CEA Diploma or GED?

A GED, or General Education Development exam, assesses high school academic skills. However, there are a number of important differences between a high school diploma and the GED. The GED may be considered as equivalent to a high school diploma in very limited cases, but a GED usually does not provide the same opportunities as a high school diploma.  Read below for a full explanation of the CEA Diploma or GED.

The GED originated after World War II to allow veterans to complete their high school education in order to attend college. To pass the GED, a person must earn a minimum score on each section of the test along with a minimum combined score on all sections of the test. Those who pass the GED receive a certificate. In comparison, in order to earn a CEA diploma, students must take and pass individual courses based on credits. Most high school diplomas nationwide require 20-24 credits to be taken over 3-4 high school years. A diploma is your ticket to higher wages and is a key credential for applying to jobs or college.

High school graduation requirements for the CEA diploma are set primarily by Florida, CEA’s home state, but also by the individual state where each student resides. These requirements include a minimum number of courses per subject , standardized testing, and attendance . A high school diploma requires coursework in the core academic topics of reading, writing, math, history, science, as well as core electives. The course work taken to earn a CEA diploma is designed to build well-rounded skill sets as well as meet state graduation requirements. In comparison, the GED covers all of these topics with just one test, and earning a GED requires only passing that test.

Some community colleges will accept a GED in lieu of a high school diploma, but not standardized entrance exams such as the SAT or ACT. Some colleges accept students with GEDs, but require them to take additional exams, or take additional courses at cost without receiving college credit. Most colleges and universities, including most four-year colleges, require 24 high school credits for admission, and do not accept a GED at all. In addition, students who earn a CEA diploma and have demonstrated passing grades will often be able to get financial aid that is unavailable to students who only have a GED. This is where a CEA diploma offers a BIG advantage over the GED.

A CEA diploma is also better than a GED for employment opportunities. Many employers require high school diplomas for their employees, and do not accept GEDs. A GED tells an employer that a person “quit” high school. Employers may view the GED negatively, revealing a lack of ability to complete a program.

Another major benefit of a CEA diploma versus a GED is in regards to military service. Each branch of the United States military accepts a regular high school diploma from traditional and online schools. The GED may be accepted by the Army or Marines, however, a GED is regarded as Tier 2 education, which greatly affects pay scale as well as military assignments. The armed forces limit the percentage of Tier 2 candidates accepted in any enlistment year. In addition, GED holders must score higher on the ASVAB to qualify.[1]

In conclusion, for students currently in high school, it is essential to see it through until graduation. Whether your goal is to enter the workforce, go to college, or enlist in the military, a regular diploma is accepted as proof of graduation from high school – without question. If you get anything less, you will be limiting some of your options for the future.

Other advantages of a CEA Diploma vs GED:

  • High school graduates earn, on average, about $1,600 a month more than those with a GED (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2012).
  • Less than 5% of those with a GED receive a bachelor’s degree.
  • 77% of GED holders do not continue past the first semester of college (American Council of Education study).
  • Organizations and companies are no longer recognizing equivalency exams as a valid alternative to a high school education.
  • Research shows that people with GEDs are, in fact, no better off than dropouts when it comes to their chances of getting a good job.[2]

[1] http://www.communitycollegereview.com/blog/high-school-diploma-vs-ged

[2] http://www.npr.org/2012/02/18/147015513/in-todays-economy-how-far-can-a-ged-take-you