COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA
DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
P. O. BOX 2120
RICHMOND, VIRGINIA 23218-2120

SUPTS. MEMO. NO. 36
March 3, 2000

INFORMATIONAL

TO: Division Superintendents
FROM: JoLynne DeMary
Acting Superintendent of Public Instruction
SUBJECT: Clarification Regarding GED Testing Eligibility


 Regulations and guidelines governing GED testing appear in numerous documents.
For purposes of clarification, this memorandum summarizes current regulations
and guidelines for GED eligibility in Virginia.  All previous SUPTS. MEMOS 
addressing this issue should be disregarded.  

AGE:
An applicant must be at least 18 years of age and out of school.  Under special 
circumstances the age limit may be lowered if an applicant 1) has been officially 
withdrawn from school, 2) meets all requirements for home schooled youth, 3) meets 
the requirements for youth granted an Individual Student Alternative Education Plan 
(ISAEP), or 4) meets the requirements for youth currently enrolled in alternative 
education programs.  Under no circumstances is an individual under the age of 16 
eligible for testing.  A summary of the regulations for underage eligibility in 
categories 1-4 follows:

1) Officially Withdrawn From School
   Applicants must provide one of the following:

   a) A letter from an official of the regular day school last attended stating 
      that the applicant has been officially withdrawn from school for a period 
      of one year; or
   b) A letter from an official of the regular day school last attended stating 
      that the applicant has been officially withdrawn from school for a period 
      of six months and a letter stating that the applicant has successfully 
      completed an approved alternative course of study; or
   c) A letter from an employer or an admissions officer of an institution of 
      higher learning or post-secondary training institution stating that the 
      applicant meets all the requirements for employment or admissions with the 
      exception of a General Educational Development certificate, and a letter from 
      an official of the regular day school last attended recommending that the 
      applicant be tested.

    A division superintendent's recommendation supersedes a-c of the above requirements.

    Emancipated applicants who are out of school are subject to the requirements 
    outlined, or must have a superintendent's recommendation. 

    2) Home Schooled
       Applicants under 18 years of age, but at least 16 years of age, should provide 
       a letter from the school division superintendent certifying that the applicant 
       has completed an approved home instruction program.  

    Any additional written requirements promulgated by the local school board for 
    applicants in this category shall be binding.

    3) Receiving Services through an Individual Student Alternative Education Plan 
      (ISAEP) 
      Applicants for whom an ISAEP has been developed may take the GED examination 
      if a letter from an official of the local school division is submitted stating
      the applicant meets the following provisions: 

      a) the applicant has an ISAEP; and
 
      b) the applicant has earned a minimum standard score of 45 on each subtest 
         of an official GED practice test.

   4) Enrolled in Alternative Education Programs
      Applicants who are enrolled in the public schools may take the GED tests 
      if a letter from an official for the regular day school is submitted stating 
      that the applicant meets the following provisions:

      a) the applicant is currently enrolled in an alternative or drop-out prevention
         program;
      b) has been enrolled in such programs for at least six months;
      c) is within 90 days of completion of a program which will result in the 
         acquisition of marketable skills; and
      d) the applicant's class is within 90 days of graduation.

      Applicants must satisfy all requirements, a-d.  The division superintendent 
      may not waive any of the above requirements for any applicant.  

RESIDENCE:
An individual must be a resident of the state of Virginia.  There is no length of 
residence required.  Non-residents involved in Virginia adult education or workplace
programs may be eligible for testing.

APPLICATION:
A Virginia resident must make application in the school division in which he/she 
lives, although an applicant may take the GED in any official test center.  Since 
nearly all centers pre-register and have assigned seating, the local administrator 
of GED applications should make arrangements for the candidate at the center of 
his/her choice.

Please direct questions to Bob MacGillivray, specialist, Office of Vocational and 
Adult Education Services, at (804) 371-2333.

JLD/RAM/lgh