Can You Get into College with a GED? Here’s What You Need to Know

Can You Get into College with a GED?

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Can You Get into College With a GED?

Many colleges and universities accept students with a GED. While some students fear they can’t get into college without a traditional high school diploma, that’s far from the case. You can potentially get into college with a GED! You must meet the college’s other admissions requirements. Additionally, you may also be interested in trade schools that don’t require a high school diploma or GED.  

Does a GED Affect College Acceptance? 

Earning a GED instead of a high school diploma may not matter, depending on the college you apply to. It’s considered a high school equivalency. The main thing is to meet the school’s admissions requirements and stand out as an applicant.   

Your GED score may make a difference, though. A passing score is 145 on each test subject. But a score of 165-174 is considered “GED® College Ready.” This may be a good sign that you have the skills to start college. And a score of 175-200 is considered “GED® College Ready + Credit.” This means you likely already know some of the skills taught in college classes. So, you might be eligible to earn college credit for your prior skills and knowledge. Having a higher GED score does not guarantee college acceptance. But, it may be a plus.  

What if You Have a Low GED Score?

If you have a low GED score, you could test again to try for a higher score. If you didn’t pass a subject test, you get two retests. If you fail the third test (and beyond), you have to wait 60 days before trying again. Your state may have other rules, too. Even if you passed all your subject tests, you are allowed to retake them to improve your score. GED prep courses or practice tests could potentially help you boost your score.  

Are College Admission Requirements Different With a GED?

Often, applying with a GED does not have different admissions requirements. Except the GED itself, of course. You will have to submit your scores along with your high school or prior college transcripts. Some schools may only accept GED applicants who took the GED in the same state as the college.

Your school may also require or suggest that you take extra steps to prove you are college ready. Like, earning a certain number of credits at your local community college to show you can do college coursework. You may need to submit standardized test scores, like the SAT or ACT – even if that’s not required for all students. Always check with your prospective college about the admissions process for applying with a GED.

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Am I Eligible for Financial Aid if I Have a GED? 

You may apply for federal financial aid with a GED. That doesn’t guarantee you will get financial aid. You must meet other eligibility requirements, too. Financial aid may be available to those who qualify. But, a GED is considered acceptable proof that you are qualified to pursue federal aid for college. Or career school.

Wondering about your school’s financial aid programs? Check with them, directly. 

Finally, you may be able to apply for scholarships for students who have a GED. There are plenty of scholarship programs out there. Some may be designed to help students who took nontraditional paths.   

What is Ability to Benefit? 

Ability to Benefit is another way of showing you qualify to pursue higher education. Like a college degree or career school. Even if you don’t have a high school diploma or GED. This is for the purpose of applying for federal aid. This may apply to you if: 

  • You were enrolled in college or career school before July 1, 2012 or
  • You are now enrolled in an eligible career pathway program

Your college could give you an approved ability-to-benefit test. This may help show you could benefit from education at that school. Or, you could earn six credit hours or the equivalent toward a degree or certificate. You may not get aid while earning those six credits. But, it’s another way to help prove you qualify to pursue higher ed and federal financial aid. 

What Type of Colleges Accept GEDs? 

Any type of college may accept GEDs, including:

  • Community Colleges, Junior Colleges, Technical Colleges. These colleges may admit a wide range of students – even those without a GED or diploma. Attending one of these institutions could be a potential way to earn an Associate’s degree or other credential. Or, transfer credits toward a four-year school.
  • Four-year College or University. These could be private or public, and they come in all different shapes and sizes. From large state universities to small, private colleges. When applying, check with the admissions office to see what’s needed from applicants with a GED credential. Like, a certain number of transfer credits.
  • Online Colleges. You are not just limited to traditional colleges. Online schools may accept GED applicants. Some offer adult education programs aimed at nontraditional students. Look for accredited online colleges and universities.  

Online Colleges that Accept GEDs 

1 Pennsylvania State University – World Campus
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World Campus is the online branch of Penn State. Started in 1998, it strives to offer accessible distance learning. Courses are the same as those offered on campus. Choose from career focused Associate’s, Bachelor’s degree, and graduate programs.

Have a GED? You’re welcome to apply. Applicants must send transcripts of their GED results. They also need to report all coursework taken in high school. World Campus also offers programs for returning students and adult learners. And, others with a nontraditional academic background. 

Admission requirements (for GED applicants) include

  • GED transcripts 
  • High school record 
  • SAT or ACT scores

2019/20 Tuition & Fees

Undergrad Tuition & Fees: $13,988 
Grad Tuition & Fees: $21,682 + $504 fees

Average Amount of Financial Aid (2019/20)

Grants & Awards: 50% get, avg. amt. $8,678

Federal Loans: 51% get, avg. amt. $5,341

Grad Rate

71%

Salary After Attending

$19k – $68k

2 Southern New Hampshire University 
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SNHU is a private, nonprofit, accredited school. It has a campus in Manchester, NH that serves 3,000 students. But, most learners study online – over 135,000 of them! Choose from over 200 programs in everything from education to STEM subjects.  

You may apply to SNHU with a GED. For online programs, the application process is pretty simple. You’ll need to do an online college application. And, talk to an admissions counselor. They’ll walk you through next steps. 

Admission requirements (for GED applicants) include

  • GED 
  • Letters of recommendation 
  • College prep courses

2019/20 Tuition & Fees

Undergrad Tuition & Fees: $31,136*
Grad Tuition & Fees: $18,810* 

Average Amount of Financial Aid (2019/20)

Grants & Awards: 71% get, avg. amt. of $10,243

Federal Loans: 65% get, avg. amt. of $5,482

Grad Rate

44%

Salary After Attending

$26k – $72k

3 Liberty University 
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Liberty is an evangelical Christian liberal arts institution. Along with its Lynchburg, VA campus, it is known for its online programs. Liberty offers 700+ programs, include certificate programs, undergrad, and grad programs. Over 450 of these may be earned online.  

Besides traditional high school graduates, those with a GED are welcome to apply. To apply to any of Liberty’s online programs, you must submit an online High School and GED self certification form. Other requirements may depend on the program you’re interested in. 

Admission requirements (for GED applicants) include

  • GED transcripts 
  • High school record

2019/20 Tuition & Fees

Undergrad Tuition & Fees: $22,747*
Grad Tuition & Fees: $7,980* + $420 fees 

Average Amount of Financial Aid (2019/20)

Grants & Awards: 92% get, avg. amt. of $11,369

Federal Loans: 56% get, avg. amt. of $5,489

Grad Rate

47%

Salary After Attending

$15k – $67k

4 University of Massachusetts – Amherst
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UMassOnline is the online version of this well known state university. Along with the five physical UMass campuses, online learning offers another way to earn your degree. In fact, distance learning has been available at the University of Massachusetts for over 25 years! 

Any student with a high school diploma or GED may register for courses. But, this is not the same as program acceptance. You must apply through the campus that sponsors the online program you are interested in. Like, Amherst. Follow admissions requirements for that campus. 

Admission requirements (for GED applicants) include

  • GED transcripts 
  • High school record 
  • Recommendations

2019/20 Tuition & Fees

Undergrad Tuition & Fees: $35,710
Grad Tuition & Fees: $29,529 + $2,195 fees 

Average Amount of Financial Aid (2019/20)

Grants & Awards: 82% get, avg. amt. of $9,517

Federal Loans: 52% get, avg. amt. of $5,345

Grad Rate

82%

Salary After Attending

$22k – $75k

5 Grand Canyon University 
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GCU is a private university in Phoenix, AZ. It offers campus based and online learning. Pursue online degrees in education, business, liberal arts, or nursing and health sciences. Online degree programs are offered at the Bachelor’s, Master’s and doctoral degree levels. 

GED applicants are welcome. There are min score requirements, though. If you took the 2014 or later series, you need a cumulative score of 680 or above. If you took the 2002-2013 Series, you need to score 3000 or above. And for the 2002 Series and prior, 258 or above. 

Admission requirements (for GED applicants) include

  • Minimum cumulative GED score
  • High school record

2019/20 Tuition & Fees

Undergrad Tuition & Fees: $17,800*
Grad Tuition & Fees: $10,175* + $899 fees 

Average Amount of Financial Aid (2019/20)

Grants & Awards: 99% get, avg. amt. of $9,933

Federal Loans: 67% get, avg. amt. $5,587

Grad Rate

41%

Salary After Attending

$25k – $75k

6 Purdue University Global 
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Purdue Global is a public, online university, part of the Purdue University System. It’s designed for working adult students. Students may try their online courses for three weeks, without risk. Many start dates throughout the year and flexible course scheduling may make this school the perfect match. 

Purdue Global has an open admissions policy. It admits undergrad students with either a high school or GED diploma. But you must meet the school’s academic standards during your 3 week trial period. Some of the programs may have other admissions rules.  

Admission requirements (for GED applicants) include

  • Proof of GED

2019/20 Tuition & Fees

Undergrad Tuition & Fees: $14,358
Grad Tuition & Fees: $9,768 + $812 fees 

Average Amount of Financial Aid (2019/20)

Grants & Awards: 71% get, avg. amt. $5,596

Federal Loans: 24% get, avg. amt. $5,158

Grad Rate

27%

Salary After Attending

$22k – $71k

7 New York University 
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NYU is a large, private university with locations in New York City and around the world. It is known for its innovative research and diversity. NYU is home to select online degree programs. Plus, you can take online courses as part of a traditional degree program. 

The GED (General Equivalency Diploma) is accepted as proof of high school graduation. Homeschooled students who do not have a homeschool diploma or other proof of graduation can also take the GED.  

Admission requirements (for GED applicants) include

  • GED 
  • Transcripts 
  • Recommendations 
  • Formal demonstration of competencies

2019/20 Tuition & Fees

Undergrad Tuition & Fees: $53,308* 
Grad Tuition & Fees: $33,408* + $2,154 fees 

Average Amount of Financial Aid (2019/20)

Grants & Awards: 46% get, avg. amt. $33,694

Federal Loans: 29% get, avg. amt. $5,180

Grad Rate

85%

Salary After Attending

$16k – $92k

8 CSU Global 
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CSU Global is part of the Colorado State University System. It’s an accredited, nonprofit state school. And, it offers fully online degree programs. Choose from career focused fields. Like, Business, Criminal Justice, and Finance. 

You are welcome to apply with a GED. CSU has other unique rules that not all schools have. For instance, first-year applicants may need to apply with two years of work experience, min. Students over 23 years old, or those who have at least 24 prior college credits, may not need the work experience.  

Admission requirements (for GED applicants) include

  • GED
  • High school record 

2019/20 Tuition & Fees

Undergrad Tuition & Fees: $8,400*
Grad Tuition & Fees: $9,000* 

Average Amount of Financial Aid (2019/20)

Grants & Awards: $3,682

Federal Loans: $7,338

Grad Rate

N/A

Salary After Attending

$26k – $70k

9 Ashford University 
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Ashford University is a private, for-profit college. It offers distance education to help busy adults pursue their goals. Associate’s, Bachelor’s, and graduate programs are offered. Choose from subjects ranging from Business to Liberal Arts. 

At Ashford, your GED counts as proof of high school graduation. Ashford has an open admissions policy. But to be fully admitted, you must meet certain requirements in your initial coursework. That includes earning a grade of C- or better by Day 6 of Week 3 in your first course.  

Admission requirements (for GED applicants) include

  • GED

2019/20 Tuition & Fees

Undergrad Tuition & Fees: $12,400*
Grad Tuition & Fees: $12,060* + $750 fees 

Average Amount of Financial Aid (2019/20)

Grants & Awards: 84% get, avg. amt. $4,701

Federal Loans: 68% get, avg. amt. $6,717

Grad Rate

8%

Salary After Attending

$20k – $54k

10 Columbia Southern University 
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CSU is an online university in Orange Beach, Alabama. It awards undergraduate and graduate degrees, plus certificates. Columbia Southern is known for programs in areas like occupational safety and health, fire administration, and much more. It is accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission. 

For admission, you must have a high school equivalency – that includes the GED. Columbia Southern has an open admissions policy. But you will need to prove yourself in your initial courses. Undergrads must earn 12 credits. And, meet qualitative and quantitative criteria. At that point, they may be fully admitted. 

Admission requirements (for GED applicants) include

  • GED

2019/20 Tuition & Fees

Undergrad Tuition & Fees: $5,655* 
Grad Tuition & Fees: $3,780* + $135 fees 

Average Amount of Financial Aid (2019/20)

Grants & Awards: 92% get, avg. amt. $3,552

Federal Loans: 60% get, avg. amt. $6,007

Grad Rate

22%

Salary After Attending

$26k – $67k

11 Colorado Technical University 
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Colorado Technical University is a career focused school offering programs with a tech emphasis. Though, you’ll also find programs in Nursing, Criminal Justice, and more. CTU has campus locations in Colorado, plus online programs.   

At CTU, the GED meets the high school graduation requirement. Beyond that, the school has an open admissions policy. So, there aren’t set requirements besides documentation of your GED. Contact an admissions advisor to learn more.  

Admission requirements (for GED applicants) include

  • GED

2019/20 Tuition & Fees

Undergrad Tuition & Fees: $12,529* 
Grad Tuition & Fees: $13,710* + $611 fees 

Average Amount of Financial Aid (2019/20)

Grants & Awards: 89% get, avg. amt. $6,047

Federal Loans: 75% get, avg. amt. $6,717

Grad Rate

26%

Salary After Attending

$23k – $72k

12 National University 
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National University is a private, nonprofit institution. It’s based in San Diego, CA, but also offers online programs. Choose from over 75 degree programs at various levels. You can even focus on one subject at a time, in accelerated, 4-week classes.  

National University is a private, nonprofit institution. It’s based in San Diego, CA, but also offers online programs. Choose from over 75 degree programs at various levels. You can even focus on one subject at a time, in accelerated, 4-week classes.  

Admission requirements (for GED applicants) include

  • GED transcripts 
  • Formal demonstration of competencies (may be optional) 
  • SAT or ACT scores (optional)

2019/20 Tuition & Fees

Undergrad Tuition & Fees: $13,320* 
Grad Tuition & Fees: $15,480* 

Average Amount of Financial Aid (2019/20)

Grants & Awards: N/A

Federal Loans: Avg. amt. $11,042

Grad Rate

29%

Salary After Attending

N/A

13 Thomas Edison State University 
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Thomas Edison State University is a 4-year public school. It is based in Trenton, New Jersey. The school focuses on adult learners. Many students pursue their degrees online. But, you can also visit the historic campus to meet with your advisor, take a proctored exam, or just explore.  

This school has an open admissions policy. You are welcome to apply with a GED. But, you must be at least 20 years old. If you are a member of the military, you can be 18 or older. And it is possible to apply for exceptions to this rule. 

Admission requirements (for GED applicants) include

  • GED

2019/20 Tuition & Fees

Undergrad Tuition & Fees: $9,856
Grad Tuition & Fees: $12,024 

Average Amount of Financial Aid (2019/20)

Grants & Awards: Avg. amt. $3,450

Federal Loans: Avg. amt. $7,299

Grad Rate

N/A

Salary After Attending

$37k – $80k

14 Brandman University 
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Brandman is a private, nonprofit school for working adults. You may choose from fully online or hybrid programs. Hybrid programs blend online and on campus courses. Brandman even offers competency based programs. These could let you move forward in your courses through life and work experience.  

You may apply to an Associate’s degree program at Brandman with a GED. If you don’t have at least 12 transferable credits, you’ll need to pass admissions exam in English and Math. Hoping to pursue a four year degree? You must earn at least 12 eligible transfer credits to apply to a Bachelor’s degree program. These must be from a regionally accredited institution. 

Admission requirements (for GED applicants) include

  • GED
  • Transcripts
  • Formal demonstration of competencies 

2019/20 Tuition & Fees

Undergrad Tuition & Fees: $12,440*
Grad Tuition & Fees: $11,880* + $440 fees 

Average Amount of Financial Aid (2019/20)

Grants & Awards: 89% get, avg. amt. $3,507

Federal Loans: Avg. amt. $9,187

Grad Rate

60%

Salary After Attending

$30k – $51k

15 University Of Maryland Global Campus 
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UMGC is an online state university. Part of the University System of Maryland, it strives to serve working adults and military service members. Choose from over 90 degree programs and paths. In almost every course, digital course materials are included at no extra cost. 

This school has an open admissions policy. You can apply to UMGC with a passing GED score. Or, another high school equivalent. And, students who have earned 60 college credits or an Associate’s degree can apply without a GED. 

Admission requirements (for GED applicants) include

  • GED

2019/20 Tuition & Fees

Undergrad Tuition & Fees: $12,336
Grad Tuition & Fees: $11,862 + 270 fees 

Average Amount of Financial Aid (2019/20)

Grants & Awards: 35% get, avg. amt. $4,663

Federal Loans: 23% get, avg. amt. $7,260

Grad Rate

15%

Salary After Attending

$34k – $64k

Southern New Hampshire University

  • Take advantage of some of the nation’s most affordable tuition rates, while earning a degree from a private, nonprofit, NEASC accredited university
  • Qualified students with 2.5 GPA and up may receive up to $20K in grants & scholarships
  • Multiple term start dates throughout the year. 24/7 online classroom access.
  • Offering over 200 online degree

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Sources for school statistics is the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics.

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