A growing number of U.S. students who have dropped out of high school or failed to graduate are going to college without a high school diploma.
The New York Times reports that about 2 percent of all college students do not have high school diplomas, up from 1.4 percent four years ago. At community colleges, 3 percent of students lack diplomas and at commercial institutions, the figure is 4 percent.
The trend is raising questions about whether students who have failed to complete high school should be eligible for state tuition grants and loans.
In California, where students must have a diploma to qualify, a Democratic legislator has proposed changing the law. In New York, Gov. George Pataki unsuccessfully tried to deny aid to students without diplomas.
This article piques my interest---and I wish there was more to it. Are these students without diplomas home schooled? Are they dropouts with GEDs and good SAT scores? Kids who did well in terms of meeting college entrance requirements, but didn't jump through all of the hoops to get a diploma (like passing a state exam)? If a student meets the college admissions standards, why would you try to deny them funding?
I work with someone who is a high school dropout...and college graduate. High school just wasn't his thing. He has a ton of intellectual curiosity and enjoys learning. When he was ready to move on with a formal education, he found a way to do so---and I admire that. I'm not suggesting that this is the best pathway for everyone, but it seems like we need to have more options out there...not less.
UPDATE: A-ha! The New York Times has more information.