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Admission of Students with IEP, Technical or Vocational Diplomas

APUS does not accept IEP, Technical, or Vocational diplomas as the equivalent of a high school diploma. An Individualized Education Program (IEP) is a special education high school diploma typically awarded to individuals receiving special education services; requirements for these types of diplomas are unique to each student’s needs/abilities and may not provide access to the general education curriculum. A Technical/Vocational high school diploma is typically awarded to individuals that demonstrate mastery of technical skills or a level of competence in a specific occupational area instead of college preparation.

If you have an IEP, Technical, or Vocational diploma, you may choose one of the following options to gain admission to one of our degree programs, but you will likely not be eligible to use Federal Student Aid of any kind to cover your tuition costs.

  • You may seek admission as a concurrent high school student, which means you must enroll in non-degree-seeking status. Once you have completed 12 semester hours at APU with a GPA of 2.0 or above, you may apply to change to enroll in a degree program.  If you request to change your major to a degree or certificate prior to successfully completing 12 semester hours with a minimum 2.0 GPA, we will not be able to process your request.
  • You may seek admission to a degree at APUS after successfully completing 12 semester hours or more at a recognized accredited community college with a GPA of 2.0 or above. However, if using this option, you will not be able to register at APUS until we have received and been able to verify this on your official transcript, unless you are enrolled only as a non-degree-seeking (undergraduate courses for transfer) student.

Students who have erroneously stated they have an IEP, Technical, or Vocational high school diploma on the application for admission may provide one of the below for review in order to determine eligibility to pursue a degree or certificate program:

  • An unofficial or official high school transcript/diploma
  • An unofficial or official college transcript showing completion of 12 or more hours of college credit with a GPA of 2.0 or above

If you have an IEP, Vocational, or Technical high school diploma, per federal guidelines you will not be eligible to use federal student aid, despite being admitted to a degree or certificate program, unless you already were approved for and have used federal student aid prior to 2012.

If you have any questions regarding your options with an IEP, Technical, or Vocational, or diploma, please contact us at

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