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.
For Graduate and Professional Students:
Documentation may include:
- an associate’s degree;
- successful completion of at least 60 semester or trimester credit hours or 72 quarter credit hours that does not result in the awarding of an associate’s degree, but that is acceptable for full credit toward a bachelor’s degree at any institution; or
- enrollment in a bachelor’s degree program where at least 60 semester or trimester credit hours or 72 quarter credit hours have been successfully completed, including credit hours transferred into the bachelor’s degree program.
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.