Why Take The GED When You Can Get Your Diploma Instead?

Many adults who didn’t finish high school believe that the GED® is their only option, but that’s not true. Adult have plenty of options to earn their high school diploma, including online, self-paced courses through an Adult Fast-track program from an accredited school like Excel High School. You can earn your high school diploma in a matter of months, depending on how many credits you have and how quickly you can work through your courses. 

So why would an adult choose to earn their high school diploma through an online program instead of taking the GED®? There are actually quite a few good reasons.

Educational Experience

The first main reason is that the GED® doesn’t give students the educational experience that a high school diploma does, and both colleges and potential employers know that to be true. The GED® is preparing you for the test; it’s not teaching you the variety of information and skills that taking high school classes exposes you to.  If you are wanting to take the GED® to move on to college, you might have a bit of catching up to do once you’re in the for-credit college courses. 

When you start classes in college with a GED®, you might have to take some basic level courses for which you don’t earn credits, but you still have to pay for. That cost can really add up. With the average cost of a single college credit course at $636, and each course usually having three credits, that’s an average of $1,908 for each basic level course that you end up paying for without earning credits because you skipped the high school diploma track and took the GED®.

Additionally, some schools require that you earn higher ACT or SAT scores to pass admissions standards if you’ve taken the GED®. Without the background knowledge that high school courses offer you, earning the higher scores on those standardized tests can be difficult. Others require that you do volunteer service or work with an on-campus tutor a certain number of hours each week to show that you can make it through the classes. That time adds up when you’re an adult who might be juggling school, a job, and a family.

If you earn your high school diploma, the requirements are clear, and you take a variety of classes to prepare you for college or work life. Because EHS is an accredited school, you won’t have to take any of the remedial courses before you start earning credits in the college of your choice. In fact, a diploma from Excel gives you the foundational courses to start right in on credit-bearing college courses as soon as you graduate. One additional way that a high school diploma prepares you for college is that you get practice at completing classwork on time, taking notes, writing essays, and studying and passing routine exams. This practice is essential for success in college courses.

Testing Requirements

With the GED®, you have to pass each of four parts of the exam: Mathematics, Language Arts Reading, Language Arts Writing, Social Studies, and Science. You take the exam either at a testing center or, if your state allows it, with a proctor online in a private area of your own home.

Standardized test form with answers bubbled in.

According to the GED®, the mathematics portion of the test covers basic math, geometry, basic algebra, plus graphs and functions.

The Language Arts Reading and Writing test is more expansive and asks you to do the following:

  • Interpret the basic meaning and purpose of a fiction or nonfiction passage
  • Apply concepts in one passage to another passage
  • Analyze concepts in a passage
  • Make inferences and draw conclusions
  • Identify the arguments in one or more passages and draw conclusions about them
  • Answer questions about writing in regard to organization, sentence structure, usage, and mechanics
  • Write an essay with focused main points, clear organization, developed ideas, a variety of sentence structures and control over grammar, usage, and mechanics.

The social studies test covers reading and interpreting the meaning of social studies texts, analyzing historical events and arguments in social studies, and showing that you can analyze and interpret numbers and graphs in social studies texts.

The Science portion of the GED® covers being able to read and interpret science texts, having the ability to design and interpret science experiments based on hypothetical situations, and being able to demonstrate that you can read and interpret numbers and graphs used in science.

That’s a lot of information riding on four tests and even the best student can struggle with such a rigorous exam routine. Another downside to this type of testing is that it costs money every time you take the test. Since there’s no guarantee you will pass the test, this could end up costing quite a bit more than you might initially estimate. Lastly, no matter what anyone tells you, there is also the stigma that comes with having a GED® instead of your high school diploma. There’s just no denying it – A high school diploma will look better on your resume than a GED®.

Work At Your Own Pace

With an online high school diploma from Excel, you work through the courses on your own time and around your own schedule. You have up to 12 months to complete any of your courses once they’ve been assigned to you, but you can earn credits for your classes as soon as you’ve finished the coursework and have passed the final exam. The more quickly you pass the coursework, the sooner you earn your diploma. 

Another benefit of the high school diploma is that you have an instructor for asking questions. Because you can reach out to an instructor, you can make sure you’re understanding the work before you move on. In fact, you have 2 opportunities to take quizzes, exams, and re-write essays, and you can use your notes on any of your tests, including the final exam. As long as your notes are solid, you should be able to approach your courses with confidence. 

Because you can transfer up to 75% of our graduation requirements from classes you’ve already passed at another school, you could end up only having to take the minimum of 6 classes (1 English, 1 math, 1 science, 1 social studies, + 2 electives) before earning your diploma. And since adults can take their final exams as soon as they’ve finished all of the other coursework, using your notes on quizzes and exams, you could be done before you know it. There is no guesswork. You know right away if you’ve passed, so each passing grade is a great motivator to keep moving forward.

On top of all that, there are no hidden costs with our online high school diploma either. You know ahead of time the most that you’ll pay to earn your diploma, and the more quickly you earn all your credits, the less you’ll pay. Our program is $99.90 a month for up to 10 months; however, if you finish in three months, you’ll only pay for those three months. If it takes you longer than ten months, that’s okay! You’ll be paid in full but can continue to take classes until you’ve earned your credits. Just remember: because you can transfer your credits from a previous accredited school, you could be done in a matter of months.

If you’re interested in more information about Excel High School’s Adult Fast-track diploma, you can call us at 800-620-3844 or text us at 952-465-3700. We’ll be happy to answer any questions to help you make the best choice for your future. Enrollment is 100% online and easy, so if you’re ready to get started earning your high school diploma, check out our online enrollment today.

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