Georgia Board of Regents Levels the Playing Field for Homeschoolers

The Georgia Home Education Association (GHEA) has some very exciting news to share regarding a recent change in policy for undergraduate college admissions to Georgia’s public colleges and universities!

Current Requirements

The University System of Georgia (USG) and Georgia Board of Regents (BOR) establish the minimum eligibility requirements for admission to the 26 public colleges and universities in Georgia. For more than twenty years, the BOR undergraduate admissions policy for home study students has held homeschoolers to a much higher standard than students from other educational backgrounds. 

Since the late 1990’s, the BOR admissions policy for homeschoolers has included two requirements:

  1. Home study students to have a SAT or ACT score at or above the 50% of the freshman class entering the previous fall at the institution to which they are applying. 
  2. Home study students may use a portfolio, testing, or a combination to demonstrate that they have met the Required High School Curriculum (RHSC).
    (Note: All applicants, regardless of educational background, are required to meet the RHSC)

GHEA is pleased to announce that this longstanding policy is now changing.

How It Happened

GHEA representatives, former State House Representative Joyce Chandler, and USG officials met in November 2018 to discuss dual enrollment and freshman admissions policies for homeschooled students when applying to our Georgia public colleges and universities. GHEA expressed concern regarding the disparity in admissions standards for home study students, as compared to those for others. The meeting was productive. The USG officials were receptive to our concerns and agreed to work on the matter, resulting in a welcome policy change in late spring 2019. 

GHEA is excited to share that the higher SAT/ACT test score requirement has been eliminated by new BOR policy changes approved in late spring 2019! 

A Level Playing Field

This is great news for homeschoolers who are applying for dual enrollment and freshman admission at any of Georgia’s public colleges and universities. Homeschoolers no longer need to score “above average” in order to be considered for admission. Homeschooled students and graduates will be subject to the same requirement for SAT/ACT scores as all other students from public schools, private schools, and accredited homeschool programs.

It is important to remember that this BOR policy sets the minimum standard for admission for USG institutions, and as with other BOR policies, the BOR provides the individual colleges and universities with flexibility to require higher scores and/or additional requirements to the minimum standard for their specific institution. Each USG college and university will consider the new BOR policy as it sets its own admissions criteria. GHEA has learned that at least one USG university has applied this new policy for fall 2019 admissions, resulting in home study students who were previously ineligible being offered admission. It is expected that additional colleges will take action and incorporate these BOR policy changes into the admission policies at their own institutions for spring 2020 admissions and beyond. 

And, there’s even more good news! Additional positive changes are likely coming soon!

More Work to be Done

Along with applicants of all educational backgrounds, Georgia home study students will continue to be required to demonstrate that they have met the Required High School Curriculum (RHSC) when applying to USG colleges and universities. The BOR policy currently allows a home study student to meet this requirement by portfolio, testing, or a combination. Most homeschoolers choose to use the portfolio, but USG institutions vary widely in what they require of homeschoolers for a “portfolio.” When GHEA and USG met, we discussed the challenges presented to homeschoolers in the way that portfolio requirements vary among USG institutions.

With the SAT/ACT score policy now the same for homeschoolers and others, the USG has shared that they will be working with admissions officials from all of the 26 USG colleges and universities to streamline the process by which homeschoolers can demonstrate the RHSC requirements. GHEA is very pleased that the USG is continuing to work on the admissions policy, and we are looking forward to additional positive changes in coming months. 

On behalf of the Georgia homeschooling community, GHEA wishes to extend our appreciation to the Georgia Board of Regents and the University System of Georgia for their work and for making these policy changes. Requiring the same SAT/ACT scores for all students, including homeschoolers, just makes sense and is a positive step toward equity for Georgia homeschoolers. These policy changes are good for homeschoolers, and these changes are good for our great state of Georgia.