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Deb Peterson

Celebrity Dropouts Who Earned a GED

By August 5, 2008

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If you're working toward your GED, you're in good company. Well, for the most part. I try not to judge, but I wasn't surprised to find Paris Hilton and Britney Spears on the dropout list. I was surprised by some of the other famous people who dropped out of high school and later earned their GED credential.

Everyone knows Bill Cosby. He did. So did actor Christian Slater and comedian Chris Rock. Dave Thomas, founder of Wendy's Restaurants, was a GED graduate, and so was Ruth Ann Minner, governor of Delaware. Mary Lou Retton, Olympic gymnast, musician Waylon Jennings, and Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead---all have GEDs. So does Michael J. Fox. That's good company!

People from all walks of life have left school for various reasons and gone on to earn their GED credential. The sky's the limit. Dream big!

Photo: Chris Rock at Bonnaroo 2008 by Josh Rhinehart / Music Allies / Flickr

Update! 25 Celebrity Dropouts Who Earned a GED and 25 More Celebrity Dropouts Who Earned a GED, complete with photos!


August 6, 2008 at 5:48 pm
(1) Jacob says:

I disagree. There may be a lot of celebrities that got their GED but that doesn’t make it valuable. After all, you’re basically paying for a test to get a slip of paper. What’s the value in that? Go out and EARN a diploma. There are a lot of options now, like virtual high schools, that allow you to conveniently work online and at your own pace. Remember: you can’t just buy your credential, you need to EARN it! Research has found that people with a diploma earn, on average, $10,000 more than people with a GED. It’s a no-brainer.

August 31, 2008 at 12:22 am
(2) Kimberly Walker says:

That’s true: You must work hard to earn “WHATEVER” in this life. Unfortunately, everyone has a different story and singing their sad song. And everyone who had made bad decisions, deserves a second chance. I don’t look at a GED as a easy way out. It’s just another chance for all who wish they had stayed in school, like myself. Jacob, I had dreams to graduate, go to college and become a lawyer. But when I started hanging around the wrong crowd, I allowed myself to fail. Let me tell you, I am now 36 years with three children and paying every pennie for my mistakes. To you, this may seems like the easy way out. But for me, all I want is a cap and gown to show my kids, “Moma is somebody”. And rather you know this or not, I am working hard every day toward fulfilling that goal. You made think it’s easy; but for me, it’s not.

February 12, 2009 at 10:16 am
(3) stella says:

Jacob, where in the world are you getting your information??? You have to earn your GED, you Cannot just walk in and say “Hey here is my money give me a certificate” GED students actually have to test and score on a tenth or eleventh grade level to even be considered to take their GED. In High School you can slide by unnoticed. With the GED you actually have to know the material. Do you know that 65% of all High School Seniors cannot pass the GED test. I commend anyone who goes and gets their GED.. Sometimes in life we all are not giving the oppurtnity to get to finish school.

February 12, 2009 at 2:47 pm
(4) Deb Peterson says:

You tell him, Stella! When I wrote my article on the GED test, I wondered if I could pass it! It looks very difficult. Way to stand up for something. Thanks for stopping by.

February 26, 2009 at 7:28 pm
(5) Mayliesha (age 17) says:

Another thanks to you Stella. Everything she said is correct. You do have to take a test, and usually you also have to take a test to get into a GED program. A GED is no less than a high school diploma it is a high school equivalency diploma meaning it is equal. I believe that people take their GED for a plethora of different reasons, and its not what leads you to take your GED its what you do with it. Many people with a high school diploma dont finish and occasionally dont even attend college.

I am going to take my GED due to my own circumstances, and judging by your closed mindedness I can tell that I may be more intelligent than you and might even make it further than you in life. My dreams are big and I will work hard to achieve them.

Remember my name its *Mayliesha Guerrero*

February 27, 2009 at 8:05 am
(6) Deb Peterson says:

Go get ‘em, Mayliesha! Your passion for life will serve you well. Good luck, and check back in with us as you go. We’ll be here to cheer you on.

April 11, 2009 at 11:13 am
(7) D. Leon says:

Over a year ago my 19 yr old daughter passed everything on the GED except the math section. Can she go back and study for that part of the exam or does she have the re-take the whole test? Two separate test from Children’s Hospital in San Diego, CA and the school district diagnosed her as having ADD with exceptions. When she failed the math section she was fed up with failing her academic life and gave up. She does want to finish her GED.

April 11, 2009 at 6:01 pm
(8) Deb Peterson says:

Hi D. Leon,
I’m sorry to hear your daughter had trouble with the test, but glad to know she still wants to earn her GED credential. Each state varies in their requirements. Check your state’s requirements through the link in my State GED article.

I’d love to know what you find out. Come back and tell us, or pop in the forum!


May 28, 2009 at 9:06 pm
(9) crystal trujillo says:

dear jacob you are so wrong just like stella said you have to “earn” it just like i did sure i awsnt proud at first but it was my choices in school that led me to the GED program and i finished withen 2 months and im so proud of myself and i realize that this isnt the end but a new beggining for me and now im excited to start college in the fall and i will pursue my goal to become a dentist

May 30, 2009 at 8:39 am
(10) Deb Peterson says:

Hi Crystal,
Congrats on earning your GED! I hope you’ll share your journey through college with us. There are several places on the site where you can share your experiences, and always in my blog or forum.
Good luck!

June 5, 2009 at 1:34 pm
(11) Mimi G says:

I am never ashamed to say I opted for a GED. I grew up in an extremely affluent place and education was highly praised and cut throat. However, at 15, my Mother became gravely ill and I quickly became her care taker. I immediately dopped out and got my GED the same week. I passed, 98th percentile, and have since earned a bachelors (Magna Cum Laude), MBA (summa cum laude), and am starting a PHD this fall. All degrees from one of the top universities in the country. I have not even turned 24 yet. I would recommend it to anyone who wants to get ahead! It saved my life, as well as my Mother’s.

June 8, 2009 at 5:45 am
(12) Daniel says:

I believe that the purpose of a GED is to continue your education afterwards. There is no point in just getting a GED and not doing anything afterwards. A GED is really a ticket to a community college and beyond. You will not get a really good job with just a GED. Even a High School Diploma can’t get you a really good job. You must continue your edcation. The best thing to do is to keep going to school and furthering your education.

July 23, 2009 at 11:32 am
(13) Rebecca says:

Sorry, Jacob, you are just WRONG. I am a GED teacher, and I can tell you that the GED is an amazing accomplishment, especially considering how many graduates also have full-time jobs and families to support. According to The American Council on Education, by passing the GED, graduates have demonstrated a level of knowledge equal to or greater than 40% of graduating high school students. Plus, over 90% of employers in this country accept the GED credential as equal to a high school diploma. As someone who works with GED students on a daily basis, I can tell you that these individuals are some of the most motivated, hard-working people in the country, and to belittle them by saying their accomplishment is not valuable is shameful and ignorant.

July 30, 2009 at 7:25 am
(14) Deb Peterson says:

Thanks for speaking up, Rebecca. When I write about the GED test, I often wonder if I could pass it! It’s no easy task, and I wouldn’t be surprised at all if high school graduates had trouble with it.

August 30, 2009 at 6:23 pm
(15) gedteacher08 says:

Jacob how wrong you are in your assumption. I teach adults (GED and ESOL) and the joy I get when I see the students graduate can’t be measured. You said “Remember: you canít just buy your credential, you need to EARN it!” Not sure how to arrived at this conclusion but I can guarantee you that the students in our program absolutely EARN every piece of that diploma. Never assume that because one has a GED diploma it has less meaning than an actual high school diploma. Virtual schools or whatever you wish to call them, they all lead to the same end: DIPLOMA!!!

October 11, 2009 at 7:05 pm
(16) Jessica says:

Can I just say to Jacob, the first person that commented on this article, that I took two years of highschool online, through the virtual program you named as being a better alternative then “paying for a slip of paper”….and as it turns out…those institutions actally can not offer real diplomas, but instead they give you GEDS!! Wow..how ignorant are you?

I did my schooling through FLVS.net btw, just incase youd like to look into it for yourself

December 2, 2009 at 2:20 pm
(17) Dave says:

Mine came in the mail today and I just feel accomplished!
don’t let anyone discourage you! I’m 44 years old and finally have my GED took getting laid off a job to do,but now I can take a course in something that interest me! good luck to all! Dave

December 11, 2009 at 11:56 am
(18) Deb Peterson says:

Congratulations Dave! It’s a great accomplishment no matter your age. Way to go.

December 7, 2009 at 2:43 am
(19) Mare says:

I think the GED is a better alternative to the online schools. My newphew wanted to drop out, and I encouraged him to get his GED, and he did, and then he went to college and he is now going to medical school. So, a GED is not a bad idea. Especially if you are young, and are willing to spend the time doing advanced education. Which generally starts by going to community college. For others if you take the GED and then score well on the ACT/SAT you can get into a regular 4yr college. I personally think that many intelligent people get bored in HS an may have more success if they take the GED and move on to higher learning.

December 11, 2009 at 11:55 am
(20) Deb Peterson says:

Thanks for sharing your nephew’s story, Mare. I agree, there are lots of people who didn’t finish traditional high school because they were bored, not challenged enough.

January 20, 2010 at 7:28 pm
(21) Robert S says:

One of the reason why I want to take the ged test is so I can look back in the passed in say that I did it for myself,age 27,teachers said I was out of control. but come to find out people was just passing me on an on,but it’s ok now,because now I have dreams in goals for 2010.In yes that is on of them get ged.p.s god has a plan for all of else.

February 11, 2010 at 6:52 am
(22) Deal says:

I left high school (I’ve never considered myself a “drop out” – a very overused word), and eventually EARNED a GED myself down at the local high school when I moved to Florida. I payed to take the test, but I had to show up and pass the tests, just like any other kind of school.

School gives back what you put into it. A GED simply tests what you already know, and you receive a score according to your aptitude in various subjects. Anyone who thinks it is something you just buy off the internet, is either ignorant to the facts of the matter, or just jealous of how swift a process it is.

If a high school grad averages more money than a GED recipient, it’s only because their employer is prejudiced, and doesn’t want to pay fairly. Anyway, it’s all needed to pursue the Associates and Bachelors degrees I now hold, and I work freelance. Forget high school!

March 8, 2010 at 9:25 am
(23) Brian says:

This doesn’t make sense. I think it can go either way… GED or a great degree. Especially in the entertainment industry, it is more about who you know.

March 17, 2010 at 5:12 pm
(24) Cammie says:

My story is a little unusual…I completed 12 years of high school in a sense, but I was a partial credit short in math to graduate due to a lot of illnesses in my senior year.

I had a job waiting for me when I graduated, so although they told me I could come back in the summer and make the credit up in a few weeks, I opted to leave school in late May and go to Temple University to take the GED.

I didn’t study for it, and I aced the test (probably because I had only “left” high school a few days prior!)

I ended up getting my GED diploma mailed to me a week before I would have graduated, and I even got to attend my senior prom.

But I wish now, 35 years later, that I had gone back over the summer and gotten a “traditional” diploma. It would have meant a lot more to me.

March 22, 2010 at 10:25 am
(25) Deb Peterson says:

Thanks for sharing your story, Cammie. We often feel so different, later in life, about decisions we make at 17 or 18. I guess that’s part of growing up.

April 28, 2010 at 8:52 pm
(26) chico williams says:

sadly people get the impression that GED earners are lazy or lack intelligence.sometimes people have situations that they have to overcome.Richard Carmona(former surgeon general),Bill Cosby,Judge Greg Mathis,Senator Ruth Ann Minner all GED earners.Besides people can be passed thru high school.so what!

May 6, 2010 at 7:53 pm
(27) KHTie says:

Everyone isn’t afforded the same opportunities to finish HS. I believe education is the absolute way to go and resolve that there are many roads to success… some more scenic than others.

Many of my friends compare themselves to me because I was raised in private schools went to private colleges and am applying to an Ivy League university for my PhD … sounds rosy right? For the most part it has been – but they forget that maybe they got married young and have a beautiful family they had to manage, lots of younger brothers and sisters to care for, and with a lot of GED cases a single parent who is working two jobs and just need a little help around the house. I had a friend who dropped out in 10th grade to get his GED … why you ask? Because he was BRILLIANT and really just wanted to get his college life started. He scored a nearly perfect PSAT and SAT and though the straight A’s were great for recognition at school… he simply didn’t care about that and wanted to test out of it all. He DID! Passed his GED, CLEP’d a few courses and started as either a 2nd Semester Freshman or 1st Semester Sophomore… AT 15!!!!!!

To Jacob I say don’t judge – celebrate my PhD along with the GED. All steps in life are earned.

May 21, 2010 at 1:24 am
(28) Lindsey_jO7 (Age 18) says:

-hi my name is Lindsey and today i finished my GED! And i’m very proud of myself, at first i was not. Because i was supposed to graduate in 2009, and all my friends were graduating and getting ready to walk across the stage..i felt bad, but it was my own decisions! I dropped out my senior year May 15th 2009 a month before graduation, stupid right? I know, but it was for a purpose that i did not want to do, so i spoke with my counselor and she told me about the Career Assistance Center that did the GED program, i went down there and did orientation, and in 5 days i had took my first two tests and passed them! And so on..Anyways i took my last test today and passed that, and our Graduation Ceremony is May 25th, im inviting all my family and friends because im VERY proud of myself! And in July i will be attending Palmer College of Chiropractic a very prestigious school with a High School Equivalency Diploma! yay me!

*and for Jacob, if any of that was true, it would be called a “High School second to best Diploma” right? it is the equal, us who have our GED’s will accomplish the same as a person with a HSD, if we put our minds to it! *and Mayliesha girrlll you snapped! lol

May 25, 2010 at 5:33 pm
(29) John says:


Everyone here has beaten you up pretty badly, but you really do deserve it. You didnít do your homework (pardon the pun) before you made your comment. Online schools tend to be paper mills not the GED. You can only receive a GED if you attend an authorized testing center and achieve specific results. I am sure that in most situations people do not ďdrop outĒ of high school if they see another choice. There are often very understandable and unavoidable circumstances. As an example, I know of a situation in which a friend dropped out of high school because her father died and her mother shot herself in the chest. Oh, and by the way my wife is taking her GED today. We have been financially fortunate enough to have our four children attend superior colleges with one earning a PhD and another earning a Masters degree. Our limits are mostly between our ears and anyone that puts in the effort, commits the time, and is persistent; then they can and will achieve.

June 4, 2010 at 3:05 pm
(30) chico williams says:

i took a chance and earned my GED after leaving school to work at a shoe shine stand.I use to rgret leaving school,but at that time I got fed up with all the madness at school ie gangs,getting jumped on.The reason I mean use to regret it is because somehow,even though I had ceased attending for well over a year ,I was still passed along to the next grade level even though I had not gone.True you miss several lessons but in the end you just have to engage in more self-study and really apply yourself in trade school or college.Richard Carmona,Bill Cosby and Judge Greg Mathis are some my inspirations as I proced with my future.Never allow yourself or anyone else to down you.The government says you are a high school graduate,then no one or nothing else really matters.

June 14, 2010 at 9:50 am
(31) Eva says:

I am an adult education instructor and just want to respond to the misinformed party who assumes you can pay to get the GED. Like the ACT, SAT and Compass exams, there are associated costs or fees for taking the exam. These fees pay for the testing material and exam administrator. However, it does not ensure a passing score. The fact is that 40% of high school graduates can not pass the GED exam.The exam is designed to be equivalent to a high school diploma. It is constantly being updated for content/skills covered and is sampled on high school graduates. Lets face it, owning a high school diploma for some only means you hung in there with your head above water…

July 3, 2010 at 10:10 am
(32) Amanda says:

I give much props to those around the world, preparing to, as well as those who have taken their GED Test. The one thing that I don’t understand these days, are people who are outside looking in. They know nothing of our struggle, yet they feel this sense of self empowerment over us, simple because they were able to finish high school and obtain their diploma. They look at us as if we’re aliens. Like we don’t belong in this thing called a society, but we have the same rights as they do. So, to all of my GED Testers, perparers, and Ged Test passers. Don’t let antone bring you down, or belittle your selfworth. You are, and will always be somebody. No matter what.

July 10, 2010 at 4:16 pm
(33) Rick Benson,MBA says:

A high school diploma or university degree dosn’t mean you have an advantage over someone with a GED, and you can throw the statistics out the freakin door relative to salaries. It’s more about personality ans the skills that you bring to an organization. If you can help an organiation make more money to satisfy stockholders and stakeholders, no-one cares what tyoe of educational background you have.
After college graduates may never find a job in their major, however, student loan debt is for sure and usually paid for at least a decade after completion of college. Don’t believe the crap about a high school diploma or college degree ensuring success, however, the more education you obtain, you personal pride elevates because you have invested in yourself.

July 20, 2010 at 1:28 pm
(34) Katie(17) says:

I left High School in my junior year. High School wa a horrible experience for me…in my freshman year..a boy I wasn’t even interested in, who was dating a popular girl put a rumor about me out once I didn’t accept his advances(I go to a small high school)..since then it has been bullying, taunting and just horrible. I told my mom I wasn’t going back in my senior year..I had enough…if she made me I would rather die…So I happily took my GED and am looking forward to a fresh start of college in the fall..away from all the nonsense….I am SO happy that I had a option and can now focus on a career and my future..

August 28, 2010 at 2:56 pm
(35) George says:

Wow, Jacob, get your head outta your ***. You need to learn the facts before you say such stupid crap like that. I bet you are a really unlikeable guy in real life.

October 12, 2010 at 2:35 pm
(36) Courtney Morales says:

Hi I’m Courtney. I’m thinking about leaving High School and gettimg my GED instead. I’m in my senior year and I have already fulfilled over four math credits and three science credits. However, my school states that to graduate I have to take one math credit over alg 1 and I have to take chemistry. I am surrounded by immature sophomores and juniors (no offense to anyone) and I can’t take it anymore. I’m not challenged enough. I am an honors student but because of the Class Size Amendment I was put in classes below my skill level. I believe getting the GED would be easier for me to attain so I could go to college and become an Interior Designer. Thanks! Oh and Deb Peterson (sorry if I got the last name wrong) you are very nice person. I’m sure a lot of people like you.

October 19, 2010 at 2:17 pm
(37) Heather says:

First, congratulations to all those who’ve earned (yes, EARNED, Jacob) their GED! I am a college instructor and yet I’m quite aware of the (many) flaws in our educational system, and though this may be hard for some people to understand, I think that in some instances earning a GED is preferable to languishing in a glorified daycare (i.e. K-12). Here is where I’m coming from: I attended K-12 in a very poor neighborhood. My education was incredibly lacking, and when I went to college, I realized very quickly that I did not have a solid foundation. I, however, was one of the only students at my high school to go to college. 50% of my senior class dropped out (no, that is not an exaggeration). Why? Because their time was better spent earning money to pay for basic necessities. The need was immediate, and in many instances dire, so sticking it out for another year or even six months (particularly when the quality was so poor) didn’t seem reasonable. It is very easy for someone who is privileged not to see past the end of their nose, but sometimes people have to make difficult decisions in order to do what is in their best interest at a given point of time in their lives. BE EMPATHETIC. And most definitely, support individuals’ efforts to better their lives, such as earning a GED. Alternatively, you could get involved in efforts to improve the educational system and better support our kids.

October 19, 2010 at 11:36 pm
(38) Alex says:

I love when people spit out statistics without making analyzing it properly. It’s obvious people with diploma will on average earn much more than people with GED, because of the reasons that sometimes impel people to take GED are enough to make the group average less having a diploma or not.

The statistics don’t lie. Is just people that are dumb and are always taking the wrong conclusions.

October 19, 2010 at 11:47 pm
(39) Alex says:


“I personally think that many intelligent people get bored in HS an may have more success if they take the GED and move on to higher learning.”

You don’t have an idea how much!! I just go to college and sit there 4 hours without paying any attention then get home and learn in less than half a hour what they spent the entire night trying to explain.

Imagine my situation at High School…

October 20, 2010 at 9:23 pm
(40) Marie says:

I dropped out to help take care of my family.

I Had 12 people living in the same house, 4! of these people graduated from high school with HONORS! I took the GED after the family was on it’s feet, I will be attending college soon to become a doctor. Quite frankly, stereotypical idiots, It’s not always about statistics or a diploma. It’s about how badly you want to achieve. I wanted it more than the people in my family, whom “statistically” should do better.

Don’t tell me I don’t DESERVE to go to college.
You didn’t break your back to help people who were, too lazy or physically capable of doing so themselves.

I realize staying in school would of been better, but that’s not what happened. I’m happy it didn’t because i wouldnt want this as badly had I done it your way.

October 30, 2010 at 4:49 pm
(41) chico says:

I guess now Betty anne waters can be considered at least somewhat a celebrity being portrayed in the new movie “Conviction”.Peole always talk down those who earned a GED,but sometimes people do have circumstances which puts them into the non-traditional lot.There are a lot of people who graduated high school in the tradtional sense that could not even read or write because they simply were passed along.I look at it like this:A GED is like four quarters and a tradtional diploma is like a dollar bill.Most people would rather have a crisp new bill as opposed to change jiggling around in their pockets.

November 8, 2010 at 10:09 pm
(42) J says:

Sometimes life catches you off guard and things happen beyond your control. I was in my senior year I’m highschool when I was hospitalized for a mental illness, because of this I
did not have enough credits to graduate. I earned my GED that same year and have done more with my life than most of
what would have been my graduating class.

I didn’t have to take a class I took the test in about 4 hours and passed. I have to honestly say that test was harder than anything I ever took in Highschool or any of the computer science courses I later took. Anyone with the courage to admit
there mistakes and take responsibility for themselves and therefuture deserves every bit of respect.

November 10, 2010 at 2:16 am
(43) ori shabazz says:

GED stands for General Education Development towards a high school diploma, not general education diploma. In Maryland, after taking and passing “GED” Exam, students are awarded a diploma; the diploma, alternative diploma, is not given to students as a purchase.

Instead, students take a comprehensive Exam in Reading, wRiting (to include detailed essay), and aRithmetic (to include algebra and geometry): in essence the 3 Rs.

Students are only awarded the diploma after academic abilities are demonstrated in the 3 areas justmentioned. No possibility for ‘social promotion’. No academic skills, no diploma.

Many who pass the test go on to do very well at 2 year and 4 year colleges. Many Professors say oftentimes the recipient of the alternative diploma do better than traditional high school graduates who are sometimes ‘socially promoted.’

Many who did not complete in traditional setting opt to take alternative route. I think such students do not deserve unfounded, usually fallacious antagonisms.

As outlined in many articles, some of these students take advantage of alternative diploma and matriculate post secondarily.

Post secondary experiences however do not have GED AA degrees, or GED BA or GED MA, PhDs. Nevertheless many recipients do well in professional schools and college.

In closing, it is all our advantage to encourage all students to do well. So lets not exclude GED students from our pupils who deserve encouragement. They ceertainly don’t deserve our inaccurate criticisms…

November 23, 2010 at 3:32 pm
(44) Mary says:

First and foremost, I would like to congratulate everyone who has taken the GED and passed and who are in the process of taking it. For those that didn’t quite get it the first try around, don’t fret just focus on the areas that are hardest and it’ll get easier I promise.

I too have my GED. I had drop out of high school for numerous different reasons. I didn’t go for my GED until a year out of school. 2 months and I passed it on the first try all thanks to a very special teacher. She helped me through it all!

November 24, 2010 at 5:19 am
(45) Alena Gracia says:

You donít need to worry about passing your GED test at the first instance as NOW you can prepare your GED test by practicing completely free online GED practice tests. By answering the practice questions and getting feedback will develop a feel for the kind of reading, thinking, and problem-solving skills you need to pass the GED test in flying colors.

November 30, 2010 at 7:39 pm
(46) Island_Queen says:

I’m very proud to say that I’m a GED graduate! Sure, I’ve made my share of mistakes in life but, who doesn’t. I LOVED high school and I did well but, my social life became the center of everything. I don’t blame anyone for my failures but myself. I’m married with two beautiful children and I earned my GED for my kids who are the future and I so owe it to them. After graduating and receiving a scholarship to continue my education, believe me, everything else is history! THANK YOU GOD!!!

December 1, 2010 at 12:34 pm
(47) Deb Peterson says:

Congrats Island Queen! Nice job!

December 5, 2010 at 7:51 pm
(48) elizabeth says:

Why do some people think that getting your GED is because you’re stupid and couldn’t graduate from high school?
I’m getting mine, too, hopefully in the spring. And where I’m from, if you pass it, you have the same advantages as a SR from high school (except prom). And me and my dad are the only ones out of the family that have/getting the GED. And when my family tells me “oh my goodness, you were so close,” well I might have been, but there are some reasons you can’t explain your decisions to your family. And I’m proud to say that at least I’m getting my (in words of my 3 1/2 son) “edu-macation.”

January 4, 2011 at 11:21 pm
(49) Jim says:

I joined the military with out a high school diploma. I went and got a GED when I was 27.Now I’m a 40 yr old freshman. So for what ever reason you “drop out” go back and get it. It’s not just a slip of paper. It’s a chance to go on with your education. So to everyone who says it’s just a piece of paper try it and see how you do. It’s not easy.

January 27, 2011 at 3:06 pm
(50) Lucas says:

People who get a GED are just as if not more smart than people who get a Diploma. $10,000 doesnt matter much man, yeah it’d be nice to have but life isnt about money bro. I firmly believe school just isnt for some people. I am one of those people, and just because I dropped out doesnt mean I cant be just as happy as you and have as much as you. I am retared intellegent, not to be so arrogant sounding, but I am. Just because i’m not following the social norm doesnt mean i’m wrong or that i’m bad for doing it. **** what everyone else says. Do what makes you happy. Yeah, it may be a piece of paper. But its a piece of paper thats gonna get me somewhere someday. A diploma is a piece of paper too, so what point did you prove?

February 7, 2011 at 1:17 pm
(51) Karen says:

Excellent comment’s defending the GED. I dropped out of school when I moved from one state to another and the credit system being different, was put BACK in Jr. High. I was accused of smoking in the restroom (didn’t do it) and given 10 d-halls. Well, being further insulted by that I just gave up and quit. That was in 1979. I have had regrets, sure … Actually GETTING to go to high school, prom, friend’s…etc…

But I did get the GED in 1987. I then went on to Vo-Tech training for a Medical Assistant career. I worked and supported myself and children with that one choice. But it started with the GED. Before that all I could get was restaurant/hotel work, as a maid or cashier, telemarketing, pizza delivery…etc..At one point working one FT and two PT jobs just to make end’s meet. So, it does open doors, it is recognized and it is worth it. I applaud ALL of you for achieving it and believing in yourselves! I know what it took and I know the value of that “slip of paper!”

*By the way both of my children have their HS diplomas… I do believe in doing the best that you can to stay in school if possible.*

I am now looking into local test sites/dates for a youth that has come into my life that dropped out of school for his own reasons and want’s to get his GED!

April 5, 2011 at 8:56 pm
(52) Sony says:

My story is a bit different. I attended public school up until the 9th grade and continued into home school. I earned a high school diploma but sadly the higher educational institutions that I would like to attend in the DC area prefer an OFFICIAL HIGH SCHOOL TRANSCRIPT, something I don’t have and thats where the GED comes in. It’s pretty much a back up plan for me.

April 6, 2011 at 7:25 am
(53) Deb Peterson says:

I’m glad your GED credential did the job for you. Good move!

April 12, 2011 at 1:18 pm
(54) Van says:

Depending on the school district a person attends, a lot of employers favor people with GED’s than high school diplomas. For many years schools passed problem students with D’s just to get them out of a grade level. Many schools had unwritten policies to give out passing grades just to make there school look better.

I got my GED at the age of 25. I left school because my family moved a lot. During my 12th grade year I was informed that my records were lost and that I would have to start over as a 9th grader. Even with summer and night school, I was looking at up to 3 more years of schools.

June 20, 2011 at 12:39 pm
(55) Scout says:

Jacob, I received my GED after leaving school at age 16 due to health related reasons. After I got better, I went to a community college for 2 years, then got a full ride Johns Hopkins University where I studied biomedical engineering and now help develop and manufacture lifesaving medicines.

So yes, the GED you something you EARN. You must be intelligent and capable to pass it.

June 22, 2011 at 9:05 am
(56) Deb Peterson says:

What a great story! I love it. Congrats to you for persevering, and thanks for sharing your inspiring experience.

August 27, 2011 at 10:17 am
(57) cee says:

Its funny how people put down GED earners saying that anyone could pass the test.The truth is most highscholers couldnt pass it.Besides a lot of high schools use to pass students along anyway.

September 10, 2011 at 2:16 pm
(58) eBr says:

It has been my desire to teach adult learners, and the GED program was my specific area of choice. I, too, once thought those who achieved the GED were getting by without putting in the hard work. I eventually learned THAT was the furthest thing from the truth.

I recently realized my dream/desire and am now a GED instructor with a ministry in southern Wisconsin. As a result, I realize–with my HS diploma–I am NOT smarter than a 5th grader…! I say this with a smile, because the material GED students have to know in order to successfully pass the exams (there are 5) is very challenging. I am beyond inspired by the commitment my students bring to the classroom.

They make me want to be a better person; a better instructor. As I tell them, they came into the program GOOD. My job is to assist them in their pursuit to go from GOOD, to BETTER, to BEST…! I’m grateful for this article, and the resulting dialogue. I look forward to participating in my first GED graduation ceremony. -eBr, M.Ed.

September 11, 2011 at 7:58 am
(59) Deb Peterson says:

eBr, I’m so glad you posted here. Congrats on realizing your dream, and in such an admirable field. You are an inspiration to us all! I hope you will post often and share your wisdom and experience with us.

October 12, 2011 at 2:52 pm
(60) vicki says:

to jabob who left a message in 2008, i believe that you do not know what you are talking about. as a ged instructor i see students who EARN their diploma, they do not go online and pay for something that is not real!! most if not all online GED programs are not accredited, therefore, the GED diploma is not real. Second, high school students fresh out of high school can not pass the GED test. GED students do earn their high school diploma!! and go on to earn degrees and make just as much as someone with a high school diploma

November 28, 2011 at 6:55 pm
(61) Joe says:

The GED is a very tough thing to earn.I had to study for mine daily,take three months worth of classes,had several very tough pre-tests and then the monster final exam which only a person who studied it will pass.(And even with all my studying,I narrowly passed the math section)Jacob is wrong when he said that all you do is pay your money and get a diploma,it is tough hard work.I worked very hard for mine,and I am proud of it.One final thing that I would like to add is,many people enrolled in my class with an attitude like Jacob’s,thought it would be easy,but then saw how tough it was and fled..Congratulations to all who passed,I AM VERY PROUD of all of you.

November 29, 2011 at 8:33 am
(62) Deb Peterson says:

And congrats to you, Joe! Thanks for your great post.

November 30, 2011 at 11:47 am
(63) Kimberly says:

Hi, I’m 15 years old and I want to drop out of school. I know what you’re thinking, that I’m too young and stupid to know what I want, but that is not so. I have my whole life planned out and I know what I want i life. I’m a very intelligent girl, more intelligent than many adults I know. My mom got her Masters Degree and is now owning a DayCare business. I sometimes go and help her and it’s pretty awesome. The reason I want to drop out of school is because it literally is not for me. I got left back in fourth grade, went to summer school three years in a row for 6th, 7th and 8th grade. Everytime I tried to do good in school, I failed. The school year just begun and I’m already failing. What I want to do is go into the music business. I know a few people who can get me in and I know that will take me far. And if for some reason that does not work out then I will continue the daycare business with my mom. I really do want to be in the music industry though so I am determined to be in it and strive for it. School really is pointless for me. Also, please don’t try and talk me out of it, my mind is set and I know what I want. I already though of the future way ahead and I have back up plans. Thank you and goodbye.

November 30, 2011 at 11:50 am
(64) Kimberly says:

Also, school just makes me really stressed and I even used to get made fun of which did not help.

November 30, 2011 at 7:33 pm
(65) Deb says:

Oh, Kimberly, I’m sorry school has been so stressful. I wish there were some things you could do to stay in school and make it work. While there are lots of celebrities who have left school and made it big, it’s not the norm. If you do this, I wish you a ton of moxie and success. If you leave school, please keep studying and earn your GED. You will always be glad you did, and you will get much further in your career if you do. Take time to look at the careers of musicians who took the time to finish school, including college. They are out there, too.

Good luck to you, Kimberly! Come back and let us know how it turns out.

March 9, 2012 at 10:58 am
(66) Jh80 says:

I run programs where everyone has to take the TABE assement whether they are in school, dropped out, or graduated. Any one that thinks the GED is the easy way out remember this, very few of the high school graduates actually place at the 12.0 or above level on the test and many place in the 3.0 – 6.0 levels.

March 28, 2012 at 12:46 am
(67) whoa says:

I got my GED I dropped out to move away at 17 got pregnant came back home didnt want to deal with bs at school so I started my GED had my daughter went back and finished my GED, as a mother and someone who didnt want to give up on their education I gave it my all and it wasnt easy so for someone like you to belittle someone who actually has worked for what they recieved I find offending… I am going to college. So honestly people with their GED can do just the same as someone with a high school diploma at least I didnt drop out and not do anything. I did something and Im doing something now. Proud of it too. GED ALL DAY ALL THE WAY =]

June 6, 2012 at 10:06 pm
(68) CHERI says:

Deb and Stella i totally agree with you both i am currently studying for my GED and when you take the GED test you have to know what your doing because you have to pass it with a 80% . i know a few people that have a high school diploma and can’t read a complete sentence .

June 6, 2012 at 10:06 pm
(69) CHERI says:

Deb and Stella i totally agree with you both i am currently studying for my GED and when you take the GED test you have to know what your doing because you have to pass it with a 80% . i know a few people that have a high school diploma and can’t read a complete sentence .

June 21, 2012 at 12:07 pm
(70) keishana elliott says:

Glad to say that I am now attending my GED class as I write on this computer. And this is not my first time being in the class ,actually this would make it my fourth time so this time I am hoping and praying and wishing that I accomplish it this time. It has been a bumpy road but I know that I have it in me to do this. It always was something everytime i tried if it wasnt for me being pregnant or something happened where I could not attend the program. But this time I will not let nothing stand in my way I am pushing forward not laying back and having a good old time Ill do when I have accomplished my major goals in life. So everyone wish me luck, And pray that I Suceed.

July 10, 2012 at 5:19 am
(71) GED Graduate says:

Jacob you’re an idiot. Perhaps you couldn’t pass the GED yourself. Maybe that’s why you’re so mad.

July 12, 2012 at 7:37 pm
(72) Michelle says:

I just got my GED results and passed! I’m very excited and proud of myself. It’s been thirty years since I was last in school. I had a host of problems back then and dropped out. Believe me, it took a lot of guts to go to the Adult Learning Center and take the assessment test after all these years. I have always felt very stupid when it comes to math, but thanks to the encouragement of my teacher and my own hard work I finally realized I could indeed learn math. I did much better in that subject than I expected and it has really boosted my sense of self-worth. I can’t wait to get my diploma, which I can honestly say I absolutely earned!

August 14, 2012 at 7:02 am
(73) Jared says:

I Just got my results and I have passed my GED Tests. I got into a horrible wreck last year which just completely ruined my High School Education. So I had to leave HS and go to lone-star and do classes to take it. I’ve never been the bragging type,but from freshman to Junior years I had a 3.7/4.0 GPA! AND THIS TEST WAS ACTUALLY A LITTLE DIFFICULT. I went in with a cocky behavior, but you actually have to study and if possible TAKE PREP CLASSES. I just received a position working at a bank and will be starting College Courses next year. To any one down on their luck. PLEASE go and get your GED. It’s worth it and it pays off and 98% of all business’s do not care if you have a HS Diploma/GED as long as you have it! Good luck to anyone taking the tests.

September 4, 2012 at 11:07 pm
(74) Angelica says:

Jacob, tell Bill Gates that…

December 8, 2012 at 5:14 am
(75) KenandBoosieL says:

Taking the GED made me wish I would have stayed in class back in the day.

January 9, 2013 at 2:34 am
(76) pat says:

employers don”t seem do like the ged.

February 16, 2013 at 11:58 am
(77) steven p says:

I have met way too many h.s. graduates who are lucky to get a job at the local 5 and dime, while several ged recipients are on their way to earning a bachelors. HS has become way over rated and no longer works for everyone today.. Furthermore, over the years I have met way too many h.s graduates who are ignorant, or stupid, perhaps like some of those who would talk about something they don’t know about. Leaves me to believe that h.s is absolutely no assurance of ones’ intellect, often times even the exact opposite.

April 22, 2013 at 1:59 am
(78) Reed John says:

I feel that taking the GED will change my life. In high school I did well but the loss of my grandmother/grandfather brought me down. They were my mom and dad growing up. Over all I have finally took steps toward to taking the test. I use to be ashamed but now I’m happy I am doing something with my life. My goal is to pass the exam, go to technical career institude,work part-time, earn a bachelors degree, & join wwe. I have a misdemeanor for turnstyle hop but guess what? Still going for my GED and nothing will stop me from continueing my education most of all one day. Be the father my dad never was to me to my own Children!

May 10, 2013 at 12:18 pm
(79) Archelle says:

I am so proud of everyone who went back& got their GED.Its nothing u can pay for and just get..u have to EARN it!.I just took my test & passed! I dropped out of high school& didnt think it was important.After fifteen years of doing nothing i finally found a church I enjoy & being around positive people has encouraged me nt to give up& I didnt.Im so proud of myself and ready dor my son to see that even though i dropped out when i was pregnant with him i made it and he’s fonna see me walk across the stage! To everyone getting their GED i have three words..GO GET IT!!

June 6, 2013 at 2:33 pm
(80) Louida says:

Hi My Name is Louida I have not yet started school yet for my GED but I would like to commend each and everyone who has received their GED on a job well done keep up the good work. Well for me when I dropped out of school I didn’t think much of how important it was to finish school now sometimes I wish I had finished I feel like a complete failure. Why I feel this way: Dead end jobs, not able to go to college, Unable to get a good job (some require you to have a GED or a Diploma) so this summer i’m going to go get my GED so I can get a better job, go to college.

April 24, 2014 at 1:51 pm
(81) Francisco Hurtado says:

Here are my qualifications. I have been teaching the GED for 5 years, have a Degree in Architecture, and studying at the University for a double major in Liberal Arts and Mathematics. The exam is more difficult than you think. It covers all 5 subjects which are: Mathematics (Algebra, Geometry, Linear Equations, Coordinate Geometry, Quadratic Equations, Inequalities and graphing answers on a grid and on a number line). I have recent high school graduates who cannot and have no idea on how to solve these equations; Science (Body parts and their functions, the brain, the circulatory system, pedigree chart, physical science, charting an atom, solving and balancing chemical elements, DNA, and do you know how many bones are in your body?); Social Studies (Can you tell me what is suffrage, and what is the true meaning of a patriot and can you be a patriot if you live in a different country); Language Arts (Writing 500 word Essay’s and doing it correctly, with Introduction, Thesis statement, Subtopics with supporting details, connecting and flowing each subtopic with a closing statement and conclusion). So my challenge to you is, come into my class and see if you can even write an essay paper!!!!

May 20, 2014 at 6:27 pm
(82) JAFO says:

The 2014 Ged test is now a lot harder. It makes the older one seem like ginger beer. I doubt the hatters could pass the new GED test.

May 20, 2014 at 6:34 pm
(83) Jafo says:

The newer 2014 Ged test now covers 4 subjects: Math, Language Art/Reading, Science, and Sociol Studies. The older Ged was a basic standardized test with major flaws. Because of these flaws, it made point of elimination an art form. Well, they put more screws in and took care of that weakness. The 2014 Ged now had loads of Alegbra in it. And I’m talking about linear equations and slopes, lol. I’m now studying for the test. Because I want to go to college and better myself. I want a career, not just a job.

May 20, 2014 at 6:43 pm
(84) Jafo says:

Only 20% of High School students can pass the newer 2014 Ged test. You can’t really guess anymore on the test. And it’s now on a computer. They even put Extended response questions and math in the Science parts.

The new Ged test was designed to make you college and career ready.

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