High School Education: Is the GED Better than a High School Diploma?

We already know that there are different ways we could go to college without finishing high school, one of which is getting a GED or a General Educational Development certificate. Created for individuals who didn’t get their high school diploma for various reasons, the GED allows any person to finally enroll in higher education just by taking the test. This way, more people are given opportunities to extend their career prospects and eventually be successful in a niche of their choosing.

For those who are quick on the uptake, they would tend to think of one additional benefit of the GED: one doesn’t need to go to high school anymore! Provided that one could pass the GED tests, one might think that this could translate to a whole lot of savings (e.g. tuition fees, school materials, gas, etc.), not to mention the degree of freedom and flexibility that this could bring to an adolescent kid. Is a traditional high school worth it?

The Benefits of GED

Developed by the American Council on Education, the GED tests were designed to evaluate the competencies of individuals in five subjects: Language Arts: Writing, Language Arts: Reading, Social Studies, Science, and Mathematics. Test takers pass the exam if they get a result which is higher than the 60th percentile of scores of the seniors for that year. It was first developed to cater to the needs of World War II veterans, and has expanded to accommodate the needs of any individual who didn’t get to finish high school.

Given this, one can actually go the route of home schooling to finish all the educational requirements prior to higher education. This in turn, leads to a dozen different opportunities for children to expand their knowledge without being restricted by a traditional high school. Kids could choose what to learn and how to learn it, although mindful that they should tackle the topics that would require them to pass the GED tests. Parents also save more, and given the economic recession, this idea is not that far-fetched.

Why a High School Diploma Matters

On the other side of the coin, high school is the default level of schooling for adolescents and is designed to prepare them for higher learning. Secondary education differs from country to country, but all are similar in the sense that high school education takes time. This has lots of benefits though, one of which is the cultivation of social networks, i.e. friends, and the actual act of socializing with other people. Though there are ways to do that in a home school situation, it’s still easier to forge friendships within a traditional high school. Another benefit is that you pay the premium of having experts teach your kids with the basic foundations of different fields of study. Though there will be variations in the standards of each school, the principle is still the same. Lastly, the years of high school education becomes valuable to those who went through it, a time in which many still cherish in their old age.

High School Diploma, GED, and Everything in Between

To answer the question, we could only say that the high school diploma and the GED are meant for different things and addresses different concerns – both have their uses. If, for example, you’re a 45-year old business owner who didn’t finish high school, one wouldn’t even recommend that he enroll in a high school. (An online high school may be different matter though) For a child who has no special learning needs or can otherwise study in a normal school environment, then taking the GED might not be always the best choice. Our take on this is, just be mindful on the benefits of each and decide from that point on.

One Response to “High School Education: Is the GED Better than a High School Diploma?”

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