Here is an article I found called "Homeschool Diplomas - Can You Award Your Own?" by Jason Rodriguez. You can find my comments at the bottom of the page.
There are many merchants which offer diploma service to parents who home school their children. Some of them even offer templates which parents can download to their computer and design their own diplomas. But are these parent generated diplomas worth the time and expense? Surely, awarding a homeschool diploma to your graduating children is a critical moment in their lives as they progress from one stage in life to the next. However, you ought to be cautious about generating your own diploma.
One of the main reasons given for awarding a diploma, especially to students graduating high school, is to satisfy college admissions requirements. However, most colleges do not require a copy of the high school diploma - they require official high school transcripts. Therefore, parents should affiliate with a school which is accredited to award diplomas as well as provide recognized transcripts. There are several schools available which provide this service.
Parents should be mindful that college admission officers may require additional documentation from students taught at home. For instance, the University of Southern California (USC) requires the following additional documentation from parents of home schooled children:
USC considers applications from home-schooled students. To better understand a student's preparation, we require two extra items, in addition to the general requirements found on the Freshman Admission Process page. Home-schooled students must submit (1) results from three SAT Subject tests, including one in mathematics, and (2) a dossier outlining the home school program: include detailed syllabi of courses, names of textbooks, names and applicable credentials of instructors, details of any assistance you are receiving or curriculum you are following through any public or private agency, and any additional information that may be helpful.
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My Comments: I do agree with the author that most schools do not require homeschool diplomas, I don't agree with the fact that we need to have accredited transcripts. Most colleges will accept transcripts completed by parents.
Homeschool transcripts are fairly easy to complete if you have kept accurate records for high school. Getting an accredited transcript requires you to complete all 4 years with an accredited school in order for them to issue an accredited transcript. These are just not necessary for most students.
Homeschool diplomas are nice to print off and look at to show that the student accomplished all their work, but they will never be accredited unless you spend thousands of dollars taking all your classes from an accredited school.
My daughter will be going to a trade school in the fall for 6-9 months. They require an official diploma from an accredited school or a GED. She will be taking the GED in the Spring so that she can fulfill the requirement to enroll in the school.
I just don't think official papers are all that important and most schools are realizing that the person and their accomplishments is what matters and not a piece of paper.
Before you pay for a service or accredited school, be sure this is really what your college or trade school requires for entrance.