Special Student Policy - High School Equivalency

Statement of Policy

Individuals who have not earned a high school diploma, or its equivalent, are eligible for admission to Excelsior College. However, under New York State law, the College cannot confer an earned degree on such a student unless and until the student has met articulated preliminary education requirements.

For Students Who Are of Compulsory School Age

Under New York State law, in most instances, a child must attend school full time from age 6 to the end of the school year when the child turns 17. The student must hold a high school diploma or have completed the substantial equivalent of a high school diploma, as certified by the superintendent of schools or a comparable chief school administrator.

If a student of compulsory school age has not yet completed a four-year high school program and seeks to enroll in full-time college study rather than attending high school, the student must, prior to enrollment, submit a verified statement to the College from the school superintendent or chief school administrator for the school district in which the student resides indicating that the student will be meeting the compulsory education requirement through full-time college attendance.

For Students Who Are Beyond Compulsory School Age

The student must hold a high school diploma, or its equivalent, as certified by the Superintendent of Schools or a comparable chief school administrator; or hold a high school equivalency diploma; or have completed 24 semester hours of credit distributed as follows toward their Excelsior College degree program: 6 semester hours English language arts including writing, speaking, and reading (literature), 3 semester hours mathematics, 3 semester hours natural science, 3 semester hours social science, 3 semester hours humanities, and 6 semester hours in any other courses within the degree program; have previously earned and been granted a degree from an approved degree-granting institution of higher education or from a postsecondary institution authorized by the Board of Regents to confer degrees; from a degree-granting institution located in a jurisdiction outside the United States that is approved, authorized, or recognized by the jurisdiction’s ministry of education or other governmental agency responsible for higher education; or have passed five designated Regents examinations (English, mathematics, United States history and government, science, and global history and geography).

Procedure

Students must meet preliminary education requirements in order to qualify for a degree from Excelsior College.

Students who are 17 or younger must hold a high school diploma or equivalent within their state of residence. Students 17 or younger who do not hold a high school diploma or its equivalent must, prior to enrollment, submit a verified statement to the College from the school superintendent or chief school administrator for the school district in which the student resides indicating that the student will be meeting the compulsory education requirement through full-time college attendance. Such verified statement must also be accompanied by an Individualized Home Instruction Plan (IHIP) consistent with Section 100.10(d) of the Regulations of the NYS Commissioner of Education.

Students who are 18 or older must hold a high school diploma or its equivalent from their state of residence or have completed 24 semester hours of credit distributed as follows toward their Excelsior College degree program: 6 semester hours in English language arts including writing, speaking, and reading (literature), 3 semester hours in mathematics, 3 semester hours in natural science, 3 semester hours in social science, 3 semester hours in humanities, and 6 semester hours in any other courses within the degree program; have previously earned and been granted a degree from an approved degree granting institution of higher education or from a postsecondary institution authorized by the Board of Regents to confer degrees; from a degree-granting institution located in a jurisdiction outside the United States that is approved, authorized, or recognized by the jurisdiction’s ministry of education or other governmental agency responsible for higher education; or have passed five designated Regents examinations (English, mathematics, United States history and government, science, and global history and geography).

All states offer General Education Development Certificate (GED) programs for individuals beyond the age of compulsory school attendance who wish to earn a high school diploma or who have already earned college-level credit toward this certification. Interested individuals should contact their State Education Department for information.

New York State residents who have earned 24 credits with a minimum of 6 semester hours in English language arts, 3 semester hours in mathematics, 3 semester hours in natural science, 3 semester hours in social science, 3 semester hours in humanities, and 6 semester hours in any courses creditable toward their Excelsior College degree program will meet New York State requirements for a High School Equivalency (GED) certificate and should contact the State Education Department, Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, Division of Education Testing at 518-474-5099.

International students should request a Subject Analysis evaluation report from Educational Credentials Evaluators (ECE). ECE will indicate on their respective reports if an international student's educational background meets a U.S. high school diploma/equivalency. In cases where the student has no university credit and does not have adequate documentation to indicate completion of a U.S. high school diploma/equivalency, the student will be advised to contact ECE for additional instructions.