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Can You Go to College with a GED?

November 12, 2019

Some people think that colleges will reject them if they have a GED instead of a high school diploma, but is that true? Can you go to college with a GED? Yes, you can! There are many, many colleges you can apply to. In fact, 98% of colleges accept applicants with a GED. Once you get in, you can earn your degree and progress towards a great career. Use the tips below before you start sending out applications.

Does a GED Affect College Acceptance? 

You may be wondering if your application will get overlooked if you have a GED rather than a high school diploma. 

Nearly all colleges in the US accept the GED as well as many universities around the world. The GED is widely recognized. In fact, there are over 20 million GED graduates and counting. GED graduates that earn the College Ready score levels may even be eligible to bypass placement testing and earn college credit for classes related to the test subjects. 

Tips for Applicants

If you have, or are working towards, your GED and want to apply to college one day, these are a few pointers that might give you an extra boost at the admissions office:

  • Volunteer in your community and get references from those you volunteered with
  • Work hard for an employer, get valuable experience, and show it on your applications
  • Take a college entrance exam like the SAT or ACT and do well on it. (College entrance exams are standardized tests that measure how ready you are for college-level work).
  • Get really great letters of recommendation (which means you need to work hard helping others and showing that you’re responsible). These letters highlight your positive personal and academic qualities and why you would be successful in college. 

Applying to more than one college increases your chances of being accepted. Make sure you fulfill their application requirements and check if they have an alternate form or method to submit your GED scores. With any college you apply to, be sure you to triple-check that you fill out each application correctly. Finally, show off your other accomplishments besides your GED including any of those mentioned above.


What Types of Colleges Accept GEDs?

There are no shortages of colleges that accept applicants with GEDs. Here are the three major types of colleges and some tips on how to apply to them with a GED: 

1. Community, Junior, and Technical Colleges

These colleges may accept applicants who don’t have a high school diploma or GED at all! Attending can give you a great start in college, because you can: 

  • Get experience taking college-level classes
  • Take classes to earn your GED (if you haven’t completed your testing) 
  • Complete your general education requirements
  • Learn job skills
  • Earn an associate’s degree or a skill certification
  • Build a solid GPA (grade point average) that can help you get into a bachelor’s degree program later

2. Online Colleges

Before applying to an online college, do some research and find out if the college is officially accredited, which means that a major outside organization has reviewed and validated their academic practices. A degree from an accredited college is valuable, but degrees from unaccredited colleges usually are not. You can search this national database to find out if a college is accredited:

3. Four-Year Traditional Colleges

Can you go to a traditional college with a GED? Most colleges and universities accept GEDs, but a small number do not. Here are some things to look for before applying:

  • Check colleges’ websites and materials to see if they mention accepting applicants with GEDs
  • Check if accepted GEDs must be from the same state as the college
  • If so, earn your GED in the same state as the college(s) you want to attend, or apply only to colleges in your home state

If you have a account you can see more tips on applying to college, interview help, and salary guides. 

So can you go to college with a GED? Yes, you can get in and eventually earn the degree or certificate you want. Use the tips above. Decide on the type of college experience that’s right for you, and plan out the colleges you should apply to. 

If you keep going after your dream, you can eventually reach it, just like millions of other GED graduates!


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