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The True Cost of Getting a GED

June 9th, 2022
A person sitting at a table putting a coin in a piggy bank

In the United States, the GED (General Education Development) is supposed to be a high school equivalency certificate. But, the GED is not always regarded the same as a high school diploma. Some perception issues can impact GED certificate holders. It is not always accepted as equal. Let’s explore why.

For those who drop out of high school early, getting a GED can be an appealing route. Developed by the American Council, the GED testing service gives a test taker the flexibility to study on their own and take the exam when they are ready. For those who can learn on their own, it’s a relatively simple way to get the equivalent of a high school diploma. It can also satisfy the requirements that some colleges and trade schools have for enrollment. However, those who seek out a GED credential should be aware of the true test cost of going for a GED instead of a diploma.

Infographic for Grad Solutions outlining how much the GED costs.

Breaking Down The Costs of The GED Exam

To prepare for the test, you must pay for all materials out of pocket. It’s $6.99 for all four practice tests, $24.99 for flashcards, and $149 for online classes. The full price of the GED can really add up depending on the amount of GED preparation classes and other online resources you require.

The GED can be taken in person at a testing center or in an online testing format and costs $173 for Arizona residents. There are four tests you must take (but five in Arizona):

  • Mathematical Reasoning – $41
  • Reasoning through Language Arts – $41
  • Social Studies – $41
  • Science – $41
  • Test takers in Arizona must also take the Arizona Civics Test – $9

If you decide that you need more help with the exam, there are additional GED classes that provide one-on-one tutoring. The GED+ service costs $389 for all subjects or $119 for a single subject. The GED+ can be a useful tool in getting your GED but does require a monetary commitment.

Once you pass, you will have an official transcript from the GED. Unfortunately, if you fail to get the minimum score on the GED test, you will need to pay again to retake it and earn your GED transcript.

Infographic for Grad Solutions answering the question is a high school diploma equivalent to the GED?

Downsides of the GED Test

The most distressing part about getting a GED is that it’s technically the high school equivalency test, but it is not looked at the same by all potential employers. The military, in particular, regards GED holders differently and they are accepted as tier-two recruits.

While a GED is certainly better than no high school diploma at all, it may result in earning lower pay than a typical high school graduate. US Census data has shown that the mean monthly pay for those with a high school diploma is $4,700 while those with a GED certificate earn about $3,100. This works out to a difference of $19,000 per year.

This is one reason we encourage students to pursue their high school diploma over a GED when possible. Getting a GED may be a good path for some, but long-term earning your diploma pays off. If you’re no longer in school but looking to earn an accredited high school diploma online, we can help regardless of age.

Grad solutions student smiling in class.

100% Free Online High School Diploma with Grad Solutions

You may be wondering if there is a solution after dropping out to get your high school diploma without the expenses, strict timeline, and required attendance. Grad Solutions can help. In Arizona, Grad Solutions offers young adults 16-21 years of age the opportunity to get a high school diploma at no cost. You can complete your studies and online tests on your schedule. Plus, we won’t leave you hanging when you need help!

If you are outside of Arizona or are over the age of 21, Smart Schools offers a similar path to earn an accredited high school diploma on your schedule.

The High School Experience

High school life is a special time and can be an amazing experience for young adults. There are high school events like sports games, drama performances, music performances, art exhibitions, science exhibitions, dances, and more. Just as important are the day-to-day interactions with other students.

Grad Solutions is unique compared to other online high school experiences because we can offer in-person interaction to complement our online courses! We have locations throughout the state of Arizona that offer the potential for student interactions as well as teacher and mentor support. We know that not all traditional high school interactions are positive for students, but we aim to fix that and create a great student experience.

While high school can be challenging, it can be a period of growth and maturity as well. From learning to work with others to committing to your coursework and taking steps toward your graduation, it can be an experience! As you walk that path, Grad Solutions can help you prepare and plan for your life after high school.

Women studying to prepare for her future

Prep for the Future: Higher Education & Life Skills

High school is the last stop before college and taking advantage of what it has to offer will make you more prepared for the future, whatever that may be. The goal of high school is to give you the foundational knowledge and skills you need to be successful in college and your adult life.

Learning to manage your school workload and outside commitments can be a challenge, at first. Through hard work, you will learn how to manage your time efficiently. This process makes you more prepared for college or technical college as well as the types of jobs that will pay you more.

Enroll Today

If you want:

  • Tuition-free education
  • No Testing Fees
  • Flexible and virtual classes
  • Student Support
  • A valuable and accredited high school diploma
  • Special Accommodations (for students with IEPs and 504 plans)

Then Grad Solutions is the place for you. Enrollment for Arizona residents is straightforward! Simply apply online, begin your program orientation, and choose your classes. The path to success is clear with Grad Solutions’ help. For additional information, contact us!


GED Recipients Have Lower Earnings, are Less Likely to Enter College

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