Although laws vary from state to state, there are generally two ways for earning credits for finishing high school. The first option is to earn a high school diploma. The other is to obtain a certificate. Certificates go by different names depending on the state. The most common is the completion certificate and the attendance certificate. In addition, some states offer more than one type of certificate.
You may have also heard about alternative diplomas, which states are allowed to offer under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). But this diploma is intended for the 1% of students who have severe learning problems. It is important to know that high school diplomas and certificates are very different from each other. Each can affect your child's future in different ways.
Requirements to earn a high school diploma
To earn a high school diploma, a student generally must take and pass with a C or higher in: English, Math, social studies, science, physical education, etc. The number and type of credits required vary by state. Some states also require a student to pass final exams to earn their diploma. It depends on the school and the state. Although requirements for a high school diploma vary from state to state, there are two types of students at the end of the year:
- Students who meet all the requirements to graduate with a high school diploma
- Students who have finished high school but did not meet all the requirements to graduate
Similar high school credentials
- GED Diploma – This is the equivalent of a high school diploma. A GED diploma is accepted by the military, most universities within the United States and some even outside the United States, and by employers, as well.
- Vocational Diploma: A diploma for students who have attained the technical skills necessary to perform a certain job.
- Honors Diploma – A high school diploma for students who have taken and passed, or have six of the following: a specified number of credits of fine arts, social studies, science, math, world languages, a 3.5 out of 4.0 GPA, or scored 1280 or higher on the SAT, or scored a 27 or higher on the ACT.
- Individualized Education Program (or special education) Diploma: This type of diploma is available to students with significant disabilities.
Knowing the difference between a high school diploma and a equivalent diploma is important for your child's future. If in case, you or your child have missed out on getting a high school diploma or its equivalent, and do not have the resources or the time to complete one, you can buy a. Contact the Diploma Company by calling 866-687-5403 for more details.