How to Go to College Without a GED or High School Diploma?
To go to college, you usually need to have a high school diploma or GED. The keyword there is usually. There are some ways you can go to college, even without a GED or high school diploma.
Can You Go to College Without a GED or High School Diploma?
Students wishing to go to college or university usually need to have a high school diploma or GED. But, if your ultimate goal is a bachelor’s degree, there are things you can do to go around this.
The best option for students without a high school diploma or GED is to go to community college. From there, students can transfer to a four-year program.
Many community colleges are more flexible in their admissions requirements. In California, community colleges accept students without a high school degree. Students must be at least 18-years-old. They also need to take placement tests to assess their academic abilities and readiness.
Most community colleges use the Ability to Benefit (ATB) status to enroll students without a high school diploma or GED. This requires students to take a test to show that they’re ready for college.
Options If You Don’t Have a GED or High School Diploma
Here are a few additional options for students without a GED or high school diploma who want to go to college:
- Enroll as a non-traditional student- Students who haven’t been in high school for more than 6 years may apply as non- traditional students. Colleges will look at other factors to determine their admission. This includes recommendation letters, standardized test scores, work experience, and extracurricular activities.
- Go to community college – Some community colleges don’t require students to have a high school diploma or GED. Schools in California, Hawaii, and New York do not.
- Go to trade school- Trade school is a great option for students without a high school diploma or GED. Trade schools give students the skills they need to work in a specific job. Students go to trade school to become dental hygienists, web developers, plumbers, and more.
- Take individual college classes- This won’t get you a college degree. But, taking individual classes is something you can add to your resume. It gives you knowledge that can help expand career options. Colleges allow students to enroll in individual classes.
- Finish high school while taking college courses- Some colleges allow for concurrent enrollment. If you’re interested in this option, inquire with the college you’re interested in to see if they offer this.
Can You Go to Online College Without a High School Diploma or GED?
Accredited online colleges have the same requirements as any other college. Meaning, students must have a high school diploma or GED.
Be careful of online degree programs that don’t have any requirements. They may not be legit programs.
Many online degree programs give students the option of concurrent enrollment. This allows high school students to take college credits while finishing up high school.
Colleges and Programs That Don’t Require a High School Diploma or GED
Several colleges and programs don’t require students to have a high school diploma or GED.
Columbia-Greene Community College in New York accepts students without a high school diploma or GED.
Students who would like to become cosmetologists or beauticians don’t need to graduate from high school. The Georgia Beauty School requires applicants to be at least 16 years of age.
The Community College of Baltimore County has several programs for students without a GED or high school diploma. The diploma to career program allows students to graduate from high school while earning a certificate.
Students may become certified nurse assistants without a high school diploma or GED. The Red Cross offers a CNA program. It takes 160 hours to complete the program.
The Southern Technical College allows students without a high school diploma or GED to get a college diploma.
You don’t need a GED or high school diploma to ultimately get a college degree. But, it does open up many more options for you. Not having a GED or high school diploma complicates the path to getting a college degree.
If you didn’t graduate high school and you want a college degree, it’s a good idea to get your GED. The GED only takes a few months to prepare for and takes much less time to get than a high school diploma. Many programs can help you prepare for the GED.
Or, consider going to a community college that doesn’t require high school completion. From there, you may transfer to a college or university.
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