Earning Your New Jersey High School Diploma!

Apr 05, 2018

If you're an adult living in New Jersey and don't have your high school diploma, you may consider enrolling in an adult high school. Through the completion of coursework, participating in training experiences and by passing an assessment exam, you could earn a New Jersey Adult High School Diploma.

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New Jersey High School Graduation Requirements

Completion of a high school diploma in New Jersey requires a minimum total of 120 credits. These credits may also be met in whole or in part through independent study, online learning, study abroad or student exchange programs and/or structured learning experiences such as internships or work-based programs. These individualized student learning opportunities will be certified by the school district board of education.

For students graduating in the Classes of 2018 and 2019, there are three pathways to completing the graduation requirements.

  • Achieving passing scores on high level PARCC assessments;
  • Achieving passing scores on alternative assessments (SAT, ACT or Accuplacer);
  • Submission of a student portfolio to the Department's portfolio appeals committee.

For students of in Class 2020, the above three pathways are also available provided that the student has received passing scores in all PARCC assessments for which they are eligible.

For students in Classes 2021 and beyond, there will only be two pathways to completion or graduation requirements:

  • Passing the ELA 10 and Algebra 1 Assessments; or
  • Submission of a student portfolio to the Department's portfolio appeals committee, provided the student has received a passing score in all PARCC assessments for which they are eligible.

High School Equivalency Tests

Individuals in New Jersey who are 16 years or older and have not graduated from high school, are not currently enrolled in high school, or have not received a high school equivalency diploma are eligible to take one of three high school equivalency tests: the GED, HiSet or TASC. Students aged 16 or 17 must provide a Certificate of Consent to Participate signed by a parent or legal guardian. Passing of these exams will earn the individual a state-issued high school diploma.

These tests measure knowledge in core high school subjects: literature, writing, mathematics, social studies, science and the arts. Tests are given at accredited adult education centers throughout New Jersey. The New Jersey Department of Education website has a list of approved testing centers, individuals should contact the specific center they are interested in for information on registration.

For the GED test, the student must achieve a passing score of 150 in each of four sections: social studies, science, reading, and math. The HiSet requirements are a passing score of 9 in each of five sections: writing, social studies, science, reading, and math. The TASC has a minimum score requirement of 500 in each of the five sections: writing, social studies, science, reading, and math.

New Jersey Adult High School

As an alternative, you may also earn a New Jersey Adult High School Diploma through an adult high school program offered through the New Jersey public school system. The New Jersey Department of Education has a listing of adult high schools throughout the state on its website. Each student is given an individualized education plan to meet the graduation requirements which takes into account any previous high school credit or past experiences that may be used toward credit requirements. Information about enrollment and eligibility can be found by contacting the New Jersey Department of Education.

Thirty College Credit Program

In New Jersey, individuals 16 and older who have completed general college courses may apply these college credits towards earning a high school diploma. A total number of 30 college credits must be completed with a passing score of C or higher. Within these 30 credits, three credits must be obtained in each of the following subjects: English language arts, mathematics, science, social studies as well as six credits in any of the following subjects: visual and performing arts, health and physical education, world language, technology, or 21st century life and careers. Remedial college courses are not valid for credit through this program. An application found on the NJDE website can be found for those interested in this program. An official college transcript must be sent along with the application.

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