Can You Get into College with a GED?

Worried about getting a college with only a GED? Then this article is just for you which explains the application process, list of colleges with GED, careers, and more.

Updated by TCM Staff on 16th October 2020

We often have the perception that if we have received a GED(General Education Development) and not a high school diploma then our college application might be overlooked, but things have changed nowadays. The good news is that in case if you have received a GED and not a high school diploma, your application will have equal weightage with respect to other applicants who might have done a high school diploma. 97% of colleges accept applicants with a GED. Once you get in, you can earn your degree and progress towards a great career.

What is GED?

The GED, which stands for General Education Development, is a high school equivalency test that's recognized by 97% of colleges nationwide. In order to pass the test, you need to demonstrate your knowledge in math, language, social studies, and science.

A student having a GED is understood as someone who has not attended the high school diploma course. But many colleges are accepting students with a GED certificate as well.

Read More: What is a GED?

Does a GED Affect College Acceptance? 

Many students have the fear that either they will be rejected by the college or their application might get overlooked if they have a GED instead of a high school diploma.

But the best part is nowadays almost all colleges in the US and many universities all around the world accept the GED. So the opportunities are equal for high school diploma holders and GED certificate holders. There are still some colleges that don't accept GED holders, but the number of such colleges is very few.

Tips for Applicants with GED

 There are some tips or suggestions that one can follow in order to be selected for a college after completing a GED certificate.

  • Volunteer yourself in a community and you can get a reference from the community you volunteered for. 

  • You can also work for a company or an employer and can get an experience certificate from there which will be an added advantage on your part.

  • You can always appear for a college entrance test like SAT and ACT and try to fetch a high score in these entrance tests.

  • A letter of recommendation can also be of great help. You can get a Letter of Recommendations from your previous school. So work hard to get a LOR and make a positive impression in your application for college.

  • Don’t rely on just one college, apply for multiple colleges with multiple courses of preference. 

  • If you have the option of submitting your GED score in case you have scored a very good mark then do share the score. It will make a positive impact on your application.

  • Talk about your accomplishments or achievements besides your GED score.

How Does a GED Change the Application Process?

If you are planning to apply to colleges with a GED, it may require you to add a few more things in your application such as Essays, Letter of Recommendations, Achievements, and also some supporting materials as per your college requirements. You will also be required to submit scores of tests like the ACT or SAT

Colleges you can get with GED

Though most of the colleges do accept GED candidates, knowing about a few certain colleges will always help while filing an application to colleges. Mostly Community and technical colleges do accept GED certificate holders. Mostly the colleges which offer 4 years degree programs consider the overall strength of the application. But somehow a good score in GED will always be demanded by the good and reputed colleges.

Here is the list of  a few universities that accept GED holders:

Career Choices for students with GED

If you are someone who believes in hands-on experience and learning then you might prefer a vocational career over a bachelor’s degree. There are several online courses available out there that you can take advantage of. 

Few careers that students prefer to choose are bookkeeping, computers and office administration, data entry operators, etc.

So there are several other options that one can explore. 


In short, if we have to sum it up then, yes there are lots and lots of colleges that are ready to offer a graduate degree to students who are holding GED certificates and have not done a high school diploma. Apart from this, there are a lot of career choices that one can explore after doing a GED.

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