Many people believe that without a high school diploma, a college education is unattainable. On the contrary, approximately 95 percent of accredited college and universities in the United States accept a General Educational Development certificate, or GED. Getting accepted to college can be a competitive process, so many schools do not accept GED scores alone. Each university's admissions requirements vary, so it is important to research your desired school before beginning the application process.
Your Transcripts Matter
While the admissions process varies by institution, many schools require that you submit your incomplete official high school transcript along with your satisfactory GED score. This is part of the application process at schools such as Rutgers University and Penn State University. Note that these schools accept only officially sealed high school transcripts from the high school that you attended until the date you stopped. Colleges also do not accept GED certificates, but require official GED transcripts as well. Submitting the correct documents will ensure that you are considered as an applicant.
If you have earned your GED and you are within five years of your high school graduation date, you will likely be required to take the ACT or SAT and submit those scores as well as your GED transcripts. For example, West Liberty University and West Virginia University ask that applicants meet this requirement before applying. In some cases, schools such as Georgia Highlands University require placement exams in English and math prior to registering for class and will even accept these in extenuating circumstances when standardized test scores are unavailable. Research your desired institution to ensure that you've completed the required testing before applying.
Many GED holders choose to attend a community college or trade school before transferring to a four-year college or university. Community colleges generally accept GED certificates and provide students with the opportunity to complete entrance requirements so that they may transfer. Since the college acceptance process is specific to each school, speaking to an adviser will help you determine if this is the right path for you. Typically, four-year colleges and universities like Cal State University require a minimum GPA and at least two years of completion at the community college level should you choose this route.
The Admissions Process
If you have met all of the requirements, contact a college admissions counselor at your desired school who will walk you through the rest of the admissions process. Just as traditional students do, you will be required to fill out an application and provide letters of recommendation along with your transcripts. Some schools require that GED applicants also undergo an interview process with an admissions counselor for further determination.