University Did Not Reject Home-Grown scholars.(LETTERS)
Byline: THE WASHINGTON TIMES
An assertion presented as fact in last Sunday's editorial "Homeschooling and Its Foes" is inaccurate and misrepresents Baylor University's policies and practices involving home-schooled students. The erroneous assertion is that "In Texas, Baylor University formally accepted six students, only to deny them admission after realizing that they were home-schooled."
Here are some important facts regarding Baylor's position on home-schooled students:
First, Baylor University welcomes home-schooled students who meet the minimum criteria established by state and federal laws. Over the past six years, Baylor has enrolled more than 35 home-schooled students, and four home-schooled students entered Baylor this past fall. At least four more home-schooled students are scheduled to enroll at Baylor in fall 2002. Home-schooled students have participated in some of Baylor's most rigorous academic programs, such as University Scholars and the Honors Program, and have gone on to enroll in some of the nation's most prestigious graduate and professional schools after graduating from Baylor. A home-schooled student also was elected recently as Baylor's student body vice president. The Baylor admissions office has a long-standing practice of treating home-schooled students with the same respect extended to students from other private and public schools.
Second, the influencing factors in the six cases in which home-schooled students were not granted regular admissions status were federal and state laws, not Baylor's own admissions standards. In fact, Baylor in 1996 dropped a requirement that all home-schooled students submit a general equivalency diploma, or GED, as a requirement for admission. This change in our policy was made specifically in response to requests from home-schooled students and their parents.
Third, Baylor learned, through a voluntary external review of its financial aid office, that the state of Texas had changed the age of compulsory attendance from completion of the academic year in which the student turned 17 to 18. That change, which had escaped the notice of other colleges and universities in Texas, was a major contributing factor that triggered a review of the six home-school cases, as well as other private school cases that dealt with underage applicants. …