There are a number of reasons why an individual might drop out of high school: teenage rebellion; needing to work to help support a family; or even to enlist and go off to war. But, hope is not lost for people who left high school prior to graduation, regardless of circumstances. There are several ways to continue your eduation and achieve a high school diploma.

Re-Enrolling in School

If you have dropped out of high school, but soon realize that this was not the right choice for you, you can re-enroll in school. The age limitations and process by which you do this vary by state, city, and even school district, but you can contact your local school board to determine the process in your area. If you are under the age of 21, and certainly under 18, you can likely go to the front office of the school you dropped out of to ask for re-enrollment papers. If you are unsure of the process, make an appointment to speak with the school's guidance counselor, who can advice you on what to do.

On-line High School

On-line schools are an option for students of any age who have not yet completed high school, yet wish to earn an accredited high school diploma, rather than a GED certificate. On-line high schools offer the same curriculum as regular high schools, but the work can be completed at the student's own pace and on his own schedule. You can work ahead and complete coursework early, or go to school only part-time and earn a high school diploma at a rate that fits your lifestyle. Students who are only a few classes shy of earning their high school diplomas may also submit their transcripts and receive credit for courses already completed.


The General Education Development (or GED) test is a multiple choice test that measures if a person has acquired the skills necessary to graduate high school. Test-takers should be prepared to answer questions regarding math, science, reading, writing and social studies. Most cities host free or low-cost GED preparedness courses, which are typically held at night. Once you pass the GED, you will receive a high school equivalence certificate.

Veterans Honorary High School Diploma

In some cases, if you dropped out of high school to serve in the United States military and were deployed to war, you are eligible for an honorary high school diploma. One such example is the Virginia Veteran Honorary High School Diploma, which allows veterans of World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War to apply for an honorary diploma. Montana and Pennsylvania also offer similar programs. You can search online or contact your state's veterans services office to inquire about benefits in your state.

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