There are many reasons why an adult may not have had the opportunity to complete high school. There are also many reasons why it is difficult for students to return to school and earn a diploma – other responsibilities, personal embarrassment, and lack of access, to name a few.
However, due to the prevalence of the Internet and online classes, these excuses have lost some of their validity. It is now possible to enroll in an accredited online high school diploma or GED program and start working toward graduation from the comfort of your own home, at your own pace.
Online High School Diploma Programs and Your Paycheck
It is fairly common knowledge that people with high school diplomas will typically make more money, on average, than those who have dropped out. But what you might not realize is just how big that income gap is. According to 2009 US Census Bureau statistics, the median annual income of high school dropouts is $22,222. By contrast, those who have earned their diplomas average nearly $32,272 per year—a $10,000 difference.
While an online high school diploma or GED can have an impact on your financial well-being, it can also serve as the foundation for your long-term success through opening the doors to a college education.
Accreditation is Key
As you begin to explore online high school diploma programs, you may notice that there are a tremendous number from which to choose. Accreditation is one of the most important things to remember when trying to identify the school that’s best for you.
Ideally, the school you select should be accredited by one of the six regional organizations that have been recognized by the US Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation:
- Middle States Association of Schools and Colleges
- New England Association of Schools and Colleges
- North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement
- Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges
- Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
- Western Association of Schools and Colleges
Another option is to choose a school that has been nationally accredited by the Distance Education Training Council. Generally speaking, however, this is a less preferable choice. While many employers will accept a online high school diploma from a nationally accredited school, many regionally accredited schools will not accept course credits from such programs, which can have negative consequences if you choose to switch schools or pursue a campus or online college degree after earning your diploma.
However, depending on your specific circumstances, a regionally accredited school might still be the best option for you. Just remember to be vigilant throughout your evaluation of online high school diploma programs and avoid schools that claim to be fully accredited but are not recognized by one of the aforementioned organizations.
Fortunately, finding out whether your chosen school is properly accredited is a simple process. The Council for Higher Education Accreditation allows you to conduct searches by name of school within their online database to find out whether an institution is accredited.
Due to the increase popularity of online learninring, there are now fewer obstacles to earning your GED or high school diploma. Start exploring online high school diploma programs today, and begin building your educational foundation.