The Value of a High School Diploma.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the average annual income of a high school dropout is $10,386 less than a high school graduate and $36,424 less than a college graduate with a bachelor’s degree. A 2017 report from the Bureau of Labor and Statistics also reports high school dropouts as having the highest rate of unemployment at 7.7% compared to 5.3% for high school graduates and only 2.5% for college graduates. And if those numbers aren’t motivation enough to pursue an accredited high school diploma, studies also show that high school dropouts have a poverty rate of 30.8% and a 63 times higher incarceration rate!
What’s Better: Diploma or High School Equivalency?
The answer to this question depends largely on your own personal, academic, and career goals. A GED is accepted at over 97% of colleges and employers. While the credential may be accepted, it may not be competitive at 4 year colleges or with some employers. a GED is adequate for entry into a 2 year community college. Successful completion of an associate’s degree will typically enable students to transfer to a 4 year college. Obtaining a GED, therefore, does not prevent a student from continuing with higher education. Statistically, however, students with a GED attend college at lower rates and also have lower completion rates. The assumption is that working to obtain a traditional, credit based diploma requires a longer commitment and a higher level of dedication. This work ethic then translates into higher success in college. It is for this same reason that employers often prefer an applicant with a traditional high school diploma. It demonstrates perseverance and a strong work ethic.
On the other hand, If you already have a job that is now requiring a high school credential, taking one of the High School Equivalency tests may be the right choice for you. If you have established yourself in a career but want to earn the credential for your own personal satisfaction, the GED option may also be more practical for you.
If you are interested in enlisting in the military, a traditional high school diploma is your best option. Each branch does allow a certain number of individuals to enlist each year with a GED, but the numbers are low. The Army and Navy both allow up to 10% of new recruits to have an equivalency credential while the Marines only allow 5% and the Air Force less than 1%! If your goal is entry into a 4 year college to pursue a professional career, or enter the Military, a credit based, traditional high school diploma will be the most beneficial!
If you'd like to complete your High School Diploma, or work through our GED or HiSET Preparation, Dream Academy can help. Independent Learners can finish up all of their requirements or prepare for high school equivalency tests for just $250 registration and $25 per month, at their own pace!
We will provide a full transcript evaluation and a custom path to your Diploma. Then we will provide all the tools for you to achieve your goal!