Can You Go to College with a GED?

Can You Go to College with a GED-900

With the rise of people attending colleges and universities in our generation, there are a lot of different questions about acceptance and certain people with nontraditional paths.

A GED is the general education development test. It tests for subjects that when passed, is considered in the United States and Canada as having high schooler academic skills.

It is a kind of alternative to the U.S. diploma. You can take the GED if you dropped out of high school, didn’t finish high school or receive a diploma.

You can even go back and get your GED later in life if you never got your high school diploma and are interested in having the certification.

What is the GED?

GED is a test with four different sections to the GED: social studies, science, math, and language arts. Some examples of what needs to be known to pass the math GED are arithmetic, algebra, geometry, and data analysis.

The language arts section contains a reading test using fiction and non- fiction passages. The social studies section covers geography, history, government, and economics.

The science covers physics, chemistry, life science, earth science, and space science. Normally around 68% to 75% pass the GED.

The only two requirements to take the GED are that you are at least 16 years of age and that you are not currently enrolled in high school.

You must score higher than 410 on each section to pass. It is kind of similar to the ACT except that the testing isn’t advanced trying to test your abilities for college, it is testing your abilities for high school level.

If you fail the GED three times, you are still allowed to retake it after 60 days which shows how great of an alternative the GED is for people with different paths in life. You do have to take every test in the GED before retaking one, however.

Most employers, companies, etc. have come to accept up to almost 95% of people looking for jobs with GED.

In Canada and the U.S. employers understand that everyone has different paths and will still accept you as a worker just as they would someone who went to high school and finished with a diploma.

You should, however, look into taking the ACT or SAT if you are interested in going to college.

 Is a GED the same as a Diploma?

Technically a GED is not the same as a diploma. As I said it is understood to show that the person has equivalent skills as a diploma and is accepted by most employers as showing you have the same skills but it is still not considered equivalent to a diploma.

Most jobs don’t require a diploma, they require grade 12 equivalency. That is exactly what the GED shows. The testing that is done when taking the GED is attempting to see if the person has the equivalent of grade 12 knowledge.

What this means is the basics and minimums required of a twelfth grader or senior in high school.

How does GED Score Compare to GPA?

A GED score doesn’t necessarily exactly qual certain GPAs saying as many schools have different GPA systems. Now that there are so many advanced, honors, and college credit classes, many high schools differ a lot when it comes to GPA.

When I was in high school, regular classes were out of a 4.0, honors classes were out of a 4.5, and college classes were out of a 5.0.

Basically this meant that I was able to get far above a 4.0 while still getting a couple of Bs. Although, there is a comparison to the sim[le 4.0 scale that always used to be used.

If you were just basing the high school GPA off of a 4.0, then the comparison would look a little something like this:

GED < 300 = GPA of 1.0 or below

GED between 300 and 400 = GPA of 1.5 to 2.0

GED between 401 and 500 = GPA of 2.0 to 2.9

GED between 501 and 600 = GPA of 3.0 to 3.4

GED between 601 and 700 = GPA of 3.5 to 3.7

GED between 701 and 800= GPA of 3. To 4.0

The highest score that you can get on the GED is 800. Now, it is important to remember that this is an approximation and employers, colleges, scholarship committees, etc., can take this at their own discretion.

Is a GED Bad?

No. A GED is definitely not bad. Employers and anyone will definitely appreciate the fact that you took this test no matter what events happened in your life previous.

It shows a lot about your character and it shows that you persist no matter. This is a great way to show that you will achieve your goals no matter what gets in the way.

You could have easily just not taken the time to get this certification, especially if it was later on life.

Taking this simply shows that you care about your life and your future and that you are willing to work hard and not always take the easy roads.

You can get the same jobs as people with high school diplomas and no one will think anything of it because you worked for that certification.

That is why the GED was created in the first place, to give everyone the chance to obtain an alternative to a high school diploma because sometimes life and events get in the way.

Is it Worth Getting a GED?

Yes. It is worth getting the GED because it gives you the chance to go back and obtain a goal equivalent to a high school diploma. No matter what part of your life you are in getting a GED cannot hurt.

With so many people getting college degrees, many employers are starting to require more from who they hire. Having a high school diploma or GED is necessary nowadays for most jobs.

It also gives you the chance to be able or apply for college. You cannot apply for a college or university unless you have a high school diploma or a GED.

If you are interested in getting a job that requires a high school diploma or college degree than this is definitely worth it for you.

In the end, it really just depends on what kind of job or career you want and what is required in order to get it.

Can you be Successful with a GED?

You can definitely be successful with a GED. It is simply a stepping stone to help you get where you want to be. You can still go on to do all of the things that you would have done if you got your high school diploma.

There are so many successful people out in the world that you would not even guess had actually taken the GED. It should not stop you from doing anything that you want to do or becoming who you want to be.

The list of successful people who actually took the GED earlier on in life is long. Some examples are:

  • Richard Carmona ( Arizona Senator and former U.S. Surgeon General)
  • Dave Thomas (the founder of Wendy’s)
  • Cameron Diaz
  • Avril Lavigne
  • Jim Carrey
  • Eminem
  • Paris Hilton
  • Nicholas Cage
  • Cyndi Lauper

All of these people are extremely successful in their own ways and definitely did not let the fact that they have their GED stop them from getting anywhere.

The state of Arizona has a current senator who has his GED and I feel like that speaks volumes. So in short, the answer is YES you can be successful with a GED.

What Colleges Accept GED’s

A lack of a traditional college diploma definitely does not mean that college is out of the question. At this point in time, almost 97% of U.S. colleges and universities accept a GED certification as an alternative to a high school diploma.

Basically, the vast majority of U.S. colleges and universities including traditional universities, branch campuses, and online institutions will accept a GED.

On each subject individual test, if you score between 165 and 170, you are considered “college-ready”. Basically what this means is you may not have to take placement tests in order to get into remedial college courses.

If you score between a 175 and a 200 on any specific subject sections, you may even be eligible for college credit. Some of the schools that take the top amount of GED students are:

These are colleges and universities that are located all around the country however I guarantee that most of the colleges near you accept them as well.

The easiest way to check is to look at the university website or give them a call.

What Online Colleges Accept GED?

Almost all online colleges will accept a GED. No matter if you are applying to a strictly online college or the online classes through a traditional university, you should have no problem with having a GED.

It is important to remember that there are however a lot of things that go into decisions for college admissions.

If you are applying to a school with a lower admissions rate and you don’t get in, it is not necessarily because of that. There are many factors including high school involvement, prior jobs, volunteering, essays, etc.

Don’t think that if you don’t get a school with a low acceptance rate it is simply because you have a GED.

Can you go to a Four-Year College with a GED?

The difference between four-year degrees and two-year degrees/online degrees is that applicants with diplomas will have a small edge on applicants with GEDs.

There will still be many students with GEDs, it is just more competitive. With so many students choosing to go to college these days, certain universities are getting more and more competitive.

If you get an associated degree before applying to a four-year college, they will, however, be paying way more attention to your grades and work for your associate’s degree than the fact that you obtained your GED.

Many people with their GED start out by getting two-year degrees and move on from there, however, it is still extremely possible to get into and attend a four-year university with a GED.

Can you get Financial Aid with a GED?

Yes. You are still perfectly capable of obtaining federal aid from the government (FAFSA) with your GED.

All that FAFSA requires in order to be eligible is a high school diploma or GED which means that you could get the same amount of money as anyone else who has a high school diploma.

Can you get a Pell Grant with a GED?

Since the pell grant is a part of the money that is federal aid from FAFSA, it basically has the same rules.

You can obtain a pell grant though FAFSA from the government as long as your family income is under a certain amount and you have a high school diploma or GED.

You can basically do anything with a GED that you could do with a high school diploma when it comes to the entire process of college.

Are College Admissions Different with a GED?

Your admissions process isn’t different from a GED. The only difference is the fact that many applications ask a lot about involvement in high school, volunteering. It will be a little harder for you to answer some of these questions without going through the typical high school career.

Can you get Scholarships with a GED?

Yes! You are still eligible for any scholarship that a student with a high school diploma is, but once again scholarships are competitive and things like GPA, ACT scores, involvement, previous jobs, and volunteering are definitely taken into consideration.


Overall having a Ged does not control your life or limit you. You can go to college, get aid and scholarships and get a successful career no matter how you obtained your version of a high school diploma.

For more reading on how to go to college with no money, please click this link. For GED Online tutoring, we recommend Wyzant.

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