The GED® Certificate: Is It Too Late?

By Earl Heymans, Educator

After you've been out of school for a while, it's easy to start wondering: Is it too late to get my high school equivalency (HSE) diploma? It's never too late! The original GED test was created to help World War II soldiers get back on track with their education. The program was expanded to help any adult in need. Recently, states have also added the HiSET exam and TASC test as ways to earn a high school credential. A diploma qualifies you for more jobs and higher education, and that's a good thing at any age.

Adults of all ages earn an HSE diploma each year. In 2007, Evie Eaves of Amarillo, Texas earned her GED credential at 97 years old, becoming the oldest GED certificate recipient. Evie, who was born in 1910, grew up on a farm in Oklahoma where the nearest high school was a seven-mile walk. Her great-granddaughter urged her to get her diploma. Family, friends, and the staff at her retirement community helped Evie, and her accomplishment that made her feel she could do anything.

Let Evie's accomplishment be an inspiration to you, too. Each week, there are new stories of people of all ages passing the GED test, HiSET exam, or TASC test. Twenty-two years after coming to the U.S., Vietnamese immigrant Linh Wight, after a long struggle to learn English, earned her GED certificate in Newnan, Georgia. Days later, she was accepted at the University of West Georgia. It wasn't too late for her.

Sherry, a GED Academy student, writes: "I passed the GED test! Thanks for all of your help. Now I'll be able to pursue my dreams of nursing." Zaher, also a GED Academy student, writes: "I am proud that I got my GED certificate and very happy with it, especially after I learned that no one from my country has attempted that before!"

A high school equivalency diploma is an important achievement for most learners. It represents a triumph that they can be proud of, as well as a road to future success with a new career or a college education. Only a few years after dropping out of high school, some learners begin doubting if they're too old to go back. They think of preparing for an HSE exam like "high school" for 18 or 20-year-olds, but thousands of people in their fifties, sixties, and even older get their diplomas. It's never too late.

If you're ready for a fresh start, more education, or a better career, it's not too late to get an HSE diploma. There are many resources to help you prepare. Many community colleges, adult schools, and libraries offer low-cost or free courses. Online programs like GED Academy, HiSET Academy, and TASC Academy can be quick and easy, and they can eliminate problems with transportation and childcare. The learners who make a commitment to get their diplomas never regret their achievement.

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The GED® Certificate: Is It Too Late? by Earl Heymans is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United Stated License, redistribution of this article is allowed under the following terms outlined here.