1. 2015 homeschool Ggaduates celebrate a milestone!


Save the Date for 2017!

Graduation Ceremony – June 10, 2017

Please e-mail graduation@heav.org to be notified when graduation registration opens in early 2017.

Please note that hotel room blocks will also open in mid-January. Please reserve your room early--room blocks fill up VERY quickly and rooms at the Marriott and Hilton may not be available by the time graduation registration opens.

To participate in the graduation ceremony, you will need to fill out the online registration form, which will address all aspects of the occasion, including:

  • Graduation Fee ($50 for HEAV members, $80 for non-members)
  • Cap, Gown, & Tassel Purchase (if not already owned)
  • Announcements (optional)
  • Diploma (optional – you must provide your own if you do not purchase here)
  • Photography (optional)
  • T-shirts (optional)
  • Celebration banquet at the Marriott (optional)
  • 100-word-maximum student biography (required)

The ceremony, held during the annual convention, is a wonderful way to include family and friends in a special, God-honoring celebration.

One special aspect of the HEAV ceremony is the inclusion of parents in this momentous occasion. Parents will meet their graduate at center stage to present the diploma!



E-mail graduation@heav.org, or call the office at 804-278-9200.

Saturday, June 10, 2017, from 3:30 – 5:30 p.m.

The Greater Richmond Convention Center
403 North 3rd Street (at the corner of Fifth and Broad streets)
Richmond, VA 23219

View maps and directions.


Special Graduation Dinner

The Richmond Marriott Hotel is offering an opportunity for you to enjoy a delicious and convenient celebration dinner with your family and friends in a private banquet room! Walk right from the ceremony to the dinner table without stepping a foot outside! Menu and prices coming soon.

Graduation FAQs

HEAV does not have academic (GPA, credits, or courses) or age requirements for participation in the graduation weekend. Consistent with our belief that education is the primary responsibility of parents, we leave this decision in the hands of each family. As long as the graduate has been home educated for a minimum of one year under Virginia law §22.1-254.1 (homeschool statute), §22.1-254(B)(1) (religious exemption), or §22.1-254(A) (certified tutor provision), we invite your family to participate in the Class of 2016. If the participating graduate is from another state, he or she will have to have abided by the laws pertaining to home instruction in that state.

The only required cost is the registration fee, which is $50 for HEAV members or $80 for non-members. If you do not have a royal blue or white cap and gown and a gold 2016 tassel, you will also be required to purchase one. The costs, as well as the optional items, are thoroughly explained in the online registration form. Registration will end on Friday, April 15.

The diploma was designed especially for HEAV graduates and is printed in rich black ink on parchment. This certificate will be inscribed with the graduate’s name, date of graduation (June 11, 2016), and the name of the graduate’s school or curriculum. It will also include the signatures of the graduate’s parents, the HEAV president, and the commencement speaker. An engraved seal and gold ribbon corners adorn the diploma, which is encased in a beautiful, padded navy case with matching seal.

For the diploma wording in the section, “Has successfully completed the Course of Study for graduation prescribed by,” you may want to write “his parents,” the name of your school, or the name a correspondence course you used. Please do not use “prescribed by the Commonwealth of Virginia.” The Commonwealth of Virginia does not prescribe a curriculum or course of study for Virginia homeschoolers. It is up to the parents to decide the course of study. This also incorrectly implies the Commonwealth of Virginia has authorized and approved your course of study.

You are not required to purchase a diploma through HEAV. Some families use a diploma from their local support group’s graduation ceremony or simply a computer-generated certificate. If you do not purchase a diploma through HEAV, you are required to bring something that resembles a diploma for the presentation during the ceremony. It should be flat, sturdy, and clearly labeled with your full name. If you bring your own diploma, it must be turned in at check-in.

No, announcements are not invitations. Announcements are designed to be a formal means of letting your friends and family know of your graduation from high school. Etiquette dictates that they may be mailed up to two weeks after graduation.

The formal graduation announcement for 2016 will read as follows:

The parents and seniors, along with the  openview-nvsoli
Home Educators Association of Virginia,
are pleased to announce the
Commencement Exercises
for the homeschool graduates of the
Class of Two Thousand Sixteen
on Saturday, the eleventh of June
at half past three in the afternoon
Greater Richmond Convention Center
Richmond, Virginia

If you choose to order our announcements, you will receive envelopes with them. Name cards, sold separately, may also be purchased but announcements may be sent with or without name cards.

When you fill out the registration form, you should indicate the number of tickets you need for your family and friends. There will be an option to notify the graduation coordinator if you require more than 12 tickets. After registration closes, any available tickets will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. The only reserved seating in the ballroom is for graduates and parents; the rest of the seating is general admission, meaning seats are not pre-assigned, but tickets are required. You will receive your tickets at check-in unless you request that they be mailed to you.

The graduate does not need a ticket, but for safety purposes, parents do.

If you would like to attend the convention, you will need to register for that separately. However, graduates and their parents have access to the Exhibit Hall any time with their name tags, received at check-in. Any ticket-holding guest may also access the Exhibit Hall at any time.

No, graduates should arrive at rehearsal dressed for the ceremony (except for cap and gown), since they will not have a chance to leave between the rehearsal and the ceremony. Parents are dismissed part way through the rehearsal, and are free until 3 p.m., when they are seated in the designated parents’ section.

There are two time periods available for picking up items. You may pick up all your unsold items either Friday or Saturday evening. On Friday, between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m., you may retrieve your unsold items from the sales floor, but you must find them yourself. If you can wait until we have had an opportunity to sort through the remaining materials left after the sale closes on Saturday, you will be able to pick up your unsold items on Saturday between 4:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m..

Yes! Family members and friends with a ticket to the graduation ceremony may browse the Exhibit Hall in the adjoining Richmond Center FREE OF CHARGE on Thursday, Friday, or Saturday.

Be sure to let your guests know they will be admitted at no cost when they show their graduation ticket. This is a perfect opportunity for grandparents and other family members and friends to see the extensive resources available to homeschool families–they are often amazed at the variety and diversity of educational materials. (It’s also a great place to purchase gifts!)

Biographical sketches must be submitted at the time of registration. Each graduate’s biographical sketch will be printed in the convention program along with his full name and the city and state of his residence. Please write a bio that includes the length of time you have been homeschooled; some of your homeschool activities; some special interests, achievements, and scholarships; and your future plans, if known. If your bio mentions a specific organization you have worked with; award you have received; or school, co-op, or group you have participated in or plan to attend, please be sure to give the complete, correct name of the organization, award, or group. If you mention a favorite Bible verse, it helps to quote it for the reference of the reader. If you do choose to quote a Scripture verse, please specify in parentheses which version of the Bible you have quoted. Example: (KJV). Please do not exceed 100 words. If the bio exceeds 100 words, HEAV reserves the right to edit as necessary or to send it back for revision.

Just prior to the graduation ceremony, we will have a photo presentation of all the graduates from whom we receive photos. Please consider sharing a favorite photo of your graduate (in JPEG format). It could be a picture of your graduate acting in a favorite theatrical presentation, exhibiting a prize-winning science project, or reading on the sofa in the living room at age six. We suggest that you use a photo without too many other people than the graduate, and that shows more of the graduate and less background. Please choose a photo that will honor your graduate on this special occasion. If we receive a photo that could be considered inappropriate, HEAV reserves the right to crop the photo or refuse it.

Caps, gowns, and tassels are available for purchase from Balfour using this form. Regalia will be sent to you prior to the ceremony. Please bring your regalia with you to graduation check in.

There will be a $10 sitting fee for senior portraits. Click HERE for additional pricing information.

Yes, you may submit a refund request through our online form. A cancellation fee of $7 will be deducted from your refund amount. Requests for graduation refunds must be submitted no later than April 15, 2016.

Refunds for the Marriott Banquet must be submitted no later than May 20, 2016.