US high school diploma now valid in Karnataka

This applies to students of schools offering American high school diploma accredited by the Northwest Accreditation Commission (NWAC) of the United States, which has been operational in India since 2012

In a huge relief to students who finish schooling with American high school diplomas — the North American version of pre-university — the Karnataka government has directed all universities to consider them eligible for undergraduate admissions. 

This applies to students of schools offering American high school diploma accredited by the Northwest Accreditation Commission (NWAC) of the United States, which has been operational in India since 2012. The government’s decision will also help children of non-resident Indians (NRIs) get college admissions here upon their return. 

Thus far, only eight universities — Karnataka State Law University, Mangalore University, Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences, Gulbarga University, Tumkur University, Davangere University, KLE University and Karnataka Sanskrit University — accepted the American high school diploma for undergraduate admissions.

The Department of Higher Education recently wrote to 32 universities in the state, both public and private, directing them to accept the American high school diploma for admissions to undergraduate and vocational courses. DH has a copy of the letter. This includes Bangalore University, against which three students moved the court last year after they were denied admission to the BCom course. 

“Now that all universities have been directed, we will comply,” said Venugopal K R, the newly appointed vice-chancellor of Bangalore University.

The government’s decision came after the NWAC petitioned the government last year. The matter was placed before the Karnataka State Higher Education Council, which resolved to accept the diploma as equivalent to the pre-university course or class 12 of the CBSE. 

“We hope this will resolve problems that students faced while seeking admissions,” NWAC regional representative Nikhil Ramesh said. The American high school diploma, he said, caters to three categories of students: regular school students, homeschoolers and the specially-abled or academically weak. “There are nearly 16,000 students studying for the American high school diploma in India,” he said.

According to sources, some universities stopped accepting American high school diploma after it was found that miscreants posing as NWAC officials issued fake documents to students. This forced the NWAC to issue public notices warning parents and students. 

The government’s decision will give NRI children an opportunity to study in our universities,” education consultant Usha Mohan said. “The American high school diploma is, however, relatively new to India. It remains to be seen whether these students will be asked to take a separate entrance test for college admissions, given that the curriculum is different,” she said.

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US high school diploma now valid in Karnataka

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