Can You Go To College With A GED?
If you didn’t finish high school but you want to attend college, you’ll find yourself asking this question frequently.
You may think you have no chance of getting into college since you didn’t complete high school, but this is not true.
If you don’t have a high school diploma, you can obtain a GED (General Education Development) to advance your education.
This article provides all available and related information to answer the question “Can you go to college with a GED”.
GED, which stands for general educational development, is often referred to as the graduate equivalency degree or the general education diploma.
If you pass this test, it will demonstrate that you have a high school diploma. With a GED, you’ll find it easier for you to find better-paying employment or to pursue higher education.
Most schools, institutions, and businesses in the United States recognize and accept GEDs but Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, New York, Tennessee, and West Virginia are among the states that don’t offer the GED.
There are four primary test sections for the GED:
- Mathematical Reasoning
- Reasoning Through Language Arts
- Social Studies
The GED exam is made up of all four subject areas combined and it lasts for about an hour.
Each test has a passing grade that applicants must get to pass, so you can take the tests one at a time or all at once.
High school students who are currently enrolled are not eligible to take the test and candidates must be at least 16 years old to qualify.
To prepare for the exam, you can attend local GED programs, take part in live online instruction, use practice exams, study sample questions, and read test previews.
Access to free electronic certificates and transcripts is provided after completing the GED exam.
For the cost of shipping, those who pass are also given one printed certificate, and more certificates and transcripts can be bought.
Can You Go To College With A GED Instead Of A Diploma?
The GED is a high school equivalency credential that can be used to apply for degree programs offered by the majority of colleges and universities or to qualify for employment.
However, some organizations and employers do not recognize GEDs, so you’ll need to confirm their preferences before submitting applications.
Mostly, the GED exam offers a practical substitute for most people, even if receiving a high school diploma is the best way to prepare them for college and/or jobs.
A GED is not equivalent to a high school diploma, but the admissions offices of many institutions frequently accept either GEDs or diplomas as proof of education.
Additionally, the two can be stated combined in the education part of a job application as “High School Diploma/GED” or “High School Diploma or Equivalent”.
You receive a high school diploma if you have completed high school, meaning you took normal or advanced high school courses and earned the necessary grades to graduate.
The fact that you have a GED does not indicate that you have had formal schooling, but it demonstrates that you were able to complete a set of exams including math, science, social studies, reading, and writing to demonstrate that you have the information you were expected to have in high school.
Can You Go To College With A GED?
A GED will allow you to enroll in college, but you might not be able to attend the college of your choice.
There are a relatively small number of colleges and universities that will not accept applicants without either a high school diploma or a home school completion certificate.
But in most schools, if you have a GED rather than traditional high school graduation, you might need to demonstrate your readiness for college-level courses by either by taking the college’s placement test or by providing the school with an adequate ACT or SAT score.
Your performance on a placement test will determine where you will be enrolled in college courses.
Can You Go To Community College With A GED?
You can attend community college if you have a GED because most community colleges follow the open admissions principle.
An open admissions policy, sometimes known as open enrollment, admits any applicant to the college, regardless of GPA, ACT/SAT results, or absence of a high school diploma.
An open admissions institution will admit you as long as you have a diploma, GED, or equivalent.
But apart from these institutions, several colleges will consider applicants without a GED or high school diploma.
Even though all two-year institutions accept students with GEDs, you should look into any potential extra criteria for particular areas of study like submitting your ACT/SAT score or taking a placement test.
So ensure, you check the admissions standards for the college and the program you want to enroll in before enrolling at a community college in your area.
How Do I Know Which Colleges Accept GED?
GED holders are accepted at all two-year community institutions and nearly all state colleges.
There are also several four-year and online universities that accept GED holders, including some Ivy League institutions.
Some popular colleges that accept GED are:
- Colorado State University
- University of Memphis
- University of Cincinnati
- Penn State University
- Purdue Global University
- Point Park University
- University of Michigan
- University of California
- University of North Texas
- University of Maryland
- University of Oregon
But if you find a school you want to attend but are unsure if it accepts GED students, just visit the school’s website’s page on admissions requirements.
You can also try the FAQ area if you can’t locate it under the admissions requirements or send an email to the admissions department contact.
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How Can I Go To College With A GED?
To apply for college admissions with a GED, you can follow the steps below:
Search for your ideal college and check if it’s a school that is affordable, nearby, or online, and provides your desired topic of study.
Once you’ve located it, make sure they accept GED holders by looking at their admissions standards.
To apply to the institutions you’re interested in, fill out the application’s information requests.
Please be aware that a few schools have their application procedures and do not use the Common App.
2. Fill Your FASFA
Filling out the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) should be your first step, especially if you’re looking for a scholarship because most colleges also require it.
Ensure sure you apply as soon as possible because many institutions have limited funding.
The U.S. government contributes more than $120 billion each year to help students pay for their higher education or professional training.
3. Check Admission Requirements
Ensure you confirm that you satisfy all admissions requirements, then start the process of sending in all required documentation.
This process entails filling out an application, sending a copy of your GED transcripts and exam results, as well as presenting identification and residency documentation.
You also have to pay the application fee immediately away if there is one or ask for a fee waiver.
4. College Essay
Incoming college students are typically required to write an essay as part of the admission process, which is also known as a student’s statement.
A couple of hundred words are often the word limit and you should talk about yourself instead of boasting about significant accomplishments.
5. Recommendation Letters
Colleges frequently request two or three reference letters from prospective students. So, you can get in touch with past instructors or guidance counselors and share your GED experience and results with them.
Make an impression on them and request a letter of recommendation, also ask for these letters well in advance of the application deadlines.
6. Check Your Inbox
You should regularly check for any correspondence from the school because although some institutions still utilize postal mail, most of them use email.
Make sure you read everything they send you and send them anything they think you’re missing as soon as you can.
7. Paying For College
The last step is to pay for education after being admitted, so you can start by using any awards or scholarships you’ve been awarded.
The outstanding debt is your responsibility to pay.
What’s My GPA If I Have A GED?
You don’t have a reported GPA if you get your GED rather than completing high school.
But you can check your previous high school transcripts and determine your GPA if you dropped out of high school in the 11th or 12th grade and promptly obtained your GED.
You might not want to use your last-known GPA, though, if you took the GED several years after leaving school or if you weren’t doing well in class when you left.
In situations like these, you can calculate your approximative GPA using your GED scores by following the steps below:
- Look for the scores for each of the five sections, each score will range from 200 to 800.
- Avoid using your percentage score, instead, use your normal score.
- Add up the five points you earned in each section.
- Multiply the total amount by five, to get your average score.
Using your average score as a guide, the following is your approximate GPA:
- 299 or lower – 1.0 GPA
- 300 – 1.5 GPA
- 400 – 2.0 GPA
- 450 – 2.5 GPA
- 500 – 2.9 GPA
- 550 – 3.0 GPA
- 600 – 3.4 GPA
- 650 – 3.5 GPA
- 700 – 3.7 GPA
- 750 – 3.8 GPA
- 800 – 4.0 GPA
Can You Go To Harvard With A GED?
There are no fixed requirements for admission to Harvard, according to the university’s website, which states that they provide attentive, personalized attention to every application received.
You might therefore be eligible to enroll in Harvard as a freshman with just a GED provided your SAT/ACT scores were good enough.
However, your best chance of enrolling at Harvard if you just have a GED is to first enroll in another institution for at least a year or two and then apply to Harvard as a transfer student.
As is typical at most colleges, if you have your associate’s degree and a GED, you can enroll in college.
Scores To Go To College With A GED
Colleges often accept GED holders, but you may be required to submit ACT or SAT results or complete a state-specific college entrance exam like the PERT or the TSI Assessment.
The ACT, SAT, or similar placement test might not be necessary for you to take, though, if you obtain a high GED score.
Scores for the GED subtests range from 100 to 200 and there are four GED scoring tiers.
Below are the four scoring tiers:
- Level 1: 100-144 Below passing score
- Level 2: 145-164 High school equivalency passing score
- Level 3: 165-174 College-ready passing score
- Level 4: 175-200 College-ready plus credit passing score
High School Equivalency GED Score
GED test takers with passing scores between 145 and 164 can also apply to colleges.
But before they can enroll in credit-bearing college programs, they typically need to pass a college placement test such as the SAT, ACT, or a state-specific admission exam and complete remedial coursework.
College-Ready GED Score
The requirement to take a college placement exam like the ACT or SAT may be removed for GED test takers who fall into the level 3 and level 4 categories.
They can typically enroll in college classes without any additional requirements, depending on the school.
Therefore, GED College-Ready results refer to levels 3 and 4.
College-Ready Plus Credit GED Score
A student who performs in the 175-200 range will be given an additional 10 college credits and this can help you save time and money in education.
You’ll typically require 15 credits per semester, so you are successful if you receive 10 credits as a consequence of your GED exam.
Achieving GED test scores in the GED College-Ready with Credits range requires thorough preparation.
Can You Go To College With A GED If You Have Low GED Scores?
To get into college with a low GED score, you might have to submit your SAT or ACT scores. Some states even administer their own state-specific college entrance tests.
Most universities no longer need resumes from incoming students, but with a low GED, you might need it.
Work experience, extracurricular activities, and honors should all be listed on your resume.
Also include information on how you spend your time outside of the classroom, such as your involvement in extracurricular activities, athletics, and family commitments.
Can You Go To College With A GED If You Retake The Test?
If you fail one of the GED exam topics, you are given two extra chances to retake it for free within a year, while some states and testing facilities choose to keep charging fees.
Candidates must wait at least 60 days before taking the test again after failing it three times or more.
Also, after going through an approval process, those who pass the GED subject examinations can retake them to receive higher marks.
Candidates would have to send a brief description of the problem through email to GED Testing Service at firstname.lastname@example.org to obtain additional tests in one or more exam subjects.
Candidates will then get an email with instructions on how to schedule and retake the exam after their request is approved.
So even if you already have a GED credential, you can always retake the GED exam in its entirety or the specific subject tests for which you wish to receive a better grade.
Applying To Go To College With A GED
You should know that several states accept the HiSET instead of the GED, which offers the same opportunities.
Applying to your dream school can be a little frightening, but you can benefit from tutoring if you want to improve your GED results and learn how to write strong application essays.
Some colleges require you to submit letters of recommendation along with an essay, so you would have to arrange your responsibilities related to the college application process and create a to-do list.
You should record the dates for your college applications, just like high school students.
Early choice deadlines for several colleges are typically in November, so you will receive a response more quickly if you apply early decision (ED) than students who submit their applications later.
You might need a duplicate of your GED diploma if it has been a while since you received it.
Early Decision (ED)
Decisions about ED admissions are typically made as early as November or December, but keep in mind that ED acceptances are binding, so if you are accepted, you must enroll at that institution.
Some institutions also provide a second early decision date, known as the ED II, which results in an official acceptance.
Just that ED II admission decisions are typically released as early as February and deadlines are typically in January.
The Early Action (EA) application has a deadline in November or December typically, so you will hear from the school earlier than other applicants, but applying through Early Action doesn’t force acceptance.
You can also decide to submit your application by the institution’s standard decision deadline, which is often January 1.
You will often hear back from them in March or April if you choose to go through this application route.
Students often have until April 30 to determine which school they will attend, but a deposit for enrollment will then be needed.
Then some institutions operate on a rotating admissions basis, these colleges will assess applications as they are received and make admissions decisions continuously.
These colleges will continue to accept applications until all open positions have been filled.
College Application Platforms
There are many platforms used for college applications, but students mostly use the Common App, a website that is approved by more than 750 educational institutions.
You can apply to many universities with the Common App by simply filling it out, but not all institutions like Georgetown University accept the Common App.
The Coalition Application and the Universal College Admission are two other application alternatives, and many colleges and institutions also have their application processes.
Can You Go To College With A GED But You Need Financial Aid?
The financial aid implications should be considered when determining when to apply and how many colleges you wish to go to.
You can choose non-obligatory deadlines like EA and regular decisions, that will let you evaluate the various schools’ financial aid packages.
Verification Of GED Diplomas
By using the dependable Parchment Services, which partners with the GED Testing Service to produce digital GED diploma transcripts, colleges can simply validate the GED diplomas they have received from students and prevent unauthorized admissions.
They exclusively offer digital transcripts that are delivered securely utilizing Blue Ribbon technology, not verbal or other forms of verification.
The GED diplomas are also described and evaluated in these digital, encrypted Smart Transcripts.
Both academic and nonacademic institutions can use Parchment, so you should obtain your credentials through the appropriate method.
Does Having A GED Rather Than A Diploma Decrease Your School Options?
While GEDs are considered equivalent to high school diplomas by most colleges, universities, and employers, some do not accept this credential.
For this reason, having a GED rather than a diploma can somehow decrease your school options.
Prospective students should have no trouble earning associate degrees from community colleges, junior colleges, and technical colleges with or without a GED.
Those who plan to enroll in bachelor’s degree programs may need to submit additional applications and documentation, but many four-year institutions will accept candidates with GEDs.
Because some institutions do not accept GEDs, however, it is important to research each school thoroughly before submitting applications.
Prospective students should also keep in mind that their schools of interest may not accept GEDs awarded by specific states.
Is It Harder To Go To College With A GED?
With a GED, it might occasionally be more challenging to get into college than it is with a high school diploma mostly four-year universities that face intense competition.
The procedure will largely be determined by academic norms and rules, particularly those set by Ivy League universities.
For admission to many community colleges, junior colleges, and technical colleges, high school diplomas or GEDs are not necessary.
They mostly accept pupils if they are at least 18 years old, so this makes it simple to obtain associate degrees, which can show that one is capable of handling college-level coursework and may open up more job prospects.
Although many also accept GEDs, traditional four-year universities normally require applicants to have a high school diploma.
The GED does not have a grade point average (GPA), thus they may not treat it exactly like a high school diploma.
Each college and university will uniquely approach this discrepancy, with some seeking additional application information and paperwork.
Even though there might be a few more stages, applicants with GEDs should find the application procedure to be fairly comparable to that of applicants with high school diplomas.
Can You Go To College Without A GED Or High School Diploma?
It’s possible to enroll in college without a high school diploma or GED, although you will find it more challenging, it’s still possible for you to attend college.
As long as they pass the placement exams, many trade schools and certain community colleges accept students without any sort of high school equivalency diploma.
However, if you’re enrolling in a college without having received any sort of high school equivalency, you should schedule a meeting with an adviser or an admissions counselor early in the semester to discuss any additional coursework you would need to complete to receive your degree.
Some two-year institutions permit students to enroll in college and take courses for college credit, but they won’t grant them a degree until after the students have taken and successfully passed the GED exams.
If you don’t have a diploma or GED, you also won’t be qualified for federal Pell Grants or loans.
You must possess a diploma, GED, or home school certificate to prove you’re qualified to pursue a college or career school education to be eligible for federal financial aid.
Studying for and passing the GED before enrolling in college can be the greatest thing you can do for your financial situation and yourself.
There won’t be as many hoops for you to jump through to get accepted, and you might also be qualified for financial aid.
Can You Go To College With A GED? – Summary
Yes, you can. Don’t let your lack of high school graduation prevent you from pursuing your aspirations of attending a university.
If you’re ready to put in the effort, you can attend a major, prestigious university, take online courses, or stay close to home using only your GED.
Most institutions have a straightforward process for applying for admission, and you may complete it quickly and easily online.
What Is The Highest Paying Job With A GED?
- Dental assistant.
- Sheet metal worker.
- Private investigator.
- Boiler mechanic.
- Power plant operator.
- Mail carrier.
Is It Harder To Get A Job With A GED?
You’ll find chances in every area because more firms now need a high school diploma or an equivalent credential like the GED.
73% of all employment, according to the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics, at the very least requires a diploma or GED, so earning a GED increases your work prospects.
Is It Difficult To Pass The GED Test?
It is difficult to both study for and passes the GED exam because it requires commitment and effort. You shouldn’t have any trouble passing this exam if you manage your time well and put in the effort.
Can I Get Into Med School With A GED?
Yes, they will let you enroll in almost any U.S. medical school if you did well in both community college and a four-year college or university.
Is The GED Or SAT Harder?
Some people believe that the GED is slightly simpler than the SAT or ACT, but passing the GED and getting scores in the college-readiness level is quite difficult, particularly for individuals who traditionally had poor grades in high school and dropped out early.
What Is The Hardest GED Test?
Generally speaking, we can state that out of the four GED modules, most GED students find Mathematics to be the most difficult and demanding.
Additionally, it might not be a good idea to start with the most difficult GED subject to gain confidence and become accustomed to the exam style.
Can You Pass The GED If You Fail Math?
Even if you receive a score of 580 or higher overall but only receive a passing grade on three out of the four subject examinations, you will not be declared a GED success.
The failed subject test must be taken again until you receive a passing score of 145.
What Math Is On The GED?
Your aptitude for fundamental math, geometry, algebra, graphs, and functions will be tested in the math part.
You’ll feel confident that you can succeed once you’ve spent enough time studying each of these topics.
Can You Get A High School Diploma After Getting A GED?
In most places, you can continue to enroll in high school if you have a GED and are under 21 years old. By enrolling in an official online high school program or attending an adult school, older students with a GED can also earn their high school diploma.
How Long Does It Take To Get A GED?
It usually takes three months, but depending on how well you studied for the test, it can go more quickly. Check out the detailed procedure you must adhere to successfully obtain your GED.
Having a GED rather than a high school diploma doesn’t stop you from applying to a college because GED College-Ready scores are recognized by a large number of institutions and universities.
To help you properly prepare for the test, answer the questions correctly, and improve your skills, you can find local preparatory programs.
You can study for your formal adult education degree during the day or at night, by taking GED test preparation courses online.
People with a GED have stronger employment prospects than those without a high school diploma or an equivalent.
You can benefit even more than the typical high school graduate if you put some effort into studying for the GED and earn the GED College-Ready Plus Credit score.