Graduating Early

Q. Is it possible to graduate my 16-year-old Virginia homeschooled teen early since she has completed all her high school work, including several dual-enrollment college classes? Do I need permission from the superintendent?

A. Yes, you can graduate your Virginia homeschooled teen early if she has completed the course of study you have planned for her. You are not required to seek permission from the superintendent. As a courtesy, you may want to notify the superintendent that your teen has graduated, but the law does not require permission, notification, or documentation.

In Virginia, the parent*—as the administrator, planner, teacher, and facilitator—is the only person who can verify completion of the student’s course of study. A diploma indicates completion and should be signed and dated by you, the parent. Along with a diploma, you should create a transcript for grades 9-12 indicating the course names, grades, credits, and GPA. A parent-created transcript and parent-signed diploma are accepted as evidence of graduation by community colleges, state and private colleges, the military, federal financial aid, and the workforce.

Once graduation has taken place, regardless of age, your teen is no longer under compulsory school attendance laws.

§ 22.1-254.(A). The requirements of this section shall not apply to…(b) any child who has obtained a high school diploma or its equivalent, a certificate of completion, or has achieved a passing score on a high school equivalency examination approved by the Board of Education, or who has otherwise complied with compulsory school attendance requirements as set forth in this article.

*If a student is enrolled in a correspondence course, the course administrator will verify completion of the course of study and, in most cases, sign the diploma.

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