Online High School Diploma vs. GED

Individuals who wish to earn their high school credential can either take the GED tests or enroll in an online high school to earn their diploma. Comparing these options and the benefits they provide can give you a better idea of which one is best for you.

There are many reasons why some people are unable to complete high school and get their diploma. Some may have been forced, by circumstances beyond their control, to leave high school to help the family financially, while others may have put their secondary education on hold to pursue a career in athletics or the arts. Still, others may have suffered health issues or chosen to remove themselves from an oppressive situation brought on by bullies. However, the fact remains that obtaining educational credentials do count for a lot especially if you want better chances at advancing your career.

The good news is it’s never too late to earn a high school diploma. In fact, you don’t even have to be a teenager to do so. There are two options available for those who wish to prove their academic ability, whether it’s to help them obtain a college degree or get better jobs: take the GED test or get an online high school diploma.
But what are the differences between these options? The information provided below may help you make an informed decision.


Who is eligible to take the GED? Who can earn an online high school diploma? What are the requirements for both? First of all, the GED or General Educational Development tests are for individuals who are at least 16 years old and not currently enrolled in high school or have already finished high school. On the other hand, anyone, regardless of age, can earn an online high school diploma. This can be the ideal choice for people who are high school age and find themselves looking for an alternative to the traditional high school setting. It is also a viable option for adult learners who need flexibility to fit their studies into their busy schedules, whether with work or families or other issues that might hinder their ability to attend traditional high schools.

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Earning the Credentials

The GED tests subjects such as Language Arts (Reading), Language Arts (Writing), Math, Science, and Social Studies. It takes about seven hours to complete. Recently, the GED Testing Service has decided to lower the passing score for its high-school-equivalency exam from150 to 145 out of 200. Meanwhile, you can earn an online high school diploma by completing the required amount of credited units, making it more rigid, more demanding in terms of time and effort to prepare for and take tests, complete homework and participate in class discussions. This does not make the battery of GED tests an easier option. It can be quite a challenge – in fact, GED pass rates have declined significantly after Pearson and the American Council on Education, the makers of the test, released a more difficult version in January 2014 to reflect the Common Core State Standards.

Getting into College

Many community colleges regard the GED certificate as equal to the high school diploma and accept students with this credential. However, it is also true that some post-secondary institutions still consider a high school diploma more ideal. If you have your heart set on getting into a particular college or university, you might want to first check their admissions requirements.

Gaining Employment

There’s no denying that employers are inundated with job applications each year making for a competitive environment. Naturally, businesses will be drawn to candidates who have worked hard towards completing their education, whether it’s through getting a GED or earning a diploma. Unfortunately, there are some employers who do not consider a GED as good as a diploma. It is not all bad news, however, since this can be balanced by going on to obtain a college degree after which how you obtained your high school credentials becomes less of a concern.

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