In order to be eligible for financial aid, students must have completed high school or an acceptable equivalent. You are able to self-certify high school completion on your FAFSA.
If you indicated that you do not have a high school diploma or an equivalent on the FAFSA, you are required to submit one of the following pieces of documentation in order to confirm high school completion:
- A copy of the student’s high school diploma.
- For students who completed secondary education in a foreign country, a copy of the “secondary school leaving certificate” or other similar document.
- A copy of the student’s final official high school transcript that shows the date when the diploma was awarded.
- A state certificate or transcript received by a student after the student passed a State-authorized examination that the State recognizes as the equivalent of a high school diploma (GED test, HiSET, TASC, or other State-authorized examination).
- An academic transcript that indicates the student successfully completed at least a two-year program that is acceptable for full credit toward a bachelor’s degree.
- For a student who was homeschooled in a state where state law requires the student to obtain a secondary school completion credential for homeschooling (other than a high school diploma or its recognized equivalent), a copy of that credential.
- For a student who was homeschooled in a state where state law does not require the student to obtain a secondary school completion credential for homeschooling (other than a high school diploma or its recognized equivalent), a transcript, or the equivalent, signed by the student's parent or guardian, that lists the secondary school courses the student completed and includes a statement that the student successfully completed a secondary school education in a homeschool setting.
“Ability to Benefit”
In December 2014, Congress restored the Ability to Benefit (ATB) provision of the Higher Education Act. Under the ATB provision, otherwise-eligible students — who do not have a high school diploma or its recognized equivalent, but are enrolled in Title IV eligible programs — may qualify for federal financial aid.
If you did not earn a high school diploma, GED, or another equivalent, and you have completed six or more units at a US college or university prior to July 1, 2012, you may submit a copy of your official college transcripts to be considered for financial aid eligibility.