Some people do not graduate from high school at the traditional time. This is due to various reasons such as difficulties with finances, early parenthood, older siblings taking care of the family, or another obstacle to attending school. For those who want to earn a high school diploma for adults later, there are alternatives like the General Education Development Program (GED) and Occupational Diploma.
Despite the availability of alternatives, a traditional high school diploma is the best way to guarantee access to better opportunities for adults who failed to graduate from high school. A high school diploma is regarded highly by employers and universities as it signifies its holders are disciplined and persistent enough to follow through with their high school educational obligations and may become stellar employees or students when given a chance.
There are some small differences between a high school diploma and GED, and reasons why a high school diploma for adults is better than a GED.
What is the Difference Between a High School Diploma for Adults and a GED?
A high school diploma is a traditionally recognized proof of competency in high school education in the US and other countries worldwide.
To earn a high school diploma, students must go through 13 years of school, from kindergarten to high school. They’ll then need to pass the required exams to graduate with a high school diploma.
Some high schools offer adults a high school diploma. This is for adults who failed to graduate and want to earn a high school diploma instead of a GED.
The GED only came about as a government intervention to help veterans who were yet to graduate from high school and needed to prove their high school level education competency. Some veterans had joined the military before earning high school diplomas.
To earn a GED, candidates must be more than 18 years old, not enrolled in high school, and pass assessments in these four areas:
- Mathematical Reasoning
- Social Studies
- Language Arts
Despite the two being considered equal qualifications, a high school diploma is better than a GED. It’s highly regarded by employers and universities.
The following are some reasons to obtain a high school diploma for adults instead of a GED:
Access to More Clients
While the GED and high school diploma are generally regarded as the same, some clients do not agree. Some consider GED holders as individuals who could not persevere through high school to earn a diploma and similarly cannot be expected to put up with the pressure of a job.
A high school education offers more opportunities to develop professionally than the GED. Traditional high schools have learners work in teams, choose elective subjects, and participate in clubs and organizations. These experiences offer a well-rounded approach to working with others and dealing with challenges.
High school diploma holders are more likely to earn a higher wage than GED holders and dropouts. They are eligible to work in professional roles which pay more, while GED holders and dropouts make do with labor-intensive jobs which pay relatively less.
Similarly, high school diploma holders can always upgrade their educational and professional qualifications warranting higher salaries. GED holders and dropouts face challenges when upgrading their educational qualifications. In some instances, they remain on the same pay scale without the possibility of a salary increment.
GED holders and dropouts may not easily upgrade their educational and professional qualifications as some universities and organizations do not hold the GED in high regard.
It is Free
To earn a high school diploma, eligible candidates are required to show up, learn, and take tests. With enough effort and commitment, a student will graduate with a high school diploma.
With the GED, candidates must pay for the test, training materials, or a tutor. Candidates also must pay for additional tests if they fail any test subject.
It used to be a rule that when test-takers failed a subject on the GED, they could still pass if they did well enough to compensate for it on the other subjects. Current rules state that test-takers are required to pass all the GED subjects. They won’t be allowed to compensate for failed subjects with better grades in others.
Chance To Earn Industry Training and Certification
Some high schools offer students opportunities to earn college credit or even get industry training while still in school. In some areas, high school students can enroll in credit-eligible courses which could be transferred to future college coursework.
High school diploma holders are more likely to be accepted by many universities in the US and abroad. Students who had the chance to earn college credit in high school can transfer eligible credits to their college coursework.
As a result, they may be exempt from taking some courses since they have fulfilled the course’s credit requirements and may be enrolled as juniors or sophomores without taking extra classes.
With a GED, it can be more challenging to secure college admission. Even when GED holders get into college, they may be required to complete courses without credit. This will eat into their time and money which could be used elsewhere.
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Lenora Shain has been interested in business since she was a little girl. Finding ways to earn money and improve operations has spurred many creative ventures. She now lives in Milwaukee with her two dogs who escort her on many adventures at home and abroad.