Become a High School Graduate in Colorado: Program Options

In Colorado, adults who haven't graduated from high school may consider attending an adult high school diploma program, or they may earn a General Educational Development (GED) diploma. Both options allow a person to receive credentials similar to those earned by someone who has graduated from high school.

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High School Graduate Options for Adults in Colorado

An adult high school diploma program allows individuals to earn the credits they need to qualify for graduation. The individual's previous credits earned when attending high school may count towards graduation and any missing credits are typically made up through the program. Some programs allow students to use work experience or life experience to gain credits, reducing the amount of required coursework.

The GED option is test based and while preparation is not mandatory, it is advised, especially for individuals who may have been out of school for a while. Preparation courses allow a person to prepare for the four sections of the GED test, which include social studies, reasoning through mathematics, science and reasoning through language arts.

High School Diploma Programs

Adult high school programs typically include classes that students must take in each subject, similar to classes taken in a typical high school. Some programs may offer options for students to demonstrate mastery of skills that can be exchanged for credits. Individual, self-guided work may also be an option.

Many programs require students to take assessment tests before enrolling in the program. This allows the students to be placed in the appropriate classes according to their abilities.


GED testing takes place at approved centers throughout the state and it can't be done online. Individuals who want to take the GED tests must be residents of Colorado and over the age of 17. A person can't be enrolled in a high school and or already hold a high school diploma or GED. To be admitted to the test an individual must bring a photo ID that shows his or her current address.

To pass the GED tests, a person must earn a score of 150 on each test with an overall score of at least 600. If a person fails one or more tests, he or she can retake the test, but there is a limit of three times a person can test per year. A person must also wait 60 days to retake the test again if they take a portion more than three times. After passing the tests, individuals can only retake the tests if they can provide proof that doing so would benefit them in securing employment or entering a postsecondary program.

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