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Homeschooling in Florida

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Here are a few articles about homeschooling in Florida.  For quick answers to some commonly asked questions see our FAQs.  You will find sample letters to submit to your district school superintendent's office in our Printables section, and you may also be interested in these significant Florida news feeds.

Dual Enrollment and Early Admission Programs

Did you know Florida high schooled homeschoolers can take free classes at colleges and universities and get credit toward their high school diploma and an associate or baccalaureate degree at the same time?  How exciting is this?!

Dual Enrollment

The dual enrollment program allows high school students to earn credit toward high school completion and a career certificate or an associate or baccalaureate degree at the same time.  While generally open to all high school students, some colleges and universities will only allow juniors and seniors to participate in this program.

Early Admission

Early admission is a form of dual enrollment that allows high school seniors to enroll in college or career courses at colleges and universities on a full-time basis.

Eligibility Criteria

Any public, private, or home education high school student may enroll in courses creditable toward both a high school diploma and a career certificate or an associate or baccalaureate degree provided they satisfy any course prerequisites and meet the following requirements:

  • Homeschooled students must provide proof of enrollment in a home education program;
  • Private schooled students need to make sure their private school has an articulation agreement with their chosen college.
  • Students will need to obtain approval from the parent and/or high school administrator (may or may not be the same person);
  • Students wanting to enroll in career courses must demonstrate readiness for career-level coursework;
  • Students must hold a 3.0 unweighted GPA for college credit courses or a 2.0 unweighted GPA for career certificate courses;
  • Students must pass the appropriate college placement test (SAT, ACT, or CPT); and
  • Any other eligibility criteria as required by the college or university.

Tuition and Fees

Besides transportation and basic school supplies, the only expense to homeschoolers involved in dual enrollment is the cost of instructional materials. High school students are exempt from the payment of registration, tuition, and lab fees saving parents over $6,000 in costs. (Textbooks are provided at no cost to public high school students only.)

Who Should Enroll

Dual enrollment courses are college-level courses presented on an adult level, and the amount of work necessary to succeed in these courses is greater than in high school courses.  It is important that your child is dedicated to his or her studies and understands what is expected before enrolling. Students must be self-disciplined and motivated to study outside of class.  Dual enrollment courses become a part of your child's permanent college transcript and are calculated into his or her permanent high school GPA.  Students who receive a failing grade may have difficulty meeting future admission requirements at colleges and universities and difficulty qualifying for financial aid and scholarships.

How to Enroll

Check with your local college or university to find out what the enrollment deadlines and procedures are.  There are specific deadlines for applying for dual enrollment, placement testing (if your child does not already have qualifying test scores), and approvals. In addition, if your child is enrolled in an umbrella school and it does not already have an articulation agreement with your chosen college or university, you will want to have sufficient time for the schools to process the necessary paperwork.

Something to Note

Students who obtain an associate of arts degree while in high school may have admission priority or possibly guaranteed admission when transferring directly from a Florida public community college to a Florida state university, however, according to the FAQs published by the Florida Department of Education "Dual enrollment college credit will transfer to any public college or university offering the statewide course number...However, if students do not, upon high school graduation, attend the same college or university where they earned the dual enrollment credit, the application of transfer credit to general education, prerequisite, and degree programs may vary at the receiving institution." This means you should check to make sure your child's dual enrollment credits will transfer to your child's chosen university if he or she is planning to continue his or her education.

Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program

The Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program rewards students for their academic achievements during high school by providing funding to attend postsecondary education in Florida. To be eligible, a student must have earned "a standard Florida high school diploma unless the student completes a home education program according to s. 1002.41." [Section 1009.531 (1) (b), Florida Statutes ] All home-educated students must be registered with the district where they reside for grades 11 and 12. Here are a few things homeschoolers should know for the 2012-2013 academic year and thereafter:

  1. Home-educated students must meet the General Requirements for the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program.
  2. Students must submit a completed Florida Financial Aid Application (FFAA) online during their last year in a home education program (after December 1st of the last year and prior to graduation) or forfeit all future eligibility for a Bright Futures Scholarship. Students who graduate from high school mid-year must submit a Florida Financial Aid Application no later than August 31 prior to the student’s graduation.
  3. Home educated students must meet minimum test scores to qualify for FAS and FMS awards. There are two ways to qualify for the FMS award. Tests taken through June 30 (or no later than January 31 for mid-year graduates) of the student's last year in a home education curriculum will be admissible for a Bright Futures evaluation. The minimum required scores are as follows:
ScholarshipGraduation YearSAT*ACT*
Florida Academic Scholars (FAS)
No transcripts required
2013-14, 2014-2015, 2015-2016
1290
29
Florida Medallion Scholars (FMS)
No transcripts required
 2013-14, 2014-2015, 2015-2016
1220
27
Florida Medallion Scholars (FMS)
Official transcripts required
2013-14, 2014-2015, 2015-2016
1170
26
*Excluding the writing section
  • Bright Futures does not accept parent-generated transcripts. If your child's SAT/ACT score is such that it requires an official transcript to be eligible for an FMS award, your child's transcript must be provided by FLVS, a Florida state or community college (dual-enrollment), a Florida public high school, or an FDOE registered private high school. Your child must achieve a minimum weighted 3.0 GPA in 16 college preparatory core academic credits:

    • 4 English (3 with substantial writing)
    • 4 Mathematics (Algebra I level and above)
    • 3 Natural Science (2 with substantial lab)
    • 3 Social Science
    • 2 World Language (sequential, in the same language)

See Home-Educated Applicants Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program and Academic Requirements for Initial Eligibility for more information.

  • Home-educated students community service hours must be approved by the Florida Department of Education or the school district for initial eligibility. Community service must be completed during high school and by high school graduation. Each award requires the following completed and approved community service hours:
    • Florida Academic Scholars (FAS) - 100 hours
    • Florida Medallion Scholars (FMS) - 75 hours
  • Home-educated students are not able to receive the Gold Seal Vocational award.

The Bright Futures Scholarship program changes with each legislative session.  For more information, important updates, and to find out what rules apply to a specific graduation year, please visit the Florida Student Financial Aid website.
Students graduating from high school in 2012-13 are eligible to accept an initial Bright Futures award for two years following high school graduation and to accept a renewal award for five years following high school graduation. This means, even if students do not think they will use the scholarship or are planning to move out of the state, they should apply anyway
HSLDA published a helpful article titled Colleges Now Required to Determine “Validity” of High School Diplomas on November 2, 2010 which gives advice to homeschool students applying for Federal Student Aid.

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