GED vs. HS diploma

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by pepperidge, Oct 25, 2011.

  1. pepperidge

    pepperidge New Member


    Question: If you get a GED instead of a diploma what difference might it make? My oldest hates school, has always hated it, and it is going to be a major PITA to get him graduated. I'm not sure if he dropped out whether he would get a GED even, maybe not right away, but I don't know what difference it would make to his future. This is a kid who if he goes to college, would only ever go to community college to get a certificate in something like welding. I presume the community college would accept him if he got a GED?

    Sad part is he only has about a two semesters at most of work to do to get his diploma. Sigh.
  2. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Truthfully I don't think it makes any measurable difference. I was heartbroken when difficult child didn't get a diploma because he had huge potential for future achievement but I know people who got GED's and have not only done well in college they have done well in life. I guess it's pretty much what you make it. on the other hand I do suggest making the GED a quick process. Don't know about your community but in a fairly nearby bigger city difficult child and I stayed in a hotel for two days and he finished all the GED tests in that time with no problem. If he's asking about it maybe you could make it a deal that if he leaves high school he must take his GED within x months. There may be a minimum age for taking it?? Maybe 18? DDD
  3. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

  4. keista

    keista New Member

    In FL, it is my understanding that homeschoolers and virtual school students have to take the GED as well. No one to issue a diploma if you go those routes, so technically no graduation. However, I'm pretty sure that will eventually change for virtual schools as they become more mainstream.
  5. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    You don't need a diploma or GED to enter community college here, but you will have to take a placement test to determine English and math basic knowledge. Even so, I'd push for the GED at least...I don't know where on the West Coast you are, but the county in CA I'm in has a 15% unemployment rate on a good day. Anything that might push him ahead in the job market will be to his benefit.
  6. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    If he wants to pursue a trade, then specific HS courses matter - depending on the trade. Graduation and/or GED do not. Some trades need Grade 10 or Grade 11 standard math, sometimes they want a science. Basic English is a requirement... but not Grade 12 ELA (english language arts... a university-entrance class).

    Employers are more interested in "relevant" education than just whether or not you have your grade 12. Taking a pre-employment course in a trade, makes the person "of interest" to the industry.

    On top of that... technically, you don't even need a full Grade 12 to get into University. Here, you need Grade 12 ELA (if you can't write essay exams, you're in trouble...!), one math, and one science... and 2 years out of school. With that, they will let you in to "Arts and Science"... stuff that leads to a degree you often can't do anything with. Except... how you do in THOSE courses tells them whether or not you can handle university-level work... at which point you transfer to where you really want to go (but you do need to meet the entrance requirements of the college of study... engineers need heavy-duty maths and sciences, for example)

    My bro was well into his 20s before he went back and completed his 12. Ended up with a master's degree.
  7. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    thank you got his GED this summer. He claims he wasn't able to get jobs for the past 2 years because he's a dropout, but... well, color me skeptical. ;) I think the half-shaved head, eyeliner, dog collar, and black nail polish might have more to do with it. :rofl:

    The rule in IL is that he couldn't take the GED test until after his scheduled graduation date.

    When he enrolled in community college, they didn't require the GED to enroll, but he had to have it by the time he gets his degree (or whatever it is he's getting). He did have to take the placement test (all done before he had taken the GED test). After he got the GED, he took it up to the CC and because he'd done so very well on it, he's eligible for all kinds of grants to help pay for CC.

    For thank you, getting the GED was more important than just having that certificate. It was the *first* time he'd actually completed something. Yes, we helped a bit in following the steps, a, b, c, to get it, but he took the test and he did really well. He's been stuck in this "I can't do it" ("it" being anything at all) mode for so darn long that for him to *do* it and do it well... I think it really kind of shocked him and made him think "maybe I *can* do it." He's actually making some realistic goals for the future.
  8. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    husband has his GED. He dropped out his senior year in HS. Issues, of course. (Could it be that he was super stressed by the acrimonious divorce of his parents?!)

    His issue with jobs was the record of false allegations following him... Then the recession. But he's been doing his best!
  9. buddy

    buddy New Member

    I would never tell anyone to lie, not suggesting that. But I am curious. Has anyone ever heard of people checking to see when or if someone really graduated or got their ged? I always wondered when i wrote my grad dates down if anyone ever checked. I am sure they checked my license etc. so maybe that covered it.
  10. keista

    keista New Member

    Buddy, I can assure you many employers do not check. I know this because husband put down that he had graduated college with a BS degree and continued (but never finished Master's) When I finally checked, turns out he never even took a single college level class! He's always been employed.

    Anyway, after a certain point, it doesn't really matter, but there are some employers that ALWAYS check.
  11. buddy

    buddy New Member

    keista, he even told you those lies? oh my...
  12. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    In Florida you receive an actual diploma from the State of Florida with the date completed. I was vry surprised that difficult child evidently felt proud his arrived in the mail. It looks nice. on the other hand, since he is one of very few not to have a regular high school diploma it didn't make me giddy with joy. Sigh. Guess I'm an academic snob on some level but it works. DDD
  13. keista

    keista New Member

    Buddy, that was just a drop in the bucket.
  14. Marcie Mac

    Marcie Mac Just Plain Ole Tired

    Danny quit school the second he was able to without his diploma and said he didn't need a GED. But went back a year and a half later and got one because he found out he did need it after all (if they find out you lied on your application, you can lose your job) Him doing it on his own, and acing it did wonders for his self esteem. I don't know if the fact there was a nice chunk of money that came from Mom for each kid getting a diploma (or equivilent) helped :)

  15. Moose got his GED two days after he turned 17. (Had to be 17 in our state.) He scored in the 90s on everything but the written portion.

    I was heartbroken that he chose to opt out of high school and that community and experience, but his anxiety disorder made school a torture. His GED center gave him three credits at the local community college, so he is taking a history class and doing very well. He seems to be enjoying it more than high school. (!)

    I am an academic snob (a teacher!) and this was hard for me. But there are so many options that didn't exist when I graduated--GED, homeschooling, online schooling. I think that is Moose continues with college, his GED isn't going to matter much. He is inching along, doing his class, going to his counselor and doing his volunteer work. His anxiety makes him mildly agoraphobic, so he struggles.

    The fight to keep him in a traditional school was tearing our relationship apart and sending stress levels to the moon. The diploma wasn't worth it. He is in the driver's seat now and he knows it.

    Don't rule out the GED out of hand. It might be an easier road to take, but in Moose's case, it was the way to go. Squirrel, on the other hand, has been order has been ordered to graduate so I can experience the whole shebang. :)
  16. LucyB

    LucyB New Member

    On the 2nd day of school this year, my son announced that he hated school and wasn't going back. I scheduled a meeting with his principal and school counselor. I know a lot of folks have had trouble with school admin, but these two were fantastic. They laid out all of his options: alternative school in our district, online courses, and courses through the mail. He chose what I feel was probably the best solution, sticking it out for one more year and adding an online course, which will give him enough credits to graduate at the end of the school year. The principal and counselor knew about solutions that I didn't know existed - that online and mail courses through district approved schools can be used to get a diploma with through our district. I knew online schools existed, but didn't know they would be considered the same as courses taken at our home school. I know you can also get a hs diploma through the online school we are using if you don't go through your home district.

    We are now looking at two year technical schools. They will want proof of a diploma or GED, but I don't think it would matter which you get. They will require placement tests to determine which level of math and english composition he will be placed in whether he has a diploma or GED. The test my son is taking is called the Compass test. It is offered by the same people that offer the ACT, but there are others.
  17. pepperidge

    pepperidge New Member


    thanks for the stories. They give me some hope. I think some kids just need that frontal lobe to mature more before they can commit themselves to doing something for their own long-term good. We are going to try to hang in there--son turns 17 in a month and hopefully he will have most of his credits done by the time he turns 18 so the incentive to drop out will be less.

    What is hard to know is when you just say, its your life, your decision, if you want to drop out of HS its your business, and when you say, no you got to keep with it, mom knows best. The school has been very accommodating in terms of trying to find the easiest path, and son might even be elgible for enrollment in community college for dual credit with HS paying. But he is kind of scared about taking what would be self paced welding classes because most of students are older people trying to get job skills. Dad may end up enrolling in community college to go with him (which dad wouldn't mind so much).

    It is just so tough to keep pushing for a kid who just wants to go play with the other lost boys, a la Peter Pan. Fortunately right now no drug issues so at least that is good.
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2011
  18. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    I'm shocked how many kids really HATE highschool these days and this includes many kinds of students.
    Our son had a really bad year in high school and it blows my mind cause he was always a great kid, etc.
    He ended up getting GED (very long story...cause he may have technically had enough credits to graduate).
    He's not really a difficult child...but had the year from hexx in high school. He went on to college, graduated with high honors and today enjoys a very good career and is very happy and doing unusually well.(knock on wood).

    I'm very pro education and all of that was hard on me. But, I see things differently now.

    I see nothing wrong with getting a GED, especially if the child hates school, is having a very hard time there and certain plans are in place.

    Especially if you have a modicum of influence with him at this time (how old is he?) it might be a good time to check out GED preparation classes and make a deal with him to attend something quick to prepare first and then take the test. He is likely to feel very good about himself if he passes and if he takes a prep class of some kind, there is a very good chance he will pass.

    You might also make a deal with him that he has to take some kind of coursework...certificate program, etc. at the commmunity college after he finishes the GED.

    If you go this route, I would make it a real positive thing. Does he have anxiety issues? Depression? He can enroll in classes he likes, just a few at a time and take it from there. Especially since he would be starting college (trade or otherwise) earlier than many others, there is plenty of room to check things out and/or to go very slowly.

    He might feel very good to proceed as a college student rather than being stuck in a situation that just doesn't feel right to him.

    Good luck..hang in there!
  19. beachbeanb

    beachbeanb New Member

    Good to know haozi....I am in fl also with a difficult child who might not grad....ugh ugh
  20. PatriotsGirl

    PatriotsGirl Guest

    When my difficult child got expelled and they were going to put her back into alternative school for a year (we had to provide transportation around hours that were impossible and she didn't learn an ounce when she was there before - they just find ways to pass the time - they didn't give a hoot about these kids shoved into this "school" but that is a whole other story). Anyhow, I digress, she wanted to just drop out at that point and I agreed only if she got her GED. She passed and got her GED at age 16. We had to get permission for her to take it before age 18, but I have never heard of anyone not getting permission.

    I went and got my GED after I had two children in my 20's. I then went to college for Accounting. I consider myself very successful... :)