Saturday, October 29, 2005

Where's The College Beef For HR 3753/S 1691?

Or What was the Purpose of Clarification Again?

(a) Clarification of Institutional Eligibility- Section 101(a)(1) of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1001(a)(1)) is amended by inserting `meeting the requirements of section 484(d)(3) or' after `only persons'.

(b) Clarification of Student Eligibility- Section 484(d) of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1091(d)) is amended by striking the heading and inserting `Satisfaction of Secondary Education Standards'.
Along with a real stink pot piece of legislation from Section 10:
5) The graduate has provided the Secretary concerned with a third-party verification letter of the graduate's home-school status by the Home School Legal Defense Association or a State or county home-school association or organization.
Looking at this again after reading this article,Colleges Welcome Texas Homeschoolers. It's an interesting history of the state of Texas and homeschooled students getting into colleges. In the excerpt below, there's also some history about federal financial aid which has already been documented in opposition to the HR 3753/S 1691 and the 2003 version of the same. Here's what the Heartland Institute has to say:
Fighting for Equality

THSC serves as a liaison between colleges and universities and the homeschooling community. Homeschooled students receive guidance in developing transcripts and meeting the admissions requirements for Texas colleges and universities, while admissions offices are informed of legal requirements regarding admission of homeschooled students.

Obtaining federal financial aid was overly cumbersome for homeschooled students until recently. In 1998, Congress clarified the law regarding federal financial aid, stating homeschool graduates were eligible for aid without having to take an additional test other applicants were not required to take.
Here's a link to the Department of Education letter addressed to Financial Aid Professionals with the clarifications. And here is the link to the 1998 amendments to the Higher Education Act.
Interesting is that HSLDA said No Problem as well, back in January, 2003:
We are thankful for the revisions in the Handbook and the new "Dear Colleague" letter. We believe that this will clear the air and enable homeschoolers to easily gain admission to colleges based on the merit of their excellent academic programs and will also enable homeschoolers to freely obtain student financial assistance without any further unnecessary and illegal barriers.
And if it's illegal, what's the deal with fussing it up with more legal verbiage and "clarifications"? Just follow the law. Let's get rid of this invasive bill! HSLDA is demanding more government intervention via their legislation; particularly Section 10 along with HSLDA's financial gain (as laid out in part 5 above). This article from Washington University (St. Louis) about homeschoolers in college has a great quote from a homeschooler:
Sharp feels that her application process did not differ much from that of her fellow college students.

"College applications were the same for me as for everyone else-a pain!" exclaimed Sharp.

Homeschool Legislation Watch
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