While having a GED diploma means that a student posses the same knowledge as somebody with a high school diploma, this does not mean they are the same. There are differences between the two, including the time and requirements it takes to earn each.

For example, each may require you to be of a specific age, among other restrictions. Knowing what option is best for you and your circumstances is important in choosing the better of each option.

Age Requirements: High School Diploma vs. GED?

The biggest difference people notice is the age requirement for each. In most states, somebody can apply to earn a ged diploma after they turn sixteen, they can no longer be attending high school, nor can they have graduated high school and received a diploma. Some states may have additional requirements in order to apply for a GED. As far as getting a high school diploma goes, there are no age requirements but you must have completed all of the educational requirements including completing specific courses, in order to earn your high school diploma.

Cost: High School Diploma vs. GED?

Because most high school education is paid for by public tax payers, a high school education is essentially free. On the other hand, adult educational programs such as GED are not free and often require fees to earn one. Some states have been known to charge upwards of $120 to take such a test.

It is important to keep in mind that if you do not pass your test for a GED, you may require to pay the same fees again in a second effort. Fortunately, there are several online ged practice tests that you can find to get yourself ready. More information can be found at http://www.test-guide.com/free-ged-practice-tests.html.

Time: High School Diploma vs. GED?

Another important factor to consider when choosing between getting a ged or high school diploma is the amount of time that both will require. An average ged test consists of four parts and it can take just seven hours to complete a test. Compare this to a high school education, which takes four years to complete icluding grades 9 through 12.

What pays more: Having a High School Diploma or GED? I've hear their the same.

In most cases, a job will not care if you have either ged diploma or a high school one. To many, they host the same value. Still, a 2009 study found that a GED holder earns a monthly income, on average, of $3,149 compared to $4,690 for those with a high school education. The difference is $1,541 a month or $18,492 annually! Not bad, huh?

Future Plans: High School Diploma vs. GED?

The real decision may come down to what you plan to do after obtaining either degree. For many looking to go to college, a high school diploma provides a simple path. For those with a ged instead, many are forced to attend community colleges first and graduate with an Associate's before they are accepted into a four year university to attempt to earn a Bachelor's.

Which is better: High School Diploma vs. GED?

It's important to take into consideration all of the pros and cons associated with each diploma. Ask yourself what you value more: your time, money, or how either diploma may effect your future.

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