The Difference Between The 21.5 & The 24 Credit Track

Earning your high school diploma opens up plenty of opportunities for you, whether you’re heading off to college or university, joining the military, or jumping right into a career after graduation.  Your goals are out there waiting to be achieved and your dreams are waiting to be reached. Excel High School can help you get there through either of our two diploma tracks.

Each graduation pathway earns you an accredited high school diploma, but the track you take depends on your plans for after graduation. Different states have different requirements for graduation, and Excel High School follows the requirements of our home state, too, and that works for our online students regardless of where they’re residing. Online students have to meet the requirements of the state of origin for their online program, but you can check out what total required credits for a standard diploma are required on a state-by-state basis through the National Center for Education Statistics

Excel offers two options for our standard high school diploma: a diploma that includes 21.5 credits or a diploma track that includes 24 credits. In order for you to decide which pathway you want to take, let’s first take a look at what these two diplomas have in common:

  • • Both offer an accredited diploma that will be accepted wherever you go.
  • • Both require at least 4 credits (8 semesters) of English classes.
  • • Both require 3.5 credits (7 ½ semesters) of Social Studies classes.
  • • Both require a credit of Health (.5) & Fitness (.5) and a credit of Fine Arts. 

Those requirements are pretty standard around the nation, so there’s no real surprise. However, the next thing to compare are the differences between the Standard 21.5 credit diploma and the 24 credit diploma.

The 21.5 credit diploma is perfect if you’re not planning to attend a college or university after high school. If you’ve got a great job opportunity lined up or you’re heading off to serve the country in the military, this is the route to take. 

The 24 credit diploma is the path to take if you plan to attend a college or university. It’s the safe bet for acceptance because you’ll for sure have all the expected requirements covered to move on to your post-secondary academic career. 

What happens if you don’t know what you want to do after high school? Really, it’s up to you. You might want to say, forget it and earn the 21.5 credit diploma, but if you’re looking ahead and considering college in the near future, you might decide that adding a 2 ½ classes is really worth the security of the college-bound option.

Here’s a visual breakdown showing you the specific comparison between the credit breakdowns for each diploma:

Course21.5 credit breakdownSame Credits Required by Both24 credit breakdown
3 – 4
Social Studies3.5
Foreign Language0
4.5 – 5.5

Regardless of your diploma track, you’re sure to get a great education that will prepare you for your next adventure after graduation. So even if you’re not completely sure about what you want to do next, you can feel confident that your EHS diploma has given you a solid academic foundation.

About Excel High School

Excel High School is an accredited online school that offers many different academic program options for students grade 6 through graduation. Our fully online, self-paced programs fit around your schedule, and our support team is here to help you along the way. If you’re not already a student with Excel High School but would like to learn more, feel free to check out our programs on our website. Still got questions? Reach out to us by text at 952-465-3700 or call us at 800-620-3844. Our staff will be happy to answer any questions you have and guide you to the best program for your individual needs.

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