Presentation on theme: "Valid High School Diploma: Curse or Opportunity? Rich Heath, Director, Financial Aid Caryn Rose, FAO Data Coordinator “Opportunity paged me, beeped me,"— Presentation transcript:
Valid High School Diploma: Curse or Opportunity? Rich Heath, Director, Financial Aid Caryn Rose, FAO Data Coordinator “Opportunity paged me, beeped me, liked me, e-mailed me, faxed me, and spammed me. But I was expecting it to knock!”
The Curse: ED Double Speak Academic Qualifications HEA Sec. 484(d) 34 CFR 668.32(e) To receive FSA funds, a student must be qualified to study at the postsecondary level. A student qualifies if she/he: has a high school diploma (this can be from a foreign school if it is equivalent to a U.S. high school diploma); has the recognized equivalent of a high school diploma, such as a general educational development or GED certificate; or has completed homeschooling at the secondary level as defined by state law.
Curse A student may self-certify on the FAFSA that he has received a high school diploma or GED or that he has completed secondary school through homeschooling as defined by state law. If a student indicates that he has a diploma or GED, your school isn’t required to ask for a copy (*except as noted below), but if your school requires a diploma for admission, then you must rely on that copy of the diploma or GED and not on the student’s certification alone.
Administrative Capability Section 668.16(p) of the administrative capability regulations requires all schools to develop and follow procedures to evaluate the validity of a student’s high school diploma if the school or ED has reason to believe the student’s diploma is not valid or was not provided by an entity that provides secondary school education (i.e., a diploma mill). This requirement applies even if the school does not require a high school diploma for admission. *High school completion is now a verification item for the 2013–14 award year and but only for certain students. Although ED will not describe the criteria to be used in selecting those applicants, selection will be based on information in ED systems that identify individuals that seem to be risky or suspect.
Opportunity: Reason to Believe What might cause a school to have reason to believe there may be a problem with the validity of a student’s high school diploma? When working with students from the high school in the past, the school’s financial aid, admissions, registrar, or other institutional office may have identified issues with or concerns about the high school. The school also might have conflicting information about the student, such as whether the student received a high school diploma or the name of the high school awarding the student’s diploma.
Financial Aid Office: Be Informed Remember, the administrative capability regulations require the financial aid office to be informed if any institutional office has any information that has a bearing on a student’s Title IV eligibility. keep in mind that inclusion or exclusion of a high school on the drop-down box used to populate FAFSA on the Web should not be used as an indicator of whether the high school is a “good” or “bad” school. Inclusion on the list only means the high school completed, as applicable, the National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES) public or private high school survey used in compiling the drop-down list. A high school may have chosen not to complete the NCES survey for valid reasons. Although some postsecondary schools have shared information with ED about certain high schools with which they have had problems, ED does not maintain a list of “bad” high schools.
Diploma Mills When trying to determine whether a high school is a diploma mill, ED suggests looking at whether the high school charges a fee for a diploma but provides little or no educational instruction for the diploma. ED also suggests the checking the following resources for obtaining information about a particular high school: The State Department of Education in the state in which the high school is located (i.e., the state’s standards for high school completion; these standards vary from state to state); Companies that evaluate transcripts from foreign high school
Valid or Not Valid: That is the Question Certain membership organizations (e.g., the National Collegiate Athletic Association, National Association for College Admissions Counseling, the College Board, etc.) that have rules for how they validate the validity of high schools (membership in the organization may be required to obtain the information); Other institutions of higher education; and Certain occupations (e.g., state trooper) for which a high school diploma is required for employment in the state.
Valid HSD at AACC After extensive internal discussions the policy developed at AACC states that for a HSD to be considered as “valid” it must have officially been issued by a school that either is currently regionally accredited or was regionally accredited at the time it was issued.
Requesting Documentation All requests and correspondence are generated by the financial aid office Once the documentation has been received and approved by the records office- the request on the student’s financial aid account is marked as resolved Students who may have attended an “Invalid High school” have an email notifying them of the potential issue and that they may not be eligible for financial aid, even if the documentation has not been submitted yet. They do not get this email if they have an ATB alternative on file or another valid high school document on file.
Communicating Effectively Students who submit documentation but it is not the required documentation (a high school transcript that does not have their graduation date on it) get notified to please submit additional documentation to verify their graduation status. Students who are exempt from providing their information because of an ATB alternative, are notified that they do not need to submit documentation because their request has been resolved.
Online High Schools AACC recognizes some online high schools. Online high schools must be regionally accredited by an accreditation agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
How to Spot an Invalid High School Pay now to get your diploma Rush delivery available! Websites look similar to others Complaints on BBB website Claim do not need accreditation Accreditation mills exist also Ask your friends Call them
Foreign High Schools Anne Arundel Community College uses documents listed on the World Education Services (WES) website to determine foreign high school equivalent to U.S. high school graduation. Students must submit copies of the secondary documents listed on the WES website. Notarized English translations are needed in addition to the required documents for some languages. http://www.wes.org/required/index.asp http://www.wes.org/required/index.asp
Home School Programs Homeschooled students must submit a copy of their high school diploma and final high school transcript that notates graduation. Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) publishes a list of registered entities to supervise home instruction in Maryland. Anne Arundel Community College uses this list, or similar lists for other states, in conjunction with the diploma and high school transcript to review high school graduation status.
High School Document Receipt “Hoops” High School Document Types High School (future grad) Final High School (graduation noted) Other Diploma (new) GED (new) Date Received Official or Unofficial? Dates Attended Graduated? Yes No Future Concurrent Notes regarding additional info needed
How to Pass the Rules Submit one of these documents Final High School transcript GED document Diploma Graduated = Yes Is a Valid High School
Old Data Clean-Up Final High School vs. High School Document Type Invalid Schools graduated = No Unknown, Other, or Out of State High School GED document type (GED, GED, GED) FAFSA vs. Records office mismatch
Results of Documentation: Compliance Conflicting Information Cleaned Up Academic qualifications: HEA Sec. 484(d) 34 CFR 668.32(e) And Administrative Capability: Section 668.16(p) of the administrative capability regulations requires all schools to develop and follow procedures to evaluate the validity of a student’s high school diploma