There are many Americans that left high school prior to graduation, and they often are faced with several closed doors.
Without a high school or equivalent degree, most people will be unable to access higher education, and consequently, obtaining a good job and a fulfilling career will likely be problematic.
Well, the bottom line is that to get a rewarding job and make a good living, holding a high school or equivalent diploma and having added some college coursework is almost a prerequisite in the contemporary job market.
Fortunately, there are many community colleges that offer more and more programs to help non-high school grads get ahead in life.
Just like high school graduates, after earning a GED®, students have the option to enroll in their local community college to pursue a college degree and work toward a satisfying career.
Earn A GED And A College Degree Simultaneously
But there is an increasing number of colleges that offer programs that allow students to work toward their GED diplomas while simultaneously enrolling in credit-bearing college programs.
So students that are ready to begin their path to earning a higher education degree can start completing their GEDs in combination with attending college-level coursework.
It goes without saying that these students are required to first earn their GED diplomas before they will be able to receive their college diplomas.
The requirements and eligibility vary by university or college, but in practically all cases, participants will have to earn their GEDs while in college.
So you may even earn college credits without having a GED. Quitting high school prematurely may have seriously limited your educational and professional opportunities, but keep in mind, it’s never too late for a fresh start.
Dual-Enrollment College Programs
So students that want to accomplish their goals efficiently can get a lot of help from colleges and universities that provide GED and degree programs at the same time. They give you a chance to enroll in one program but walk away holding two diplomas!
It’s good to know that not all colleges provide these programs. So you’ll have to find a college that provides dual-enrollment programs. If you don’t find one near you, check out the Internet. There are plenty of options, and today, you can take the four GED tests online as well!
Let’s take a look at the process once you’ve found a school that provides these programs:
- First, be sure to meet the program’s qualification requirements.
- When you do, attend the school’s orientation session and learn all about how to earn your GED.
- Now, submit your college application and take a placement test to show your academic level and college readiness.
- A school advisor will work with you on a study plan that fits your level and requirements.
- Then, you can start taking classes but keep in mind that you’ll first have to earn your GED before the school allows you to graduate with a college degree.
The GED program is state-specific, and regulations may vary slightly by state. So the specific qualifications and regulations for participating in a Dual-enrollment program may vary slightly as well, depending on the requirements and regulations of your state.
Colleges and universities that offer Dual-enrollment programs may also have their own requirements. Some require applicants to be at least of a certain age, for example, 16 or 18.
The GED is a challenging assessment, and proper preparation is required though there are students that manage to pass the GED exam without studying at all. These are exceptions, though, as you will understand.
Ability To Benefit
There are also more and more colleges that no longer require applicants to hold a high school or equivalent diploma (GED) for admission. One example is the “Ability to Benefit” program.
The “Ability to Benefit” program allows students to enroll in credit-bearing college or university courses even if they don’t hold a high school or equivalent diploma.
Under the program, they may still be eligible for federal financial aid and (in some cases) qualify for state financial aid as well.
Colleges working under the “Ability to Benefit” program provide GED instruction while the participating students simultaneously also earn college credits toward their associate degrees. One of the prerequisites to be successful in these programs is that your critical thinking skills are well-rounded.
Usually, to qualify for these programs, you cannot still be enrolled in your high school, and you’ll have to submit proof that you’re not a high school student anymore and that you’re officially withdrawn from school.
Now all of this may seem somewhat overwhelming, but admissions advisors and counselors are used to helping students deal with managing these situations. They will do what they can to walk you through this process.
If you qualify, just contact the school, and if you have any concerns or questions, they’ll be happy to help you all the way!
By the time you’ve secured your GED, usually, there’ll still be some college coursework to be completed before you’ll earn your degree. And even if you managed to do GED and credit-bearing college courses simultaneously, it often will take at least two years to complete an associate degree!