It’s your student’s senior year of high school. You’ve rounded out the last of your curriculum, the college application process is well underway, and your student’s transcript is almost complete. With graduation just around the corner, it’s time to think about one last detail—your student’s diploma.

If you haven’t thought much about this detail, don’t worry—you’re not alone! It can be a tricky one for homeschool families, but getting it right is an important way to recognize your student (and you!) for all the hard work. In addition, your student’s diploma communicates to prospective colleges and future employers that he or she has completed their required course of study successfully. It signifies education and accomplishment, and is something your student will proudly display for years to come.

In this post, we’ll share some tips for obtaining or creating an amazing high-school diploma for your student, plus cover some frequently asked questions from homeschool families about diplomas.

How do I create or obtain a diploma for my student?

When it comes to preparing a high school diploma for your student, you have several options. Whether you purchase or create a diploma, the following basic information is required:

  • Your student’s name
  • Acknowledgement that the document is a high school diploma
  • Statement that your student completed his or her required course of study
  • Date of issue
  • Your signature

Ready to dive in? Here are some tips for creating or obtaining this all-important document for your student.

1. Check with your local or state homeschool organizations

If your student is attending a graduation through a local or state-wide homeschool group, that group is likely to provide diplomas. In this case, you won’t need to create the document yourself, and the homeschool organization will make sure all the essential information is present on the diploma.

2. Buy a diploma from an organization or scour the Internet

Some online organizations provide diploma-creation services for a nominal fee. All you have to do is fill in the required information and the completed diploma will be delivered to your home in its own case with a custom certificate. Some services offer an optional emblem to signify that your student graduated with honors.  

Alternately, an online search for diploma templates should yield multiple results. As an added bonus, many of these templates are available free of charge. You can download which template you like best, ensure it contains plenty of space to include all the essential details, and personalize it yourself.

3. If you’re technologically or artistically inclined, create your own

You can create your own diploma on the computer or by hand. If you’re technically inclined, use a desktop publishing program like Microsoft Publisher or Adobe InDesign to design a diploma especially for your student. If you’re artistically inclined but don’t want to venture into the world of digital art, create a diploma by hand. Put your painting or calligraphy skills to work to create a handmade, one-of-a-kind diploma that your student will cherish.

4. As with your transcript, print your diploma on high-quality paper

Using a high-quality paper, parchment, or cardstock for printing your student’s diploma will give it a polished, professional look. This is one of the most important documents your student will ever receive, so don’t skimp on materials. Round out the look with a soft diploma case (which may be ordered online) or a decorative frame to display your student’s accomplishment.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who should sign the diploma?

Most likely, you will be the person to sign the diploma, as you have overseen your student’s completion of his or her secondary education. (If you wish, you and your spouse may both sign your student’s diploma.) If a school or homeschool association issues the diploma, a representative from that organization will sign.

Will my student’s diploma be accredited?

Technically, a homeschool diploma is not accredited, but most employers and colleges will accept its validity since home education is so widely accepted today. While some organizations charge a fee to offer parents an accredited diploma, it’s not necessary.

Should the diploma be notarized?

Getting your student’s diploma notarized will help give the document an official appearance. Make sure not to sign the diploma until your meeting with the notary public, as he or she will need to witness you signing the document.

Does my student need to take the GED?

While your student may opt to obtain a GED in place of a diploma, some employers and colleges may get the impression that he or she was unable to complete school. A diploma is proof that your student did, in fact, complete that course of study.

The bottom line

Creating your student’s homeschool high school diploma is a simple, straightforward process. Whether you purchase a pre-made template or create something totally unique, your student will treasure his or her diploma for a lifetime.