Earning Your Ohio High School Diploma!

Adults in Ohio who don't have a high school diploma may obtain a General Educational Development (GED) credential from the Ohio State Department of Education. There are also other options available for adults who want to obtain a diploma instead of the GED credential.

Earn Your High School Diploma in Ohio

The Ohio GED

Adults seeking a high school diploma in Ohio may want to consider the GED designation, which is the only option for a high school credential available statewide. The GED is a four-part exam created by the American Council on Education (ACE). It's for individuals who don't have a high school diploma and aren't currently enrolled in high school or another secondary school diploma program.

Passing the GED tests leads to the Ohio High School Equivalence Diploma. The GED covers math, social studies, reading, science and writing; an essay is also required. You need to obtain a total score of at least 600 with no less than 150 on any individual exam.

Eligibility for the GED tests

In Ohio, test candidates must be 18 years old. Individuals between the ages of 16 and 18 may take the test by having a superintendent or principal from their most recent school district complete an age waiver form. The GED application must be completed online. You may pay the registration fee online or print and mail your application and payment. Forms, age exemptions and fee information may be found on the Ohio Department of Education website.

Preparing for the Exams

GED practice tests and preparation classes are available for Ohio residents at local adult learning centers, public schools and community colleges. Center locations are available on the state's Education Department website or on the Ohio Literacy Network website. Online and home preparation aids are also available on the ACE website, PBS literacy link and the KET adult learning website.

Adult Evening High School

Another option for adults is to seek programs that offer a traditional high school diploma, which are available in some local school districts. In these programs, adults must earn enough credits for a traditional diploma; up to six of these credits may be earned from life or work experiences. Also, you must pass the ninth-grade proficiency test or the current Ohio Graduation Tests, depending on the test you would have taken if you graduated with your high school class. The exam portion may be waived if you meet the state's requirements for having a disability.

Eligibility Criteria

Students entering an adult program must be at least 16 years old, not enrolled in school and must not have a high school diploma. Students who were expelled from school or referred to the Ohio Department of Youth Services need to be 18 years old. They must also be residents of the district where they want to attend adult school.

How to Enroll

Contact your local school district to see if a diploma program is available; there may be age and residency requirements. These programs may be administered with other school districts or may allow older participants and non-residents to attend for additional fees. You may find contacts to your local school district on the Ohio Higher Education website.

Gateway to Success Program

Another option for adult students is the Gateway to Success program, which is designed for individuals who dropped out of high school but want to earn their high school diploma as well as college credits. These programs are administered by Ohio career centers in partnership with a local university. Programs are available in Warren County and through the Great Oaks Technology and Career program. You may contact the program directly or contact a high school counselor at your last school for more information about the Gateway program.

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