It is a kind of Alice-in-Wonderland idea. If you do not finish high school, head straight for college. But many colleges — public and private, two-year and four-year — will accept students who have not graduated from high school or earned equivalency degrees. And in an era of stubbornly elevated high school dropout rates, the chance to enter college through the back door is attracting growing interest among students without high school diplomas. That growth is fueling a debate over whether the students should be in college at all and whether state financial aid should pay their way. In New York, the issue flared in a budget battle this spring. They are students like April Pointer, 23, of New City, N.Y., a part-time telemarketer who majors in psychology at Rockland Community College, whose main campus is in Suffern, N.Y. Ms. Pointer failed science her senior year of high school and did not finish summer school. But to her father's amazement, last year she was accepted at Rockland, part of the State University of New York. "He asked, 'Don't you have to have a high school diploma to go to college?' " she said. "I was like, 'No, not anymore.' " There are nearly 400,000 students like Ms. Pointer nationwide, accounting for 2 percent of all college students, 3 percent at community colleges and 4 percent at commercial, or profit-making, colleges, according to a survey by the United States Education Department in 2003-4.
Wednesday, May 31, 2006
No High School Diploma Required: Open Access in College Admissions
Yesterday's New York Times ran this article on the number of students attending college without having finished high school. For community colleges, the data show 3 percent of students nationally attending without receiving a diploma. California's student population will have higher numbers: As this article indicates,10 percent of this year's high school seniors have not passed the state's exit exam:
Posted by Donald Douglas at 6:06 AM