Looking into college at 25. How can I prove my education?

I've been putting college off for a long time (I'm 25 now). I had always planned on going, but I'm only just now finding my direction and getting my life together. I think I finally see my way through. I've got a lot of questions, and up to now I've had no clue where to ask.

I was home schooled K-12. I graduated and have a physical diploma, framed and on my wall, but no transcripts. The home school covering we used was hit by a tornado in 2012 shortly after I graduated and their records were destroyed. There is proof I completed the material, but it's all controlled by my mom who has never redone the paperwork for it or assembled it into anything legible.

I've been told that I can't go to college or be approved for a grant or funding without my transcripts. Is that true?

I would hate to have to go through the process for a GED after I earned that diploma fair and square, but if that's the only way forward I'll take it. Can you offer any advice for how I can apply to colleges?

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There are many resources and templates available online for formulating homeschool transcripts. Assuming your mom kept all the information about the classes you took each year and the grades you got, she should be able to put a transcript together fairly easily. If she signs the transcript and emails or snail mails it directly to the colleges where you want to apply, it will be considered official. Here are some more guidelines and a downloadable template.