Good question, AP154. It turns out that even colleges that say they require a high school diploma often do not, when it comes down to it. Except in a very few cases of state-run colleges, where there are state laws about it, colleges are free to accept whomever they choose. They may say that a high school diploma is required, but when faced by a bright kid, who has done interesting things and really wants to got here, they make an exception. Also, while Community Colleges may require a diploma to register as a full time, matriculating student, they don't require it for taking a course. Essentially anyone can take courses at most community colleges. Many of the unschoolers took courses at their local community college when they were of high-school age, and then they used their grades in those courses as means to get into a four-year college.

Another point that many fail to realize is that there is no standard definition of a high-school diploma. Some "unschoolers" simply make their own diploma, and they back it up with a "transcript" that describes their various activities and accomplishments. Self-directed learners tend to be very creative, and they are creative in making diplomas or substitutes for diplomas.

There are also services like "Beach High School" --http://www.beachhigh.education/landing/ -- That produce diplomas for self-directed learners based on the things those learners have done.

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