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Pros and cons of starting college with no diploma vs. a High School Equivalency (HSET-new GED) vs. a DIPLOMA Plus

Pros & Cons of a GED (HSET) Versus a High School Diploma

Pros & Cons of a GED Versus a High School Diploma

By Tammy Domeier, eHow Contributor

The General Educational Development test was created during World War II to allow veterans to obtain an educational standing that would be equivalent to a high school diploma. A GED test consists of five parts: reading, writing, social studies, science and math. Although the GED was originally intended to be equivalent to a high school diploma, employers, the military, and some colleges do not view a GED and a high school diploma as equivalent Life circumstances often force students to leave school early. With the GED, students can continue their education without the restrictions and extraneous classes that often accompany attending a traditional high school. Students with a GED who are able to hold down jobs often gain a sense of responsibility and freedom that traditional students do not have. Students who are bored in high school can use the GED to test out of classes and use the extra time to develop a work history

 Higher Education

Many GED holders continue to community college before earning a four-year degree. Once students have proven themselves by taking college courses, admission to four-year universities becomes easier. Depending on the individual college, a GED holder may be required to take additional tests, such as the SAT or ACT, to determine a GED holder’s specific knowledge.


Most entry-level jobs accept either a high school diploma or GED; however, many employers may question why an individual chose to get a GED over a high school diploma. Each employer will respond differently to a candidate with a GED instead of high school diploma, and some employers will not have a preference for one or the other. However, a candidate who chooses to get a GED or who got a GED due to necessity will usually appear more favorably to an employer than a candidate who dropped out of high school without a good cause.

The military often prefers applicants with high school diplomas.


The Air Force requires a minimum qualifying score of 65 on the ASVAB for GED holders. GED holders must wait for openings to become available in the Air Force, as less than 1 percent of enlisted individuals are GED holders during any one-year period. However, if you have 15 or more semester hours of college credits, you will have the same eligibility as a high school graduate. According to the US Army Info Site, when the army does accept GED holders, it requires a minimum ASVAB score of 50. GED holders in the army are not eligible for bonuses unless you have 15 credit hours of college.

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3 types of adult school diplomas

North Valley Service Area Schools have three ways for you to earn the High School Diploma. All three options require passing the California High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE).

Option #1: Completion of 34 courses (170 credits) in the subject areas of English, Social Sciences, Science, Mathematics, and electives. Some courses are required, such as Expository Composition, Algebra, Computer Foundations, World and U.S. History, and Government. The Counseling staff can review your transcripts to assign course credit towards the diploma.

Option #2: Completion of 10 courses (50 credits) in specified subject areas, along with passage of the HSET (which is replacing the GED come January 2015).

Option #3: Completion of 14 courses (70 credits) in specified subject areas, along with passage of the Tests of General Educational Development (GED) in Spanish. (It is uncertain if this option will be available with the new HSETt exam).

More Specifics on Option 2 stated above.

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Sample HiSET questions and link to HiSET website

Register on the website for free and take a practice test to see you how you do.

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