BeautyLink - Volume 8, Issue 4 - 26


Is It Legit?
aid eligibility requirement is
that, generally, the applicant must be a high school
graduate or have the recognized equivalent of a
high school diploma. Much could be said regarding
the distinction between a high school graduate and
"recognized equivalents." Here, we will focus on the
legitimacy of a high school diploma.
A FEDERAL STUDENT

AND THEN THERE'S
BEAUTY
CHANGES
COMPLIANCE
LIVES

Documentation of Completion

Consider
developing a
high school
completion
status review
committee
to resolve
questions
about
diploma and
completion
status validity.

Of note, in most cases, the U.S. Department of
Education (ED) does not require an institution to verify
that a student is a high school graduate.1 Generally, a
student may self-certify his or her high school completion status when completing the Free Application for
Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).2 Yet, it is important to
understand that this allowance to self-certify does not
negate a State's, an institution's or accrediting agency's
own requirement that a student submit a valid high
school diploma or equivalent during the admissions
process. Students who apply for Federal Student Aid
are selected by ED, or their school, to have their application data verified through the "verification" process.
Then, they are assigned to one of several "Verification
Tracking Groups," such as V4 or V5. Students who are
in Verification Tracking Groups V4 or V5 are required
to provide documentation of high school completion.

"Diploma Mills"
An ongoing concern are so-called diploma mills.
The Higher Education Opportunity Act defines a
diploma mill as an unaccredited entity that provides
a degree, certificate, diploma, or other credential to
an individual with the intent that they may use it to
indicate to the general public that he/she has completed an educational program, for little to no cost,
in a short period of time.3 While the law was written
with college diploma mills in mind, ED expanded that
understanding to include high school diploma mills.4
Naturally, a fake diploma does no one any good.
Schools must have a method to validate questionable
claims of high school completion. In fact, regulations
require that Title IV-eligible schools have procedures
to evaluate the legitimacy or validity of a student's
high school completion status [34 CFR 668.16(p).]

Determining Legitimacy
There are several points a school must keep in mind
and steps it may take to comply with requirements to

This material is presented for informational and
educational purposes only and should not be considered to be giving legal advice.

1 NOTE: All URLs listed were accessed on 08/26/2016.

3 Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008

Program Integrity Questions and Answers - High School Diploma.
http://www2.ed.gov/policy/highered/reg/hearulemaking/2009/hsdiploma.html#dhc
2 Program Integrity Questions and Answers - Documenting High
School Completion Status
BY
SHERWIN
HIBBETS

26

evaluate the validity of students' high school completion status.
1. Know the regulatory requirements applicable
to high school completion status (referenced
above), and guidance in the Federal Student
Aid Handbook related to high school diplomas,
as well as the stipulations of the relevant department or agency within your State.
2. If your school policy requires a valid copy of
a student's high school diploma (or recognized
equivalent), ensure you have a copy for every student. Again, there must be documentation of high
school completion for students in Verification
Tracking Groups V4 and V5.
3. Affirm that all high school transcripts and diplomas are final versions with an actual graduation date.
4. Develop policies and procedures related to questionable high school diplomas and a student's
completion status. Disseminate the policies to
all staff and students.
5. Consider developing a high school completion
status review committee to resolve questions
about diploma and completion status validity.
Retain minutes of these meetings.5
6. Most, but not all, legitimate high schools are
accredited. If the school is regionally accredited, it is almost 100% certain to be legitimate
due  to  the  requirements for being regionally
accredited.
7. Maintain an ongoing review of news and
government websites (e.g., Federal Trade
Commission, ED, State Attorney General's Office)
for information related to lawsuits against potential diploma mills.
8. Develop a list of invalid high schools and diploma
mills for use when processing applications.
9. Review the criteria that the National Association
for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) utilizes or recommends.
Appropriate steps taken in implementing effective policies and processes will ensure a school has
determined if an applicant's high school completion
status and diploma is "legit."

https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/PLAW-110publ315/html/
PLAW-110publ315.htm
4 Regaining Eligibility: Questions and Answers
https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/eligibility regain#no-diploma
5 NASFAA 2016 Annual Conference - "Validating High School

http://www2.ed.gov/policy/highered/reg/hearulemak-

Credentials and the Increased Existence of Diploma Mills."

ing/2009/hsdiploma.html#dhc

https://www.nasfaa.org/handouts (membership required)

| B E AU TYLINK | TA LK I NG TEC HNOL OGY | 2 016


https://www.gpo.gov http://www2.ed.gov/ https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/eligibility http://www2.ed.gov/ https://www.nasfaa.org/handouts

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of BeautyLink - Volume 8, Issue 4

Event Recap: CEA Annual Convention
Jim Cox: A Tribute and Toast
Getting to Know Adam P. Nelson
Best Tech Tools for Educators
Stop Wasting Money on Facebook
The Evolution of Beauty Education
Four Ways to Boost Your Brand Across Social Media
Is Your Business the Next Blockbuster?
Workings of Washington
And Then There's Compliance
Superstar Graduate
Beauty Changes Lives
Manlink
Step by Step
Message From The AACS President and CEA Chair
People & Places
New Product & Services
Associate Member Profiles: School & clinic Management Software
New School Members
Upcoming 2016/2017 Events
Index to Advertiser
BeautyLink - Volume 8, Issue 4 - cover1
BeautyLink - Volume 8, Issue 4 - cover2
BeautyLink - Volume 8, Issue 4 - 3
BeautyLink - Volume 8, Issue 4 - 4
BeautyLink - Volume 8, Issue 4 - 5
BeautyLink - Volume 8, Issue 4 - 6
BeautyLink - Volume 8, Issue 4 - 7
BeautyLink - Volume 8, Issue 4 - 8
BeautyLink - Volume 8, Issue 4 - 9
BeautyLink - Volume 8, Issue 4 - Message From The AACS President and CEA Chair
BeautyLink - Volume 8, Issue 4 - 11
BeautyLink - Volume 8, Issue 4 - Event Recap: CEA Annual Convention
BeautyLink - Volume 8, Issue 4 - 13
BeautyLink - Volume 8, Issue 4 - Jim Cox: A Tribute and Toast
BeautyLink - Volume 8, Issue 4 - 15
BeautyLink - Volume 8, Issue 4 - Workings of Washington
BeautyLink - Volume 8, Issue 4 - 17
BeautyLink - Volume 8, Issue 4 - Getting to Know Adam P. Nelson
BeautyLink - Volume 8, Issue 4 - 19
BeautyLink - Volume 8, Issue 4 - Best Tech Tools for Educators
BeautyLink - Volume 8, Issue 4 - 21
BeautyLink - Volume 8, Issue 4 - 22
BeautyLink - Volume 8, Issue 4 - 23
BeautyLink - Volume 8, Issue 4 - Stop Wasting Money on Facebook
BeautyLink - Volume 8, Issue 4 - 25
BeautyLink - Volume 8, Issue 4 - And Then There's Compliance
BeautyLink - Volume 8, Issue 4 - 27
BeautyLink - Volume 8, Issue 4 - Superstar Graduate
BeautyLink - Volume 8, Issue 4 - 29
BeautyLink - Volume 8, Issue 4 - The Evolution of Beauty Education
BeautyLink - Volume 8, Issue 4 - 31
BeautyLink - Volume 8, Issue 4 - 32
BeautyLink - Volume 8, Issue 4 - 33
BeautyLink - Volume 8, Issue 4 - Four Ways to Boost Your Brand Across Social Media
BeautyLink - Volume 8, Issue 4 - 35
BeautyLink - Volume 8, Issue 4 - Is Your Business the Next Blockbuster?
BeautyLink - Volume 8, Issue 4 - 37
BeautyLink - Volume 8, Issue 4 - Beauty Changes Lives
BeautyLink - Volume 8, Issue 4 - 39
BeautyLink - Volume 8, Issue 4 - Manlink
BeautyLink - Volume 8, Issue 4 - 41
BeautyLink - Volume 8, Issue 4 - Step by Step
BeautyLink - Volume 8, Issue 4 - 43
BeautyLink - Volume 8, Issue 4 - 44
BeautyLink - Volume 8, Issue 4 - People & Places
BeautyLink - Volume 8, Issue 4 - 46
BeautyLink - Volume 8, Issue 4 - New Product & Services
BeautyLink - Volume 8, Issue 4 - Associate Member Profiles: School & clinic Management Software
BeautyLink - Volume 8, Issue 4 - 49
BeautyLink - Volume 8, Issue 4 - 50
BeautyLink - Volume 8, Issue 4 - Upcoming 2016/2017 Events
BeautyLink - Volume 8, Issue 4 - 52
BeautyLink - Volume 8, Issue 4 - Index to Advertiser
BeautyLink - Volume 8, Issue 4 - 54
BeautyLink - Volume 8, Issue 4 - cover3
BeautyLink - Volume 8, Issue 4 - cover4
BeautyLink - Volume 8, Issue 4 - outserts1
BeautyLink - Volume 8, Issue 4 - outserts2
BeautyLink - Volume 8, Issue 4 - outserts3
BeautyLink - Volume 8, Issue 4 - outserts4
BeautyLink - Volume 8, Issue 4 - outserts5
BeautyLink - Volume 8, Issue 4 - outserts6
BeautyLink - Volume 8, Issue 4 - outserts7
BeautyLink - Volume 8, Issue 4 - outserts8
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