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High School Diploma vs. GED

Last updated August 17, 2023

High School Diploma vs. GED

So you want to go back to school, awesome! There is no better decision you can make than getting your degree. But you want to make sure you make the right choice - go back to high school and get your diploma, or study for the GED?Answer these four questions to determine the best path for yourself when it comes to High School Diploma VS. GED:

How old are you? 

If you are over 18 and still have more than a year of high school to complete, the GED is your best bet. If you are still of high school age, you should look at returning to high school and earning your diploma.

How much of high school have you completed? 

This is a big question when navigating the high school diploma vs. GED. If you have less than two years of high school to complete (and you’re age 19 or younger) you should return to high school and earn your diploma. If you have more than two years of high school remaining and you are older than 19, the GED is your best bet.

What do you want to do next? 

If you see yourself pursuing a college degree of any type (and are of an appropriate age to return to high school), the diploma path is for you. High school better prepares you for college, giving you practice juggling a variety of classes, teaching styles, homework loads, and group projects. The good news is that 95% of US colleges accept the GED instead of a high school diploma (but make sure you check with the institutions you are interested in first). If you are headed into or are already in the workforce and you need a degree for the job you want, the GED credential is your fastest path. Most employers (again - check first) accept the GED in place of a high school diploma.

Image of a student working in a small computer lab or office. They have their back turned away and appear concentrated on their computer screen.

Do you have a particular interest or passion? 

Do you love biology? Find yourself reading non-fiction history? High school is where you should be (and then consider college). In high school, you have the opportunity to explore topics in-depth - both academic and extracurricular. You may discover your inner performer, artist or athlete - and you can only do that in high school. Plus if you have a natural ability - you’re a great writer or math ace - high school gives you opportunities to take advanced courses and show your strengths.

Now what? 

If you think you’re headed back to high school - start by reaching out to the counselor at your local high school. If you’ve determined that the GED is right for you, start by looking for study classes to help prepare you (check out your local library and workforce board). 

The Get Schooled textline is always available to answer any questions on High School Diploma vs. the GED! Send #Hello to 33-55-77 to chat with one of our advisors. If you're using a mobile device, click here to have the text message set up for you!

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