Homeschool Graduation

Celebrate your special milestone!

Welcome, Class of 2019!

Do you have a graduating homeschooler?

Registration is closed.

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.

Participation is limited because of room capacity, so reserve your spot as soon as registration opens.

Commencement Address

This year’s commencement speech will be given by Scott Macintyre, classical concert pianist, American Idol performer, and speaker.

Scott Macintyre HEAV Homeschool Virginia Commencement SpeakerSCOTT MACINTYRE

From classical concert pianist to American Idol finalist and favorite, Scott MacIntyre has never let challenges hold him back. An acclaimed musician and inspirational speaker, he has inspired audiences across the globe with his story and music. Blind from birth and a two-time kidney transplant recipient, Scott shares how he experienced God’s providence in the midst of suffering in his autobiographical book By Faith, Not By Sight. With his  unique academic background, Scott understands the important role teachers play in shaping their students’ lives.

He was homeschooled, then admitted into Arizona State University at age 14 and was later offered Marshall and UK Fulbright scholarships. Scott and his wife, Christina, live in Tennessee with their son, Christian. 

Scott Macintyre HEAV Homeschool Virginia Commencement Speaker

How to Sign Up

Graduation Fee

  • January 14 to January 31 – Members $59, Non-Members $89
  • February 1: first price increase – Members $69, Non-Members $99
  • March 1: second price increase – Members $79, Non-Members $109
Registration ends when the Ballroom is filled to capacity or on April 5, whichever comes first.

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

  • Cap, gown, & tassel
  • Announcements or announcements with name cards (optional)
  • Diploma (you must provide a diploma at graduation check-in if you do not purchase through HEAV)
  • T-shirts (optional)
  • 100-word-maximum student biography (required)
  • Photograph of graduate for the slideshow (optional)
  • Graduation banquet (optional)
  • Graduation DVD (optional)

Saturday, June 8, 2019, from 3:30 – 5:30 p.m.

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

Special Graduation Dinner

Graduates and their guests are offered an opportunity to enjoy a delicious and convenient celebration dinner in a private banquet room. Walk right from the ceremony to the dinner table! 
Prices include all taxes and gratuity.
Adult meal: $32.17 
Child meal: $11.17 


This year, we are pleased to announce that Joseph Miller Photography will take our graduation photos. Cap-and-gown portraits are available by appointment on Thursday evening, all day Friday, and on Saturday morning. A $10 sitting fee applies.

Graduate and parent photos are posed photos, taken in front of a backdrop to the side of the graduation stage and taken automatically as part of the ceremony process. In addition to the posed photo of the graduates and parents, Joseph Miller Photography will also be capturing candid shots of the diploma exchange on-stage.

Graduation FAQs

HEAV does not have academic (GPA, credits, or courses) or age requirements for participation in the graduation ceremony. 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. 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.

All graduates must register through HEAV and pay the registration fee (See Graduation Information).

Graduates are also required to provide regalia ($42 when purchased through the HEAV supplier) and a high school diploma ($35 when purchased through HEAV).

HEAV conveniently provides the opportunity to purchase the required items as well as optional items. The costs associated with purchasing the additional items are thoroughly explained in the online registration form.

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 8, 2019), and the parents’ names or family school name. 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.

Diplomas purchased through HEAV will be received onsite at the graduation ceremony.

The diplomas are inscribed as follows: “This certifies that [student name] has successfully completed the Course of Study for graduation prescribed by [name of parent/school] and is therefore awarded this High School Diploma given this eighth day of June, in the year of our Lord two thousand nineteen”

For the diploma wording in the section, “Has successfully completed the Course of Study for graduation prescribed by,” options include: “his parents,” the parents’ names, or family school name.

If you choose to use a family school name, the inscription must be the name that you have chosen for your homeschool. Copyrighted school names such as “The American School”, “Keystone High School”, or “Liberty University Online Academy” will not be inscribed.

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 the graduate’s full name. If you are supplying your own diploma and not purchasing one through HEAV, it must be turned in at graduation check-in. 

The formal graduation announcement for 2019 will read as follows:

The parents and seniors, along with the
Home Educators Association of Virginia,HEAV Commencement Announcements
are pleased to announce the
Commencement Exercises
for the homeschool graduates of the
Class of Two Thousand Nineteen
on Saturday, the eighth day 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. However, a name card is pictured above with the announcement, but name cards must be ordered in addition to the announcements. Name cards will only be sent if they are included in your order. Announcements have slots to insert name cards, but they may be sent with or without name cards.

No, announcements do not provide admission to the graduation ceremony. 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.

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 people other than the graduate, and one 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.

For your convenience, HEAV provides a link to the order form from Balfour, our supplier and an Oak Hall distributor, through the online graduation registration form. Regalia ordered through Balfour will be shipped directly to you.

Families are not required to purchase their cap, gown, and tassel through Balfour. If you obtain regalia from a source other than Balfour, please note that males wear royal blue regalia with gold tassels and females wear white or royal blue regalia with gold tassels.

If you already have a cap and gown and only need a 2019 gold tassel, 2019 tassels may be purchased through Balfour and have them shipped to your home, or ordered through HEAV graduation registration and received onsite during graduation weekend.

Every family is responsible for bringing their regalia to graduation check-in.

Families may choose to provide honor cords to their graduate. Please turn honor cords in with your regalia at graduation check-in.

Tickets to the graduation ceremony are complimentary. Every graduate is guaranteed up to 12 tickets. During graduation registration, families are given the opportunity to request additional tickets. HEAV will supply additional tickets to accommodate all immediate family members and will try to accommodate all additional ticket requests. 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.

Tickets be on site in your check-in envelope.

The graduate does not need a ticket, but to meet the fire marshall requirements, parents do.

If you would like to attend the convention, you will need to register for that separately. However, graduates, parents, and ticket-holding guests have access to the Exhibit Hall at any time. (see FAQ 14)

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 to the Exhibit Hall 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!)

Graduation Check-in is located inside the Exhibit Hall (not in the Lobby where convention registration takes place). One parent is required to check in. The parent may check in on Thursday or Friday any time the Exhibit Hall is open. This avoids the Saturday morning rush, but please bring your graduate’s regalia to check-in. If you plan to check in on Saturday, June 8, please note that the check-in hours are between 8 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. only. Graduation check-in closes at 10:30 a.m to allow us time to prepare the Ballroom for rehearsal and the ceremony. You must check in in order to participate in the ceremony. 

Once checked in, your family’s next obligation to graduation is to be in the Ballroom for rehearsal at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 8, (whether you check in on Thursday, Friday, or Saturday).

The graduate and at least one parent are required to attend rehearsal. We would like for both parents to attend rehearsal, but, we understand that for some families, their situations may prevent both parents from attending rehearsal.

No, graduates should arrive at rehearsal dressed for the ceremony (except for cap and gown), since the graduates 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 return to their seats in the designated parents’ section.

Yes, as of 2017 the UCS pick-up hours changed to allow families participating in graduation to pick up any unsold items following the ceremony. You may still choose to arrange for someone else to pick up your unsold items as it will be a busy afternoon for graduates and parents.

There will be a $10 sitting fee for cap and gown portraits. Additional pricing information will be available soon!

Yes, you may submit a refund request for the ceremony through HEAV’s 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 2, 2019.

Most likely yes, but the details for refunds are still being determined. A cancellation fee of $7 will be deducted from your refund amount.

Visit the Christian Connector, Inc. for information on Christian colleges, Bible colleges, short-term missions, and other Christian youth opportunities. 

Convention Sponsors