High School Diploma / GED

How to Earn an Accredited High School Diploma Online (2024)

High School Graduation online

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Your future depends on what you do today. Obtaining a high school diploma opens doors to higher education and better job opportunities. Whether you’re a youth with no high school diploma or an adult seeking a high school diploma for adults, this guide explores essential topics such as the differences between GED vs high school diploma, how to get a high school diploma online, schools offering high school diploma programs, exploring high school diploma programs, and what jobs you can get with a high school diploma.

Key Points

  • Requirements: You need to complete a set number of credits, which includes core subjects and electives.
  • Process: Enroll in an accredited online high school, complete your coursework, and pass required exams.
  • GED vs. High School Diploma: While both credentials are valuable, a high school diploma is often preferred by employers and colleges.

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What is a High School Diploma?

A high school diploma is a certification awarded upon completing the necessary coursework and credits in high school. It signifies that the holder has met the academic standards set by the education system and is essential for higher education and many employment opportunities.

Is GED the Same as a High School Diploma?

When considering alternatives to traditional high school, many people wonder if a GED is equivalent to a high school diploma. Both credentials serve the purpose of demonstrating high school-level academic skills and knowledge, but they are not identical. Understanding the similarities and differences can help you make an informed decision about which path to pursue.


  • Both the GED and a high school diploma certify that the holder has high school-level academic skills.
  • Both are recognized by most employers and educational institutions.


  • Duration: A high school diploma typically takes four years to complete, while a GED can be earned by passing a series of tests.
  • Acceptance: While both are widely accepted, some employers and colleges prefer a high school diploma over a GED.
  • Curriculum: A high school diploma involves continuous coursework and assessments, whereas a GED focuses on testing knowledge and skills.

Which is Better: GED or High School Diploma?

Choosing between a GED and a high school diploma depends on individual circumstances and goals, but generally, a high school diploma is considered more advantageous. While both options can lead to further education and employment opportunities, the high school diploma is often preferred by employers and colleges. Here are the key advantages of each to help you decide which path might be better for you.

Advantages of GED:

  • Can be obtained more quickly.
  • Suitable for those who need a flexible schedule.
  • Offers an alternative for individuals who cannot complete traditional high school.

Advantages of High School Diploma:

  • Preferred by many employers and colleges.
  • Provides a more comprehensive education experience.
  • Offers more opportunities for extracurricular activities and social development.

How to Get a High School Diploma?

Earning a high school diploma is a crucial step towards further education and career opportunities. Whether through a traditional school or an online program, the process involves several key steps. Here’s a guide to help you achieve this important milestone.

1. Choose an accredited program: Ensure the online high school is accredited by a recognized accrediting body. This guarantees that the education you receive meets quality standards and that your diploma will be widely accepted.

2. Enroll in courses: Sign up for the required courses necessary to complete your high school education. Make sure to understand the curriculum and the specific subjects you need to study.

3. Complete coursework: Follow the curriculum provided by your chosen program and complete all assignments diligently. Consistent effort and engagement with the material are essential for success.

4. Pass exams: Take and pass the necessary exams for each course. These exams are designed to test your understanding and knowledge of the subjects you’ve studied.

5. Receive your diploma: Upon successfully completing all coursework and exams, you will receive your high school diploma. This achievement opens the door to further educational opportunities and career paths.

Can You Get a High School Diploma Online?

Yes, you can earn a high school diploma online from accredited institutions like Penn Foster. These programs provide flexibility, enabling you to study from anywhere and at any time, making it accessible to a broad range of students. Whether you're a traditional high-school-aged student or an adult looking to go back to school, Penn Foster offers a convenient option. You can transfer eligible credits and benefit from affordable education on your schedule. With over 125 years of experience, Penn Foster helps individuals achieve their educational and career goals through self-paced, career-relevant programs.

How to Get a High School Diploma Online?

To get a high school diploma online, first, research accredited online programs that meet your state's educational requirements. Choose a program that fits your schedule and learning style, ensuring it offers the necessary courses for graduation. Complete the coursework, which typically includes core subjects like English, math, science, and social studies. Throughout the program, stay organized and motivated, meeting deadlines and participating in virtual classes or discussions as required. Finally, upon completion of all academic requirements and exams, receive your high school diploma, opening doors to higher education or career opportunities.

How to Get a Copy of Your High School Diploma Online?

To get a copy of your high school diploma online, visit your high school or district's website and locate the records or alumni section. Fill out the online request form, providing your full name, graduation year, and any other required details. Be prepared to pay a processing fee, if applicable. Submit the form and wait for confirmation, which may include further instructions or a timeline for receiving your diploma copy.

Which Schools Offer High School Diploma Programs?

Many schools provide online high school diploma programs tailored to various needs. The Penn Foster high school diploma program stands out with its flexible, accredited online curriculum, making it a notable choice for students seeking educational flexibility and quality. Prospective students interested in flexible scheduling and quality education may find Penn Foster to be a beneficial choice among other accredited institutions offering similar programs. Exploring different options ensures finding the best fit for educational goals and personal circumstances.

Exploring High School Diploma Programs

If you're exploring high school diploma programs, why not consider becoming a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)? A CNA high school student can gain valuable skills and experiences that can pave the way for a successful career. You can also explore careers as a Medical Sonographer, Phlebotomist, Medical Assistant, Paramedic, or Pharmacy Technician. These roles provide practical training and essential knowledge, preparing you for future educational and professional endeavors. High school diploma programs offer the opportunity to learn and grow, setting you on a path toward achieving your career aspirations early on.

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High School Diploma Jobs

A high school diploma opens up various job opportunities, such as:

  • Administrative Assistant: Responsible for supporting office operations, managing schedules, and handling communication. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average annual Administrative Assistant salary is $46,010 in May 2023.
  • Customer Service Representative: Involves assisting customers with inquiries, resolving issues, and providing product or service information. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average annual Customer Service Representative salary is $39,680 in May 2023.
  • Retail Sales Associate: Works in stores to assist customers, manage inventory, and complete sales transactions. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average annual Retail Sales Associate salary is $33,900 in May 2023.
  • Medical Secretary and Administrative Assistant: Provides administrative support in healthcare settings, managing patient records, scheduling appointments, and handling billing. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average annual Medical Secretary and Administrative Assistant salary is $40,640 in May 2023.
  • Home Health Aide: Assists patients with daily living activities, providing personal care and support. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average annual Home Health Aide salary is $33,530 in May 2023.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I get a high school diploma for adults?

Yes, adults can earn a high school diploma through adult education programs or accredited online schools. These programs offer flexible schedules and self-paced learning, making it feasible for working adults or those with other commitments to complete their education and obtain a diploma.

How to get an online high school diploma for adults?

To get an online high school diploma as an adult, research accredited online schools offering adult education. Enroll in a suitable program, complete the required coursework in core subjects, and pass all necessary exams. Upon meeting all academic requirements, you will receive your high school diploma, enabling further education or career opportunities.

How to get a free high school diploma online?

To obtain a free high school diploma online, explore publicly funded programs or nonprofit organizations offering tuition-free education. Some states have online public charter schools that provide free education to residents. Ensure the program is accredited and recognized to guarantee the validity and acceptance of your diploma by employers and colleges.

How can I get my high school diploma online in the US?

To get your high school diploma online in the US, start by researching accredited online high schools to ensure they meet state education standards. Once enrolled, you can complete coursework at your own pace, allowing for flexibility in balancing other commitments. Most programs offer a comprehensive curriculum similar to traditional schools, including core subjects and electives, and provide support from certified teachers. After fulfilling all the credit requirements, you'll receive your diploma, which can open doors to college or career opportunities just like a traditional high school diploma.

Final Thoughts

Getting a high school diploma online is a flexible and accessible way to achieve your educational goals. With the right program and dedication, you can open doors to better job opportunities and higher education.

If you've already earned your high school diploma, whether through a traditional school or an online program, and you're considering continuing your education with associate or bachelor's degrees, feel free to explore these additional articles:

Associate Degrees:

Bachelor's Degrees:

Jessa Guzon
Written by
Jessa Guzon

Jessa Guzon is a member of the School Growth and Customer Success Team in Dreambound. She finds joy in assisting both schools and students in reaching their goals by answering their queries and connecting them with the right people. Outside her professional role, Jessa is a happy-go-lucky person with a thirst for adventure.

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