Home School or Diploma Mill?

For several years now THSC has dealt with a number of “home schools” that offer diplomas to those who who pay a fee of several hundred dollars and who take a simple test. Some of these so called schools allowed students to take the test home and return it within two weeks, pointing out in their marketing that few fail the test. One of these companies even stated that they were “accredited” by THSC. They removed that wording after receiving a letter from us.

Today these companies have their tests online and produce diplomas and transcripts for those who pay the fees and pass the exams. We have fielded phone calls from those who were victims of these scams and who were devastated when colleges and companies would not accept these “diplomas” as evidence of a high school education. Other students use these “diplomas” as a way to get out of high school and avoid truancy charges. THSC has received calls from school officials, public and private, seeking help regarding how to respond to this situation. We referred those people to the attorney general of Texas. Last week the AG’s office filed suit against some of these “home schools.” This is great news for two reasons: fundamentally, these “schools” are not home schools, and secondly, their actions have led to efforts by legislators to regulate legitimate home schools.

Last year during the legislative session, a legislator contacted us to let us know of his intent to deal with these diploma mills by adopting legislation to regulate them. He acknowledged that his legislation might well impact home schools as well as traditional private schools, but his intent was only to close the “loopholes” that allowed these scams to operate. Our response was to tell him that these companies did not meet the statutory definition of home schools and that we would oppose any effort to regulate home schools. Prosecution by the attorney general of Texas is the appropriate response and will help us keep private schools free of state regulation.


  1. Anonymous says

    And by regulating our homeschools, that would take us backwards NOT forwards, they should just go after those they are aware of and leave the rest of us alone or we will soon have more to comply with ourselves! This sounds bad not good!!!!!

  2. HeatherG says

    Agreed with Kim. We saw a hand-written road-side sign for one of these places. They seem to be on the rise in the Houston area.

  3. Anonymous says

    No matter how hard Home schooleers students an d parents work to do the rigth thing, there will be always people that take advantage of anything to make profit… It's a Shame!!!!!!
    Glad to hear that THSC is on top of everything, we support you!
    God Bless you all!!!!!!!

  4. timthsc says

    This is not regulation of homeschooling, which would happen through the legislature, but prosecution of a fraudulent business hiding behind home school case law. This way the frauds are prosecuted and home schools remain unregulated. That is good!

  5. Anonymous says

    I taught my son through life pac series he finished and got his diploma, he went to Kingwood College near Houston and was told that his "home school" diploma wasn't worth the paper it was printed on. He had to take a GED test to get in. The thing is that I know my son was given a far superior education but, it doesn't matter to these people…

  6. timthsc says

    The Texas Education Code was amended a few years ago by the hard work of home schoolers to require state colleges and universities to recognize a high school diploma from a home school or other unaccredited private school and to treat those students the same way public high school graduates are treated. Failure to do so is a violaiton of the law. Let me know about such issues and we will respond aggressively.

  7. Anonymous says

    Ok, I will compose an email with the details. Like I said before, I know my son was taught and learned a lot more than he would in the public school. I have another son in the 11th grade right now and he is also being home schooled I don't want him to go through what my older son went through..

  8. Anonymous says

    I am thankful that the THSC will fight for the rights of people who want to homeschool their children, the government will take any opportunity afforded to them to regulate and dictate what homeschoolers can and cannot do.

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