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The GED is a test that can prove you have more smarts and
skills—and yeah, more incentive, too—than 40% of graduating high school
seniors. It‘ a seven-hour test covering Social Studies, Science, Math, Language
Arts, and Writing…pretty much everything covered in high school (minus sex ed,
gym, and complicated between-class hallway rules).
Passing the test means you’ve earned a GED certification
which is looked at by many schools and employers as an equivalent to a high
school diploma. So, the bright side is that you have the chance to earn an
equivalent certification in seven hours instead of four years. Quite the
There are a few cons here.
Lots of employers(including Uncle Sam) and schools don’t look at the GED as equivalent to a
diploma and raise the admissions or hiring standards for GED holders because
they haven’t earned a four-year diploma. Again, not really fair.
Combine thatwith the con that even though they earn more than folks without a diploma, GED
holders still earn significantly less than high school grads, unless they go on
to higher education. But remember, sometimes those places of higher education
require that diploma so…
You left high school a long time ago and don’t have the option to return to earn your diploma.
A diploma means you did it. You successfully sat through all
those classes, passed the tests (at least most of them), and survived freshman
hazing, sophomore malaise, an overloaded junior year, and senioritis. A diploma
is your ticket to higher wages and is a key credential for applying to jobs or
This diploma, this seemingly thin, letter-sized piece of paper (usually not parchment—sorry), is the baseline for pursuing highereducation or getting a job. Colleges and employers are going to look at a high
school diploma and know that you had the smarts and persistence to stick with
high school for four years.
For those who like money, having a diploma is going to earn you an average of ten grand more per year than someone who didn’tfinish high school. On that note, if you do stay in high school, you may want
to go ahead and take that Financial Intelligence elective.
Four years can seem like an eternity, especially when viewed
from the back of the Geometry classroom. It’s a whole lot of work to earn a
You want to up your chances of earning a decent salary,
getting a better job, joining the military, or getting into just about any type
"A high school diploma is not something you’ll regret. If nothing else, it’ll look nice on your wall."