Can You Go to College with a GED?

Some people think that colleges will reject them if they have a GED instead of a high school diploma, but is that true? Can you go to college with a GED? Yes, you can! There are many, many colleges you can apply to. In fact, 98% of colleges accept applicants with a GED. Once you get in, you can earn your degree and progress towards a great career. Use the tips below before you start sending out applications.

Does a GED Affect College Acceptance? 

You may be wondering if your application will get overlooked if you have a GED rather than a high school diploma. 

Nearly all colleges in the US accept the GED as well as many universities around the world. The GED is widely recognized. In fact, there are over 20 million GED graduates and counting. GED graduates that earn the College Ready score levels may even be eligible to bypass placement testing and earn college credit for classes related to the test subjects. 

Tips for Applicants

If you have, or are working towards, your GED and want to apply to college one day, these are a few pointers that might give you an extra boost at the admissions office:

  • Volunteer in your community and get references from those you volunteered with
  • Work hard for an employer, get valuable experience, and show it on your applications
  • Take a college entrance exam like the SAT or ACT and do well on it. (College entrance exams are standardized tests that measure how ready you are for college-level work).
  • Get really great letters of recommendation (which means you need to work hard helping others and showing that you’re responsible). These letters highlight your positive personal and academic qualities and why you would be successful in college. 

Applying to more than one college increases your chances of being accepted. Make sure you fulfill their application requirements and check if they have an alternate form or method to submit your GED scores. With any college you apply to, be sure you to triple-check that you fill out each application correctly. Finally, show off your other accomplishments besides your GED including any of those mentioned above.

 

What Types of Colleges Accept GEDs?

There are no shortages of colleges that accept applicants with GEDs. Here are the three major types of colleges and some tips on how to apply to them with a GED: 

1. Community, Junior, and Technical Colleges

These colleges may accept applicants who don’t have a high school diploma or GED at all! Attending can give you a great start in college, because you can: 

  • Get experience taking college-level classes
  • Take classes to earn your GED (if you haven’t completed your testing) 
  • Complete your general education requirements
  • Learn job skills
  • Earn an associate’s degree or a skill certification
  • Build a solid GPA (grade point average) that can help you get into a bachelor’s degree program later

2. Online Colleges

Before applying to an online college, do some research and find out if the college is officially accredited, which means that a major outside organization has reviewed and validated their academic practices. A degree from an accredited college is valuable, but degrees from unaccredited colleges usually are not. You can search this national database to find out if a college is accredited: https://ope.ed.gov/dapip/#/home

3. Four-Year Traditional Colleges

Can you go to a traditional college with a GED? Most colleges and universities accept GEDs, but a small number do not. Here are some things to look for before applying:

  • Check colleges’ websites and materials to see if they mention accepting applicants with GEDs
  • Check if accepted GEDs must be from the same state as the college
  • If so, earn your GED in the same state as the college(s) you want to attend, or apply only to colleges in your home state

If you have a GED.com account you can see more tips on applying to college, interview help, and salary guides. 

So can you go to college with a GED? Yes, you can get in and eventually earn the degree or certificate you want. Use the tips above. Decide on the type of college experience that’s right for you, and plan out the colleges you should apply to. 

If you keep going after your dream, you can eventually reach it, just like millions of other GED graduates!

39 Comments

  1. i hardly remember anything of highschool this includes basic math. I dont even remember basic multiplication. how can i even have a chance to get my ged if i cant even remember basic math? would i need to take the course again again from the begining?

    1. Hi Ivan,

      There are study tools and resources to help students at all levels prepare for the GED test subjects. You can sign up for a free GED.com account where you can learn more about GED test content, local adult education classes and local testing centers. https://ged.com/

    2. I was one among you , always thought I wasn’t good math, but everything changed when I started studying math from khan academy it is free, you can start from basic math And work your level up and I passed my GED math with college ready, you can do it.

  2. I’m thinking about getting my GED because I’m having to take care of my mom, aunt, and grandmother. I was actually wanting to go to college to get my teaching degree. I’ve been wanting to teach a private school. Would I be able to get my teaching degree with my GED?

    1. Hi Johnathan! Once you earn your GED you can attend college. Over 98% of colleges in the U.S. accept the GED. From there you should be able to get your teaching degree.

  3. Hi If I take the GED in Spanish it will have any problem with it to go to college? i’ll have to take the prerequisite subjects as English ?

    1. Hi Lucy! That depends on which college you decide to attend. We suggest contacting them to find out what their prerequisites are.

    1. Hi April. You can find out how to apply to college on the college’s website. They should provide you with all the information you need to fill out a successful application. Thanks!

    1. The GED is the high school equivalency diploma. If you want to go to college that is a separate institution from GED Testing Service, however there are online colleges.

  4. I was wondering whether universities in the US accept GED graduates who are under the age of 18, moreover, I was wondering whether universities in Canada Ontario also accept GED graduates under 18.

    1. Hi Yahia! You would need to contact the actual universities to find out this information. Thank you!

    1. Hi MJ. We suggest staying in school and getting your high school diploma. Many states have restrictions for underage testing.

  5. Do you think I can get bachelor degree on Criminal justice with GED? If I receive my GED at age 16, can I start my bachelor degree at that age, so I can graduate at age between19-20?

    1. Hi Nasir. You’ll need to contact the college or university you wish to attend to see what their application process is. You should be able to get a degree in criminal justice.

    1. Hi Ameli! You would need to contact the specific colleges you wish to attend in England to see what their requirements are. Thank you!

  6. I’m really behind in school I’m supposed to be senior but credit wise I’m a sophomore I’m thinking about getting my ged and then going to Collin college and getting a degree in dental assistance is that possible? I don’t want to get my ged and then not be able to do that so I just want to make sure it’s possible before I do it also how long do I have to wait to go to to college after getting the ged ?

    1. Hi Sara. We suggest contacting Collin College to make sure that they accept the GED diploma as a form of high school equivalency. 98% of colleges in the U.S. do. If they accept then you can move forward with getting your GED.

  7. Hi if my ged test scores are between 145amd 150 will colleges accept me??cause i read that colleges accept people who score 165 and higher so im confused please answer me
    Thank u

  8. Hello if you have done GED then can you study science subjects In University?Can you study Computer Science/Pharmacy/Medical Science?

    1. Yes you can! Contact the university you wish to attend to see its requirements before attending!

  9. Hi ged Team,

    I drop out of 9th grade, and now i want to get the GED test. After i complete my ged test, can i still be a Licensed vocational nurse ? Do they check if i completed my 4 years in high school?

    Thank you, hoping for a positive answer.

    1. Hi Natalee,

      You are eligible to earn a GED credential if you do not have a high school diploma.

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