GED vs High School Diploma

How do you know if getting a high school diploma or a GED is the right choice for you? A diploma doesn't make you smarter than someone with a GED. A diploma takes years to get and a GED can be received after preparing for and taking a battery of tests in a single day. So, which is the right for you?

Here are some facts about high school diplomas and the GED that may help you decide:

GED - students who take the GED exams can not be enrolled in or graduated from high school, must be over the age of sixteen, and must meet other state requirements.
Diploma - Laws vary from state to state, but most schools will allow students to work on completing their high school diploma at a traditional public school for 1-3 years after they turn eighteen. Special community schools and other programs often provide older students the opportunity to complete their work.

GED-The GED is awarded when a student passes a series of tests in five academic subjects. In order to pass the each test, the student must score higher than 60% of the sample set of graduating seniors. Most people who take the GED exams spend a great deal of time preparing for them.
Diploma-In order to receive a diploma, students must complete coursework as dictated by their school district. Curriculum varies from district to district.

Length of Study
GED-Students aren't required to take traditional courses in order to earn their GED. The exams take several hours to take. Students may take preparation courses in order to get ready for the exams, but they aren't required to do so.
Diploma-Students generally take four years to complete their diploma.

Reception from Employers
GED-The majority of employers will consider a GED score as comparable to an actual diploma. If a student continues school and receives a college degree, his employer will probably not even consider how he completed his high school education.
Diploma-Employees with diplomas may earn significantly more than those without. Students who wish to advance in their place of employment may find it necessary to receive a college degree.

Reception at College
GED-Most community colleges admit students who have received a GED. Individual universities have their own policies. Most universities will see a traditional diploma as superior to a GED.
Diploma-Most students admitted to colleges have earned a high school diploma. However, a diploma doesn't guarantee acceptance. Factors such as grade point average, coursework, and extracurricular activities are, also, taken in to consideration.

Take the time to research the GED and a high school diploma. Weigh the pros and cons of each and make a decision only after you have given both of them serious thought.

High Schools Elementary Schools

Data on U.S. Public High Schools & Private High Schools

Data provided by the National Center for Education Statistics. The data displayed is compiled from the most recent sources available. For public schools this is the 2012-2013 school year. For private schools this is the 2011-2012 school year.

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