Proof of High School Diploma or Equivalent Policy
The purpose of the policy is to guide the Admissions Department process and to provide guidance to those students who have been requested to demonstrate proof of a high school diploma or equivalent as part of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) verification process.
This policy applies to all students and those students receiving financial aid at Valor Christian College who have been selected for FAFSA verification.
As part of the process of applying for admission to Valor Christian College (VCC) every student is required to submit an official High School Transcript demonstrating that the student graduated from High School or an official GED with passing grades/scores to demonstrate that the student has the Ability to Benefit from a college education. If the student did not graduate from High School or is unable to obtain an official High School transcript due to circumstances beyond the student’s control, VCC will accept an official college academic transcript(s) with 60 or more earned hours (the equivalent of an Associate degree). Students who enrolled in an eligible college program before July 1, 2012, also have the option to submit an official college transcript(s) with six hours of earned credit or one of the ATB tests approved by the Department of Education with passing scores.
Students who are required to submit documentation of high school completion for verification purposes must submit documentation matching the self-reported data on the FAFSA high school completion question. For example, if a student reported on the FAFSA that the high school completion was the GED test, the student should provide documentation of GED completion.
The admission office will review all students’ High School transcripts to verify that they are official:
If mailed, emailed, or faxed directly from the school to Valor Christian College that the transcript is from a high school with a College Entrance Examination Board (CEEB) code, and has the high school seal and signature.
If provided from the student that the transcript is in an envelope sealed by the school which has not been opened and that the transcript has a CEEB code as well as the high school seal and signature.
If downloaded from an electronic provider such as Parchment that the cover page is included to demonstrate that the transcript is official.
If a transcript is from a high school that lacks a CEEB code, the admission office will investigate to confirm the school is recognized by the appropriate entity approved by the state department of education, a recognized home school association approved by the state department of education or that the transcript was generated under the process approved by the state. The admission office may request a copy of the student’s diploma at any point in the admission process to verification process. If a diploma is determined invalid, a GED may be required for admission consideration
Federal Role in Completion Verification
To search the U.S. Department of Education's Database of Schools, visit the following links below:
Students who indicate they have/will have a high school diploma when completing the FAFSA will be instructed to provide the name of the high school and the city and state where that school is located. Students whose high school is not found on the list provided within the FAFSA will be able to enter the information requested. The Department may select the student’s FAFSA for further review by the institution to determine if the student has a valid high school diploma before the student can receive any Title IV federal student aid. In addition, if an institution has reason to suspect the validity of a high school diploma, regardless of FAFSA completion, the institution is responsible for determining its validity.
Tracking Diploma Mills
When VCC receives a transcript for a school that does not have a CEEB code, the Admission Department will research the transcript to determine if the school is recognized by the entity approved by Department of Education in the state in which the school is located.
The Admission Department may also check the appropriate regional accrediting commissions in the United States; some list secondary schools.
If a school does not have a CEEB code but is recognized by the entity approved by the state Department of Education in which the school is located, VCC will generally accept the transcript. The application may be flagged for committee review if anything is deemed to be unusual about the transcript.
If a school is not recognized by an entity approved by the department of education in which the school is located or has no physical address, then the Admission Department will research the school, usually on the web, to determine if this is a for profit school or diploma mill and If so, make a note to not accept the transcript. Students who submit transcripts that are determined to be invalid will be required to submit a GED or an official college academic transcript(s) with 60 or more earned hours (the equivalent of an Associate degree). before VCC will evaluate the application.
Home Schooled Students
For home schooled students, the transcript must have been produced under the process approved by the state in which the student was home schooled e.g. the appropriate entity approved by the state department of education, a recognized home school association approved by the state department of education or that the transcript was generated under the process approved by the state. If the home school generating the transcript did not follow the process approved by the state in which the student was home schooled, VCC will require the student to present a GED with passing scores or an official college academic transcript(s) with 60 or more earned hours (the equivalent of an Associate degree).
Every country has its own educational system and determines its own educational levels. When a student applies to VCC for admission, the Admission department researches the country and determines the generally accepted equivalent of a U.S. High School diploma for that country. Many countries require an exit exam and that the student take the exit exam for particular subjects and electives and that the student pass a particular number of those subjects and electives to be considered to have completed the equivalent of a U.S. High School diploma.
VCC requires the originals or the certified copies of the transcript and/or exit exam depending on the process instituted by the student’s home country. Transcripts and/or exit exams not in English must be sent to an approved transcript evaluation service to be translated and evaluated to determine if the transcript and/or exit exam are equivalent to a U.S. High School diploma. Submitted originals or certified copies become the property of VCC.
Students who cannot demonstrate that they have the equivalent of a U.S. High School diploma, must take and pass a U.S. GED or provide a college transcript(s) with 60 or more earned hours (the equivalent of an Associate degree). Transcripts not in English must be sent to an approved transcript evaluation service to be translated and evaluated to determine if the transcript(s) show 60 or more earned units (the equivalent of an Associate degree). Submitted originals become the property of VCC.