Special Student Policy – High School Equivalency

Special Student Policy – High School Equivalency

Statement of Policy

Pursuant to New York State law, individuals who have not earned a high school diploma, or its equivalent, are eligible for admission to Excelsior College, however, a degree cannot be conferred until preliminary education requirements are met. The requirements for students of compulsory school age and those beyond compulsory school age are different.

For Students Who Are of Compulsory School Age

Under New York 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.
  1) Admissions Requirement
  • 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; or
  • If the student does not hold a high school diploma or its equivalent upon admission, they must present a letter from the superintendent of schools or a comparable chief school administrator indicating the student’s projected high school completion date. Students cannot pursue a college degree in lieu of the high school diploma.
2) Preliminary Education Requirement Prior to Degree Conferral
  • Student must have earned their high school diploma; or
  • Student must have completed the substantial equivalent of a four-year high school course, as certified by the superintendent to schools or comparable chief school administrator.

For Students Who Are Beyond Compulsory School Age

1) Admissions Requirement
  • Student does not need to present proof of high school completion or equivalency.
2) Preliminary Education Requirement Prior to Degree Conferral
  • Holds a high school diploma; or
  • Has completed the substantial equivalent of a four-year high school course, as certified by the Superintendent of Schools or comparable chief school administrator; or
  • Holds a High School Equivalency Diploma; or
  • Completed 24 semester hours or the equivalent as a recognized candidate for a college-level degree or certificate at a degree-granting institution, as defined in the regulation (6 semester hours or the equivalent in English Language Arts including writing, speaking and reading (literature), 3 semester hours or the equivalent in Mathematics, 3 semester hours or the equivalent in Natural Sciences, 3 semester hours or the equivalent in Social Sciences, 3 semester hours or the equivalent in Humanities, and 6 semester hours or the equivalent in any other courses within the registered degree or certificate program); or
  • Has previously earned and been granted a degree from an accredited U.S. degree-granting institution; or
  • Has passed and completed all requirements for the following five Regents examinations or approved alternative assessments for these examinations: the Regents Comprehensive Examination in English, the Regents examination in mathematics, the Regents examination in United States history and government, a Regents examination in science, and the Regents examination in global history and geography.