soon with more to offer! Do you and your kids need to be going to uni nearby or is it possible for them to pick and choose?

 

My big worry is how on this earth I am going to afford college for my three kids! Over here, to do a full degree costs probably £30,000 (that's around $50, 000 ) tuition. We don't have any sort of scholarship system really. NO idea how that's going to work.

post #8 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fillyjonk View Post

My understanding really was that US unis were much, much more used to accepting homeschoolers with a portfolio in place of a GED-that's nearly, though not quite, unheard of here. So this is interesting to me. 

 

I think that's true -- with certain colleges at least. The issue is that MamaAmie previously presented herself not as a homeschooled high school graduate but as a high school dropout. 

 

I'm in Canada, not the US, but from what I've seen it is very much possible to enter many/most universities using a portfolio-type approach. But I don't think it's easy to do so without a certain amount of careful attention to the creation of a robust CV/portfolio through documentation, particularly of externally-recognized experiences and achievements. For instance, by taking occasional courses or classes through community college, by attaining certification in specific areas (avalanche safety, food handlers safety, bronze medallion in swimming, conservatory music examination, child care certification, eg.). Or by taking part in community experiences that might reasonably be described as employment, internships, volunteer positions or mentorships. And then completing at least one or two somewhat standardized graded examinations at the upper secondary level (eg. successful results with an Open University type course, a senior math course at a bricks-and-mortar school, high scores on the SAT).

 

The university program my dd attends (McGill University in Montreal - Music Performance) has a process for homeschoolers which puts 50% weight on the music audition, 25% weight on the portfolio, and 25% weight on the SAT. Canada doesn't have anything like the SAT, and our universities and colleges don't usually require it, but McGill asks for results from homeschoolers to lend some externally-measured weight to claims of academic proficiency. The bottom line is that it is totally possible to unschool and be admitted. But you can't be completely unintentional about your unschooling: you have to make sure you write the SAT and have a well-documented portfolio. 

 

I think the problem MamaAmie may have is with the lack of intentionality and documentation during her [unofficially] unschooling years. I do see the dilemma the colleges face: they don't want non-high-school-graduates who did nothing with their post-drop-out years other than couch-surf, drink and work casual hours at fast food joints to be able to claim that they completed an education equivalent to high school graduation through unschooling. They want some sort of process to ensure that applicants they accept are likely to have the skills necessary to succeed with their college education.

 

Miranda

post #9 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mama Amie View Post

The GED is just so widely associated negatively with drop-outs, and it feels like an unfair bias/representation.

 

I've heard about the negative cultural bias towards the GED before though I haven't encountered it personally. But it seems to me (a) you don't have to tell anyone except the college you're applying to that you have completed the GED and (b) the college seems to have a positive bias towards the GED in that they won't believe you're qualified to enrol in their classes without it. For the reasons I outlined above, I would tend to think that with some planning and research and documentation this is an issue that won't need to trouble your kids, but you yourself are a little trapped right now.

 

And really, once you have a college degree, no one cares about your high school track record. It totally trumps the diploma or GED, right? From then on when you edit your resumé, you can freely and honestly write "High School (1992-1997): Homeschooled through a program of self-led learning using a variety of home-based and community resources." Or some such gobbledygook. And no one will care whether you have a GED or not, nor do they need to know.

 

Miranda

post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 
Perfect! Thanks, Miranda. smile.gif. I may still look into online high school diploma options, before prioritizing the GED. I would enjoy the process so much more, I think.

It struck me that, as much as I want to jump into higher education, it's still pretty distant as an option. I may even have to hold off 10 years unless I slowly go part-time while keeping track of the kids' own unschooling. My new job is perfect for these young years without burnout. I may even work my way into a career niche that way and just be a hobby student as the kids progress through their teen years. Maybe the kids and I can enroll together.
Edited by Mama Amie - 8/16/13 at 9:55am
post #11 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mama Amie View Post

Maybe the kids and I can enroll together.

 

Love this! Wouldn't that be cool!

 

Miranda

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