Q: Do you need a HS diploma to enter college?
A: Not anymore
April Pointer, a part-time telemarketer who never completed high school, attends Rockland Community College in Suffern, N.Y.
But many colleges--public and private, two-year and four-year--will accept students who have not graduated from high school or earned equivalency degrees.
And in an era of stubbornly elevated high school dropout rates, the chance to enter college through the back door is attracting growing interest among students without high school diplomas.
That growth is fueling a debate over whether the students should be in college at all and whether state financial aid should pay their way. In New York, the issue flared in a budget battle this spring.
They are students like April Pointer, 23, of New City, N.Y., a part-time telemarketer who majors in psychology at Rockland Community College, whose main campus is in Suffern, N.Y. Ms. Pointer failed science her senior year of high school and did not finish summer school.
But to her father's amazement, last year she was accepted at Rockland, part of the State University of New York.
"He asked, 'Don't you have to have a high school diploma to go to college?' " she said. "I was like, 'No, not anymore.' " (more...)
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Related Tags: college, education, high school, HS dropout rates, Financial Aid, politics, activism