Homeschool High School Diplomas

How does a homeschool student get a diploma?

Homeschool high school diplomas are often referenced in questions we receive on the details surrounding homeschool high school graduation.

Homeschooling parents want information on how to issue homeschool high school diplomas and where to obtain them.

Let’s find answers to the most common questions:

  1. How do homeschool students get high school diplomas?
  2. Does the public school have to provide diplomas for homeschooled students under dual enrollment?
  3. Where can homeschooling parents obtain pre-designed homeschool high school diplomas?
  4. Do graduating students need more than homeschool diplomas?
  5. How do homeschooling parents set a framework for homeschool diploma requirements?

How do homeschool students get high school diplomas?

How do homeschool students get high school diplomas?

The short answer is that the homeschooling parents issue them.

In most states, parents are not legally required to follow public school standards for graduation. This is true in Iowa, where homeschooling parents decide what course of study their teens must complete to receive a diploma.

Parents issue and sign homeschool diplomas and high school transcripts. These documents are routinely accepted by colleges, employers, and military recruiters.

A parent-issued homeschool diploma is not a general equivalency diploma (GED), which is a substitute for a diploma. A GED is obtained by successfully completing a specialized exam. Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) advises homeschooling parents to issue their own diplomas rather than having their students obtain a GED.

Homeschool diplomas will include a signature line for parents to certify the diploma. Some homeschool diplomas also offer sections for you to include special details, like your homeschool’s name. You can customize them to fit your unique situation.

Student receiving a high school diploma

Does the public school have to provide a diploma for homeschooled students under dual enrollment?

An Iowa public school is not obligated to provide a diploma to any student, regardless of dual enrollment status, unless the student has completed the particular district’s graduation requirements.

Each public school in Iowa sets its own standards, which must comply with Iowa law. Coursework applied toward public school graduation must be completed in an accredited setting, instructed by Iowa licensed teachers.

Even if your dual-enrolled homeschool student has not completed the required accredited coursework to earn a public school diploma, you needn't be concerned. Simply follow the directions below for issuing homeschool high school diplomas.

Homeschool High School Diplomas

Where can homeschooling parents obtain pre-designed high school diplomas?

A diploma can be an ornate certificate or a simple document you print at home. Student participants in the Homeschool Iowa Graduation will experience a memorable traditional ceremony that includes caps, gowns, and a cased diploma ready for their parents’ certifying signatures. Check our website for more details and watch the ceremony livestream on our Homeschool Iowa Facebook page.

If you choose to forgo a ceremony, you can still order personalized homeschool high school diplomas through the HSLDA store or

You can also choose to print your own personalized diploma. Online diploma templates, like this one from Canva, can be used to customize and print a high school diploma from home.

Do graduating students need more than homeschool diplomas?

Do graduating students need more than homeschool diplomas?

If your student is planning to attend college, join a trade or apprentice program, or even enter right into the workforce, a high school transcript will often be needed when completing applications. Ideally, transcript production should start at the beginning of high school. Students applying for college admission during their senior year in high school will be asked for their transcripts, even before graduation.

Homeschooling parents create their students’ official homeschool transcripts using records of their students’ high school work.  While that can sound like a daunting task, there are many helpful resources available. Homeschool Iowa provides high school transcript templates (and a link to a handy grade point calculator) on the Homeschool Iowa website Member Portal.

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Your students' transcripts are great places to showcase strengths and share the unique opportunities experienced while homeschooling. You can find more information in this article about transcripts.

How do I set a framework for my homeschool diploma requirements and transcript?

How do homeschooling parents set a framework for homeschool diploma requirements?

If your student is just beginning high school, you can begin creating a four-year plan for your student. This will help you to ensure that your student has a clear strategic structure for completing all graduation requirements in your homeschool. It will also help you organize records of courses completed as you progress through the high school years.

You don’t have to create a four-year plan from scratch. Homeschool Iowa provides sample four-year plans for both college-bound and non-college-bound students on our website page, Homeschooling High School.

In fact, Homeschool Iowa is here to partner with you for every step of your homeschooling journey, from the start of your family's homeschool adventure, all the way to graduation!


Homeschooling High School
Homeschool High School Transcripts

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