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For Seniors

Important Information For Seniors

I. Register at the BEGINNING of the school year (August).

All students should register at the beginning of each school year, but it is even more imperative that seniors enroll at the beginning of the school year. Failure to turn in paperwork at the appropriate time in the senior year can delay or even prevent graduation. We expect to receive applications for all students in August, first-semester grades at the end of January or early February, final grades in May or June, and summer-school grades by August 31. If a senior does summer school after the senior year, final summer school grades must be received by August 31 or the student will be required to register and continue studies in the next school year. We will not enroll a returning student as a senior unless we have received the final grade report for the previous school year. 

II. Gateway requires that seniors be registered for at least six months in order to graduate.

 (Exception: Returning students who register at the beginning of the school year may be able to graduate at the end of the first semester.) Returning students who will be seniors and do not register by December 15 of their senior year will be required to continue their studies for six months before they can graduate. For example, a senior registering in February will not be eligible to graduate until August of that year.

III. Be sure to turn in first-semester grades on time, especially in the senior year.

Gateway reviews each student's file when we receive first-semester grades in the senior year to ensure that the student is on track for graduation.

IV. Hope (Lottery) Scholarship Eligibility

Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation (TSAC) awards the Hope (Lottery) Scholarship to home-educated students who have received an ACT score of 21 (or SAT equivalent) and have been enrolled with a home-education program for a full school year immediately preceding graduation.


A. The diploma will be mailed out approximately two weeks after we receive the final grade form. Plan ahead because coursework must be finished in time to send final grades.

B. All diplomas will be sent directly to the home address.


A. We respect your privacy; therefore, we will not send out your transcript unless specifically requested.  Please do not assume that we know where the final transcript should be sent, even if a partial transcript has been sent somewhere in the past.

B. Include student’s full name, date of birth, and year of graduation on the request.

C. If you want a final transcript sent to a college, university, or other institution, please make sure to request a transcript by phone, email, fax, or mail. Please do not assume that we know where you need a transcript to be sent.

D. Typically a request is processed within 10 business days of being received by a guidance counselor.

E. Watch deadline dates and make your request far enough in advance for us to fulfill it by the deadline.

F. Be sure we have the student’s most recent ACT/SAT scores.

G. Be sure we have received current Grade/Attendance forms. (Transcripts sent to colleges in January or February of the senior year should typically include fall-semester grades.)

H.  When applying to a college for admission or scholarship:

1. Read forms carefully.

a. If there is a section requiring verification by a counselor or school official, please complete the student/parent portion, be sure to sign your part if required, then send the form to Gateway for verification and signature by school official.

b. We will complete the form, attach an official transcript, and send it to the college. Please give complete addresses and full instructions as to where and to whom it should be sent and how (mail, fax, or email).

2. Note: Many colleges have forms that can be downloaded from their websites.


A. Be sure to use specific course titles.

B. Be sure to assign credits, enter the number of days completed as well as
the date the semester ended, and sign the grade form. Discrepancies regarding ending dates, number of days of attendance, etc. will invalidate the form.

C. Grade forms that do not meet the above requirements or that have other problems will be returned to you.
D. Summer school grades must be submitted on a separate grade form marked, “Summer 20__ (year).”

E. Note: Economics seems to be the course that causes the most confusion.

1. This study focuses on the influences of government, business, and individuals
on economic systems (i.e. both macroeconomics and microeconomics).

2. This requirement is not met by accounting, marketing, consumer math, home economics, or personal finance.


A. Ceremonies

1. To participate in a local graduation ceremony, contact graduation coordinator ASAP. Remember that many have deadlines.

2. Since the Total Home Education Program does not have a graduation ceremony, families may present the diploma in a small ceremony at home or church, or in a more formal setting. Local branches of the THEA as well as other entities conduct traditional, cap-and-gown ceremonies for home schoolers (see list).

3. Establish graduation date — your school year should end at least two weeks prior to the ceremony so that we can receive the final grades in sufficient time for you to receive the diploma by mail.

B. Supplies

1. You may print your own invitations.

2. For those desiring class rings there are various options.  Some design and order their own through a local jeweler, department store, or graduation supply store.

3. Websites for ordering graduation supplies (caps, gowns, class rings, etc.): (has Gateway’s mascot on file for rings)

4. Gateway’s school colors are red, white and blue.

5. Gateway’s mascot is the “Challenger,” represented as a knight mounted on a horse.

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