For today's student, distance learning can provide a valuable
and affordable way to work toward a GED, the best way for an
adult to demonstrate the skills learned by the average high
school graduate. But there are a growing number of companies and
schools who aren't really in the business of education. Instead,
they're in the education business -- their biggest business is
selling quick and easy programs or simple online tests that come
with worthless transcripts and fake diplomas.
In most cases, the GED -- the term for General Education
Development credential -- is the only official 'diploma' that
has value and is meaningful for adults who never completed their
high school education. There are exceptions. But as a rule most
transcripts and diplomas ordered or obtained from online high
schools are worthless.
Unfortunately, students and adult learners are often misled --
and easily misled -- by these diploma factories or diploma
mills. Here's a recent letter from a new GED student, who
learned about one education business the hard way:
"I paid $250 and got this paper in the mail, but it didn't help
me get a better job. It was a ripoff. It wasn't till my boss
told me that I found out it wasn't a real high school. It wasn't
even a real high school diploma, just something somebody made on
a computer. But it looked like a real school. With a real test."
This student's story is typical, tragic, and more common every
day. Many adult learners fall victim to diploma scams, usually
paying $200 to $800 in tuition, testing, transcript or diploma
fees. But because the school or program isn't accredited, the
diploma has no value -- it's meaningless. When it comes to
employers, job training programs, tech school, community
colleges and universities, bogus diplomas are useless.
But a GED credential is useful. For today's 34 to 38 million
adults in the US who never graduated from high school, passing
the GED test is a pass key to both career and educational
opportunities. Approximately 95 percent of employers and 97
percent of US colleges and universities accept the GED because
it's an official, accredited 'diploma.'
When choosing an education program, an adult student's best bet
is a GED solution, whether enrolling in a local class or online
preparation program. If online learning or distance learning is
the best solution for you, look for a program that includes all
the components needed to prepare for the GED test.
Here are some guidelines for choosing a real online GED program
provider and avoiding bogus schools or fake diploma scams:
-- The American Council on Education (ACE) has tight guidelines
for the GED. The test covers science, social studies, language
arts reading and writing, and math -- including algebra,
geometry and data analysis. Find a program that includes all
testing areas; avoid any solution or school that doesn't include
all test areas or information about test areas and ACE
requirements. -- GED practice tests are available online and are
a good way for a student to determine what to study to get ready
for the test. But the actual GED test cannot be taken online!
The test is only given at official test sites. So avoid any
company that claims to offer the official GED test or a quick
version online. For a listing of official test sites and state
contacts, visit http://www.passged.com/test_state.php#1.
-- Read the fine print, before you pay -- make sure you
understand what the company or school is offering and determine
if it's worth the price. Is it a worthwhile learning process or
just a fake diploma? Will it help you progress in your career or
education? Will the online GED program or learning solution you
choose really prepare you for the GED test? Ask for guidance if
-- Look beyond the company or school; discover what other
teachers, students and adult learners are saying. Explore GED
and education message boards, online forums or learning
communities. What do people say? Are there complaints, or
reports of success? Does the school or company you're
considering even offer a blog, message board or forum where
people can post their experiences and results, difficulties and
-- Be very cautious in dealing with any company or online high
school that offers a diploma or transcript after passing an
online test. The GED test is difficult; the test is timed and
usually takes more than seven hours. Basically, just as the old
adage says: If it sounds too good to be true it probably is too
good to be true.
Education is probably the best investment you can make in
yourself. Make sure your investment is a good one, and gives you
a return that's worthwhile. The GED credential might be harder
to get than a $250 diploma, but you can sure count on it to take
you to where you want to go.
For more information about the GED, and free GED resources
online: visit http://www.passGED.com/.
The website includes
answers to the most common questions about the GED, and links to