By Linda Campbell
The West Virginia PROMISE (Providing Real Opportunities for Maximizing In-state Student Excellence) Scholarship Program offers each WV high school graduate who meets eligibility requirements a full tuition scholarship to a state college or university, or an equivalent dollar amount to an in-state private college.† The PROMISE scholarship is based on merit (academic achievement), not financial need.
To receive the PROMISE scholarship, a homeschool student must receive qualifying scores on both the GED exam and a college admission test (the ACT or the SAT). But getting permission to take the GED has been a problem for those homeschoolers who are enrolled part-time in a traditional school. Students 17 years old or younger must be officially withdrawn from the school system (via a form) in order to take the GED test. Homeschool students taking classes at a public or private school have had to choose between continuing with their part-time traditional school classes and meeting the requirements to qualify for the PROMISE scholarship.
Both the PROMISE Scholarship Programís executive director and the State GED administrator have addressed this situation at the state level, and each of them has developed a resolution for this problem.
State GED administrator Debra Kimbler has created a form to grant homeschool students permission to take the GED while they continue their part-time traditional school classes; it is available through all county GED examiners. The form is only necessary for those homeschool students taking classes part-time at a traditional school.
Dr. Lisa DeFrank-Cole, Executive Director of the PROMISE Scholarship Program, has arranged for those affected homeschool students to submit all other eligibility information and meet all other deadlines with the exception of the GED test score. The student can take the GED test after (s)he has completed the traditional school coursework, and then submit the score for PROMISE scholarship consideration. If all other eligibility requirements and deadlines have been met, the homeschool student can still be awarded the scholarship in time for the fall semester.
To find out when the GED test is given in your county, please contact your local Board of Education and ask for the GED administration office. Most but not all counties offer the GED monthly, and you can take the GED in any WV county even if you donít reside there. This may allow for more flexibility and preparation time.
Lisa DeFrank-Cole, Ed.D, Executive Director
PROMISE Scholarship Program, Suite 700, 1018 Kanawha Blvd.
E. Charleston, WV 25301
304/558-4417 or 1-877-WVPROMISE
Debra Kimbler, State GED Administrator / GED Office / WV Dept. of Education
Capitol Complex, Building 6, Room 250 / 1900 Kanawha Boulevard, East
Info on the web: http://wvabe.org/gedwhatis.htm†††††††
March 2006 -- The college board recently discovered a "technical processing matter" that affects a small percentage of October 2005 SAT test takers. Approximately 4,000 students did not receive credit for some correct answers; therefore their scores are higher than originally reported.
Students who were affected were to have been notified by email. Revised scores are also being mailed. The high schools and colleges that were affected have been notified. (Homeschoolers were not mentioned.)
If your student took the SAT in October 2005, you may want to review his/her scores at www.collegeboard.com/satscores. An increase in the October scores could affect eligibility for scholarships such as the WV PROMISE.
For more information, visit www.collegeboard.com
INSTITUTE FOR ALTERNATIVE LEARNING
PO BOX 4152
STAR CITY, WV 26504