Dropping out of high school seemed like a good idea at the time. You weren’t doing so well, or perhaps had family obligations, so off you went to join the ranks of the employed. Now the economy isn’t as good as it use to be; you’ve been laid off and are having a difficult time finding reemployment. Now is the time to finish your high school diploma or get your General Education Development (GED) certificate.
According to a study by Dr. John H. Tyler of Brown University, adults who went back for their GED (in Florida) increased their income from 13-20% within six years of receiving the credential. This jump in income was due primarily from the ability of certificate holders to find employment now that they had their GED. On top of that, according to the Alliance for Excellence in Education, the U.S. Bureau of Labor, Department of Labor and Statistics reported high school drop outs over the age of 25 years had a 5% higher rate of unemployment in 2011 compared to high school graduates. Add that to the approximate $7000 per year less you earn as a high school dropout and you’ve got yourself over a financial barrel for the long term.
The GED consists of five tests; reading, writing, math, social studies, and science. Costs vary from state to state, ranging from $50-150. Each state also has its own passing scores. Free practice tests are available on line to gauge your current abilities and help you focus on what areas you need to work on.
But, you say, I don’t have the money. The answer, bluntly; find it. Getting a GED or high school diploma will help you become more employable and is worth the financial sacrifice. Talk to your state’s unemployment office to see what assistance they can offer. Speak with your local community college’s financial aid office. Stop by your local Career One Stop center to see if there are any programs or funding that can help you. Lastly, suck up your pride and ask a financially solvent friend or family member for a loan.
You have the time and you have the ability. Finances can be overcome in the short term. Lack of a high school diploma or GED is a barrier that will affect your employment for the long haul. You are worth the investment.