Wondering how to get a GED? We can help with that! We looked into this recently because we’ve heard from so many readers who are facing similar issues.
There are countless reasons why someone might not finish high school or obtain their GED. Unfortunately, even very entry-level jobs are demanding these credentials. One of our readers, Sierra, said that the most challenging part of her job search is “when you have to have a high school diploma or GED just for a janitor job.”
That’s the bad news – the good news is that it can be surprisingly easy and affordable to go back and get your GED!
Decide: High School Diploma or GED?
Were you close to graduation when you dropped out? If you only need a few credits, you may be able to participate in an adult high school completion program that will grant you an actual high school diploma.
However, if you need a substantial amount of credits in order to finish high school, it may be easier and faster to get a GED.
Ultimately, you have to decide what makes the most sense for you. Are you willing to take a few classes? Would you rather just take a test and get it over with? The choice is yours.
People will tell you that a high school diploma is more prestigious or higher-valued than a GED. This is true in a few select cases but most of the time it doesn’t matter which path you take.
There are obviously exceptions. Some employers and military branches prefer not to hire people with GEDs. For example, the Air Force will only recruit one GED holder for every 99 recruits with a high school diploma or higher-level degree. Very rigid and structured employers, like banking institutions, may prefer a high school diploma as it shows an adherence to rules.
However, in most cases, it doesn’t make a difference to an employer whether you have a GED or high school diploma.
Also, as weird as it sounds, you may be able to get both a high school diploma and a GED. When I was pursuing my diploma, I found out that I only needed a few more credits. I was told to take the GED test, which completed my required credits for a high school diploma. I have both! It’s weird but it worked.
Choose a legitimate, accredited program.
One of the biggest challenges to getting an adult high school diploma or a GED is finding a legitimate, accredited program to enroll in. This is really important because you cannot recover the time or money spent on a fake program.
How to Find Adult High School Diploma Programs
There are several ways that you can find legitimate adult high school programs. If you’re looking for one, the best way to find one in your area is to contact your local K12 schools, community colleges, university extension programs and government-sponsored adult education programs for referrals.
Legitimate high school diploma programs may allow you to obtain a certain number of credits from your work experience and from online classes. However, the rules vary by program so it’s important to look into all your options.
Some of the legitimate adult high school programs we’ve found include:
- National External Diploma Program (available in California, Connecticut, Maryland, New Mexico, New York, Rhode Island, Virginia, Washington DC and West Virginia)
- The Keystone School by Stride K12 is an individualized, self-paced learning experience for students over age 18.
How to Get a GED
It’s easy to get a GED! You simply need to find out when the nearest high school equivalency exam is being held. These tests are always in-person, proctored and closed-book. That means you can’t look in any books for answers.
The easiest way to find out how to get a GED in your area is to reach out to your local community college and state Department of Education. They can tell you what tests are valid in your state and where you can take them.
There are many, many resources claiming to provide an entirely-online GED. These are not legitimate, folks, so please be careful!
Watch out for “how to get a GED” and “adult HS diploma” scams!
This is a BIG deal, guys! I’m a professional researcher and it was difficult for me to weed through all the spammy, dishonest programs that are plastered all over the front page of Google. These companies invest a lot of money in ads and SEO to ensure that they’re the first things you see. They want your money but they won’t give you anything of worth for it.
If you’re wondering how to get a GED or adult HS diploma, please take this step seriously. It’s critically important to find a legitimate, accredited program.
The Federal Trade Commission offers a lot of information on high school diploma scams because they are so abundant.
Watch out for these classic scam signs:
#1: The class is entirely online, with NO classes, NO in-person test and NO interactions with teachers. A legitimate program will offer specific days and times for testing and will not be all on-demand.
#2: You have to pay a flat-fee for the diploma but not the classes. A legitimate program may ask you to pay for testing or classes, but they will never ask you to pay for the diploma itself.
#3: The school promises you a diploma in just days or even hours. Legitimate programs require to you invest time, learn the material and demonstrate competency.
#4: The school promises you a degree for your work or life experience alone. Legitimate programs require you to demonstrate competency in the material.
#4: The program claims to be affiliated with the federal government. Legitimate programs are affiliated with your state, not the federal government.
#5: The high school equivalency diploma test is not the GED, HiSET, TASC or CHSPE. Legitimate programs will only use one of these four tests because they are the only ones approved for use. These test must be administered in person, proctored and closed-book.
Many schools, including Jefferson High School Online and Enterprise High School Online, are fraudulent. They sell worthless certificates for $200-$300 each. These diploma mills are completely bogus. They’re a waste of time and money.
You can always check the legitimacy of a program with the state board of education or the Department of Education. They will be able to verify whether or not a program is actually real.
Make sure the program fits your lifestyle.
When you consider enrollment in a program, be sure that if fits in your lifestyle. There are options that provide classes on weekends, weekday nights or on weekdays. Make sure that you are capable of committing to the schedule and the demands of whatever program you choose.
Of course, it’s easier if you’re trying to figure out how to get a GED. These tests are scheduled frequently throughout the year and usually only require you to commit for a day or two (aside from studying, which you can do on your own time).
Can’t afford it? Here’s how to get a GED for HS Diploma for free or cheap.
If cost is a barrier, there are resources that can help. You can get assistance from local charitable agencies, workforce services and more! If you’re wondering how to get a GED or HS diploma for little or no out-of-pocket expense, contact your local 211 service to see if there are financial assistance programs for GED or adult education in your area.
We have been able to confirm that some participating St. Vincent de Paul parishes can provide financial assistance with GED and High School Diplomas.
You may also be able to receive financial assistance with your GED test fees from:
- Opportunity Resource Services (Texas) can provide an online GED course and payment for up to two GED tests per eligible client.