High School Diploma: Undergraduate Students

If you enroll in higher education for the first time on or after July 1, 2012, in order to be eligible for federal student aid, you must have either a high school diploma or a recognized equivalent, such as: a General Educational Development (GED) certificate, state-authorized exam, completion of two-year program, "Excelled Academically in High School," or a homeschool education at the secondary level as defined by state law or grandfathered per Gen 15-09.

New students who do not have a high school diploma, or an equivalent such as a GED, and who did not complete secondary school in a homeschool setting are not eligible for Title IV funds.

Reference: Per 34 CFR 600.2 DCL Gen 15-09 [Title IV Eligibility for Students without a Valid High School Diploma]

Under the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act of 2015 (as defined in section 484(d)(2) of the HEA), a student who does not have a high school diploma or an equivalent such as a GED certificate, or who was not homeschooled and who first enrolls in an eligible program of study on or after July 1, 2014, can only become eligible for Title IV assistance using one of the following Ability-to-Benefit (ATB) alternatives, when the student is also enrolled in an eligible career pathway program:

  • Pass Department of Education-approved ATB test
  • Complete six credits or 225 clock hours
  • Complete state process approved by Secretary of Education

Reference: 2023–2024 Federal Student Aid Handbook, Vol. 1, Ch. 1, pp. 6–9

New York Institute of Technology reserves the right to evaluate a high school diploma presented by a student. The university may, at any time, request a copy of a high school transcript to validate a high school diploma. A high school diploma or recognized equivalent is required to receive federal student aid.