If you have earned a GED and want to further your education, online colleges could be the answer for you. With advances made in modern technology, more and more students are opting for online studies as opposed to going the traditional route on a college campus. Online courses open the door to opportunity for everyone, including those with a GED.
Earning a GED is a great way to bypass traditional high school coursework and find excellent online colleges that accept GED holders. The GED Testing Service administers the exam by appointment, so students can study for the test and schedule an exam date at their convenience. Many GED test takers want to know if online colleges accept students with a GED instead of a high school diploma. The truth is that a GED is usually more of a benefit than a drawback.
Requirements to Enter Online Colleges
When it comes to admissions in an online college, requirements vary depending upon the school. If you look at Ivy League colleges, you’ll find that your GED will not be enough. For example, Harvard requires a certain GPA and insists that students actually complete three admissions classes before they can even be accepted to this illustrious school.
However, when you begin to study the vast assortment of online colleges, you will find that the majority will accept a GED or other equivalency to a high school diploma, depending on the state where you live. Certain colleges will require U.S. citizenship and a minimum age requirement. Depending on the state where you are attending, you may have certain health requirements that must be fulfilled, even if you are going to complete all of your studies online. It is possible to find a reputable, online college and earn your two or four year degree even if you only have a GED upon entrance. Some colleges may require you to take an entrance exam as a pre-requisite and earn an acceptable score in order to enroll. Other online universities make the admissions process simple and straight forward, making it easy for you to begin pursuing your online degree.
Be Selective When You Choose an Online College
While you may be overjoyed that you can actually be admitted in online courses with a GED, that doesn’t mean you should jump at the first college you find. Do your homework and make sure that you are choosing an institution with a strong reputation. The U.S. Department of Education warms prospective students about the dangers of diploma mills. With the explosion of online schools across the nation, many are simply doling out diplomas without providing students with a rigorous course of study. They’ll take your money, give you a piece of paper saying you’ve completed the program, yet you won’t have the skills necessary to be successful in your field and employers are apt to turn you away, finding your education to be unsatisfactory. As you create a list of potential online colleges, look for those that are accredited and are backed by the Better Business Bureau of America. You can also obtain a list of reputable schools by going to the U.S. Department of Education for a list of recognized, accredited programs.
Enrolling in Online College
With approximately 98 percent of colleges accepting GED holders for enrollment, choosing the right school can be a challenge. The best way for a student to deal with this challenge is to make a list of the top schools he or she would like to attend and then rank them in order of desirability. Next, the student should apply to every school on the list, keeping in mind that many colleges charge a non-refundable application fee.
If the list is comprised of online colleges that accept GED holders, the application process won’t take long. After it’s complete, the student can begin meeting with enrollment counselors to decide which degree to pursue and which classes to take. In most cases, the students in these classes will be a mix of GED holders and traditional students.
GED Test Scores
Most institutions treat the GED test the same as any other college entrance exam, such as the SAT or AP exams. The questions on the GED test assume knowledge of subject matter from high school courses, including some of the more advanced subjects in math and science. It’s not necessary to get a perfect score on the GED, and many online colleges will accept GED holders who pass the test in the lowest percentile of test takers.
A score of 145 in any section of the GED exam indicates the competence of a high school student and qualifies that student for probationary college enrollment. A score of 175 on any section shows that a student is ready for college courses without probationary restrictions while a score of 200 could qualify the student to receive college credit for one or more subjects. For example, a student who scores 200 on the math section of the GED test could receive credit on his or her transcript for Algebra I at the college level.
College Ready with Credit
The College Ready feature of the GED exam is helpful for students who have worked hard to earn a high score. Any score between 175 and 200 shows that the student is ready for an accredited degree program. A perfect score on any section of the test usually earns college credit. Up to 10 college credits are available through the GED exam, so it’s similar to the AP exam for traditional high school students.
Awarding college credit is solely the decision of the enrollment board of the university to which the student is applying. Some colleges may choose not to recognize credits earned on the GED test, but these schools are the exception. To get the best value out of a college experience, it’s important to thoroughly research a school before applying for enrollment. That way, the school’s policy on transferred credits won’t come as a surprise.
Redeeming GED Credit
Students who have taken the GED exam can request a transcript for their college applications. The transcript includes a breakdown of test sections and scores, so college application reviewers will easily see the credits that a student has earned. Any score above 175 could be worth college credit, but the applicant will have to discuss this matter with an enrollment counselor.
Receiving credit for GED exam sections is a simple process that happens during the application and enrollment phase of matriculation. Applicants whose transcripts stand out from the rest will get the attention of enrollment counselors, and high GED exam scores won’t go unnoticed. Students with average or passing scores will automatically receive the credit they earn from any online colleges that accept GED test takers.
Catching Up with Other Students
Studying for the GED exam and taking the test is a major accomplishment for anyone who plans on attending college. The next step in the process, for those who pass the test, is catching up with other students in the school. Taking online classes is different than taking them in person because the online lectures and learning resources require more self-discipline and focus than traditional brick-and-mortar classroom learning. Because GED holders already have experience studying for a major placement exam, they may have an advantage in their online classes.
The instructors of these classes usually offer one-on-one assistance for anyone who needs personal help. Non-traditional students and GED holders can get used to the online learning process by scheduling meetings with professors and teaching assistants throughout the semester.
Why Colleges Love GED Holders
Virtually all universities accept GED holders as students. Online colleges especially love these non-traditional students because they have demonstrated that they’re capable of passing a major entrance exam.
In the 20th century, college enrollment was much lower than it is today because broadband Internet didn’t exist and few non-traditional students could enroll in classes. Today, that has all changed with the introduction of online learning and the expansion of student enrollment to GED holders and other non-traditional students.
Colleges are more than happy to accept new students because it provides a revenue stream that pays for university programs and facilities. GED holders are the perfect non-traditional students to take advantage of the rapidly expanding opportunities in America’s colleges as online classes continue to become the norm.
Online College Is the Perfect Match
Online courses wouldn’t be possible without a large influx of new students who weren’t part of the university experience in previous generations. The online degree is designed for non-traditional students, and it perfectly complements the learning profile of students who have passed the GED exam. GED holders tend to be working adults who left high school to gain work experience. Online colleges specifically cater to working adults who are looking for convenient classes with flexible scheduling.
Succeeding as an Online Student
The next challenge for GED holders is to get good grades in college. Whether the courses are self-paced or collectively paced, the instructors and teaching assistants will be available to help students succeed.
Online students have to absorb a lot of information at the beginning of each course. Classes usually begin with an introduction and orientation, which can last about a week. Once a student understands the teacher’s expectations for the course, he or she will have no trouble keeping up with the other students.
What the GED Covers
The GED is offered by the GED Testing Service, which provides learning resources for test takers. Online GED test prep classes are available on the GED website. The exam sections are similar in content to the college AP exam. They cover the basics of the high school curriculum as well as some of the more advanced topics.
The four sections of the test are mathematics, language arts, science and social studies. Some schools may not require applicants to take all four sections of the test. The language test is the longest at 150 minutes. It includes three multiple choice sections and a written essay. The math test is the second-longest at 115 minutes. It includes two sections with a break in the middle. Test takers can use a calculator on the second section of the math portion of the exam.
Getting ready to take the GED can be stressful, but most students don’t need to worry about acing the exam. Online colleges understand that some non-traditional students may not be able to demonstrate their readiness with a written exam, so they accept many students on a probationary basis. While on academic probation, students must maintain a certain grade point average to show that they’re ready for college coursework. Anyone who suffers from performance anxiety during the GED exam should find it relatively easy to maintain a high GPA throughout their first several semesters of online college.
Why Employers Love GED Holders with Online Degrees
After graduation, college graduates will have a chance to put their GED records and college transcripts to use during their job search. Employers value GED holders with college training because they tend to be older and more experienced than traditional college graduates. Young people who have recently graduated from college have a lot of potential to do great things, but they haven’t had a chance to prove themselves yet. Non-traditional college graduates with experience in the real world have an advantage in job interviews because they understand the value of patience, self-discipline and perseverance.
Getting the Most Out of a GED
The best way to use a GED is to impress enrollment advisors, counselors and employers with high scores. While getting a GED is usually all about earning high school credit, the GED exam also translates into college credit. High test scores are a plus on any resume, so it helps to begin planning ahead before even scheduling a date to take the GED exams. The GED Testing Service offers many valuable resources on its website, including online and video courses as well as practice tests to help students get the highest score possible. Taking as much time as necessary to thoroughly prepare for the GED will be a smart investment of time and resources for most test takers.
Applying for college doesn’t have to be difficult. Anyone who wants to go to college can probably find a school that will accept them for enrollment. Most applicants will be able to use their GED scores to enroll in a high-ranking online college. With enough preparation and focus, GED test takers can save time and money by placing out of up to 10 credit hours of college coursework. A student with good grades and real-world experience should have no trouble finding reputable online colleges that accept GED holders.
Your online college should either charge by the course, semester, or credit hours, not one amount for the completed degree. You should have opportunities to interact with your professor, in person if necessary. Look for a physical address and steer clear of any online program that only has a P.O. box. In addition, don’t trust a program that is based on life experience and has minimal coursework. Your online college should be demanding. While you may not be able to gain entrance to every online program with your GED, many online colleges will welcome you.