Understanding the GED Diploma

  • Most colleges and employers in the U.S. accept applicants with a GED diploma.
  • Before applying, it’s essential to confirm that the chosen school recognizes the GED diploma, as a few may not.
  • Over 20 million individuals have successfully earned a GED certificate.
  • The GED test is offered in approximately 90 countries, including the United States.

Attaining a GED diploma, sometimes referred to as a GED certificate, can lead to a higher salary compared to individuals without a high school education credential. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2020, individuals with either a high school diploma or a GED diploma earned a median annual salary of $39,070, while those without these credentials made $27,510 annually. Since its inception in 1942, more than 20 million people have earned a GED diploma, and these graduates have found success in various sectors, including sales, entertainment, and science. Read more

Why GED Diploma Matters 

The GED program, developed by the U.S. Department of Defense and the American Council on Education during World War II, addressed the challenge of young men being drafted for overseas service before completing high school. Upon passing the GED test, states confer a GED diploma, recognizing that holders have achieved the equivalent of a high school education. The comprehensive test covers four subjects—math, language arts, science, and social studies—and typically takes about 7.5 hours to complete.

Similar to a high school diploma, the GED certificate provides various opportunities. GED diploma-holders can apply to colleges, including community colleges and four-year universities, or enroll in other training programs. Alternatively, some GED diploma-holders opt to enter the workforce immediately. Earning a GED certificate enhances job prospects in diverse fields such as administration, community and social services, healthcare, sales, and transportation.

Can You Go to College With a GED Diploma?

Individuals holding a GED certificate can pursue both undergraduate and advanced degrees. GED diploma-holders have the option to attend a community college to obtain an in-demand associate degree or apply directly to a four-year institution. Most U.S. colleges, including prestigious Ivy League schools like Harvard and Yale, accept the GED certificate just as they do a high school diploma. GED diploma-holders can apply either as first-year applicants or as transfer students, particularly if they have already earned some college credits. It’s important to note that the college application processes can vary among institutions.

Colleges typically seek assurance that applicants can successfully complete advanced education. Certain schools and competitive programs, such as those preparing students for nursing careers, may require a minimum GED test score or some prior college credit. In some cases, institutions may mandate additional placement tests for GED diploma-holders. It’s worth noting that a small percentage of schools may not accept the GED diploma at all.

What Colleges Accept the GED Diploma?

According to the GED Testing Service, almost 98% of U.S. colleges acknowledge the GED certificate. This broad acceptance extends to community colleges, vocational schools, private universities, and public universities. Individuals with a GED certificate can pursue college studies either online or in-person. However, it’s crucial to note that each educational institution and program may have distinct admission requirements. Prospective applicants are advised to conduct thorough research to identify specific prerequisites and any supplementary materials necessary for the application process. Some programs might require placement tests as part of their admission criteria.

Both first-year applicants and transfer students holding GED certificates are generally accepted by most public and private schools. Once admitted, students can then prepare for their careers after completing their college education.

Can I earn my GED diploma online?

Yes. Students can take the Online Proctored GED Test. The test is taken remotely under the supervision of an online proctor. Online testing remains available since the COVID-19 pandemic has affected many in-person testing sites. The applicants must live in participating states and earn a Green score after completing a GED practice test.