COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA
DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
P.O. BOX 2120
RICHMOND, VIRGINIA 23218-2120
SUPTS. MEMO NO. 5
January 10, 2003
Jo Lynne DeMary
Superintendent of Public Instruction
Clarification Regarding GED Testing Eligibility
Eligibility criteria pertaining to GED testing appear in numerous documents and have, as a result, caused some confusion. For purposes of clarification, this memorandum summarizes current eligibility guidelines as described in the Code of Virginia, 22.1-254.2, and Board of Education rules governing GED certificates, 8 VAC 20-360-10. All previous superintendents memoranda addressing this issue should be disregarded.
An applicant must be at least eighteen years of age and not currently enrolled in public education or otherwise meeting the school attendance requirements set forth in section 22.1-254 of the Code of Virginia. Under special circumstances the age limit may be lowered to sixteen years for applicants 1) who have been instructed by their parents in their home pursuant to 22.1-254.1 and who have successfully completed such home school instruction; 2) who have been excused from school attendance pursuant to subsection B and C of 22.1-254; or 3) for whom an individual student alternative education plan (ISAEP) has been granted pursuant to subsection D of 22.1-254. Under no circumstances is an individual under the age of sixteen eligible for testing. A summary of the rules for underage eligibility in categories 1-3 follows:
1) Home Schooled
Applicants under eighteen years of age, but at least sixteen years of age, must provide the GED examiner with a letter from the school division superintendent/designee 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.
2) Released from Compulsory Attendance
Applicants under eighteen years of age, but at least sixteen years of age, must provide the GED examiner with a letter from the school division superintendent/designee certifying that the applicant has been released from compulsory attendance by the local school board.
Emancipated and adjudicated minors are subject to the compulsory attendance law, unless released by the local school board.
3) Alternative Education
There are two categories of alternative education students who may be eligible to take the GED examination: a) students for whom an ISAEP has been granted and b) students enrolled in traditional alternative education programs.
Students for whom an ISAEP has been granted may take the GED examination when the local school division superintendent/designee provides the GED examiner with the completed GED Options for Selected Students Enrolled in Secondary Schools GED Testing Authorization Form. ISAEP students must achieve a minimum score of 450 on each of the subtests of the Official GED Practice Test before this form may be submitted.
Students who are enrolled in traditional alternative education programs may take the GED examination when the local school division superintendent/designee provides the GED examiner with the completed GED Options for Selected Students Enrolled in Secondary Schools GED Testing Authorization Form. This form should not be submitted until the applicants cohort is within ninety days of graduating.
An individual must be a resident of the state of Virginia at the time of testing.
An individual must make application prior to testing and provide two forms of identification at registration and just prior to testing. One form must be a government issued, picture identification.
Please direct questions to Robert W. MacGillivray (firstname.lastname@example.org), adult secondary specialist-GED administrator, Office of Adult Education and Literacy, at (804) 371-2333.