About HEP


  • To assist migrant and seasonal farmworker students and their families in obtaining the equivalent of a high school diploma
  • Begin post-secondary education
  • Enter military service
  • Obtain employment


The High School Equivalency Program was authorized by the Higher Education Act of 1965.

The first HEP project began in 1967 at Catholic University in Washington, D.C. during the Johnson Administration’s War on Poverty through the Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO).

By 1972 – 19 HEP projects were approved.

In 1980, HEP was transferred to the newly formed Department of Education.

In 1993, HEP received their first five-year grant award. Previously, the grants were renewed annually. The 19 programs remained constant until 1999.

From 1999-2008 funding increased and enabled new HEP projects. Currently, there are 44 HEP programs across the nation.