GED vs. High School Diploma

2016+Bijou+Graduation%2C+Ryan+Husser
2016 Bijou Graduation, Ryan Husser

2016 Bijou Graduation, Ryan Husser

2016 Bijou Graduation, Ryan Husser

Autumn McCoy, Co-Editor

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A GED (General Educational Development), or as some people have thought of it is the “Good Enough Diploma”, is always thought to be thought lower of than the High School diploma. Most people will say that jobs and colleges will look down on the GED and won’t hire someone if they have one. The truth is that both are certificates of the same value to most employers and colleges.

Some of the disadvantages are that many employers that don’t consider the GED  the same as a High School Diploma.  The employers often raise the hiring standards for applicants who have a GED.  They may require addition years of work experience or better references.

People with a GED make less money than someone with a High school diploma, unless they pursue a higher education. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, “High school graduates earn, on average, about $1,600 a month more than those people with a GED”. Going through school to get a high school diploma prepares the student for academic readiness for college.  National Bureau of Economic Research says that, “Less than 5% of those with a GED receive a Bachelor’s degree, compared to the 33% of those with high school diplomas that do (U.S. Census Bureau), which is supported by several studies showing that high school graduates are more prepared for college and score higher on placement tests than holders of the GED.”

While the GED test only takes 7 hours to fully complete, the High school diploma takes four years.  Overall the High school diploma is better, because of students gain more experience academically and in managing relationships. According to the Colorado Department of Education, there were 10,530(2.3%) dropouts in the year of 2015-2016. Colorado School District 2 and 11 had the highest rate of dropping out in the year 2014-2o15. Over the past four years, the dropout rates have decreased by .2%. It may not seem like a lot but looking at the number of students that is at least a thousand people that graduated instead of dropping out.

Most people who take the GED state that it is immensely harder than a high school diploma, because it requires four years of high school knowledge that must be shown in one test.   Local Districts 12 and 20 analyzed data that shows that building stronger relationships between teachers/ staff members decreases the number of students who drop out. “We have established some criteria for looking at kids who might be at risk, so early on in their high school career we hook those kids up with teacher mentors or counselors to ensure that they are on the right path which is ultimately graduation,” said District 20 Assistant Superintendent of Learning Services, Dr. Susan Field. Also on the Colorado Department of Education website was information about District 11 schools who are planning to use this method and hope it will reduce the number of drop out students.

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