For full text: http://www.ericacve.org/fulltext.asp.
A literature review explored the differences between the high school diploma and GED (General Educational Development) credentials and the value of receiving one in comparison to the other. The study found that GED recipients and high school seniors who take the five tests constituting the GED score similarly, but that test achievement does not signify educational equivalency. Skill disparities occur because high school graduates spend about four times as much time in classes as GED students, and GED students often have problems related to attitudes, values, and behaviors that led to their dropping out of school. The study also found that individuals earning a GED instead of a high school diploma earn substantially lower earnings long term. The study determined that the greatest benefit of obtaining a GED is the potential it offers for continuing education and training. Most GED recipients achieve grades that are almost comparable to those of high school graduates, especially in 2-year and technical programs. However, fewer GED holders than high school graduates who go on to 4-year colleges receive their diplomas. In general, it is less likely that GED recipients will be more successful than high school graduates, but they do achieve more than dropouts. Not withstanding the lack of economic advancement, GED recipients tend to experience other successful outcomes compared to high school dropouts: higher self-esteem, greater satisfaction with their lives, more likelihood to encourage their children to finish school, and getting a better job. (KC)
General Educational Development Tests
1 - Available on microfiche
ERIC Clearinghouse on Adult, Career, and Vocational Education, Columbus, OH.
Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
High School Equivalency Programs; High Schools; Postsecondary Education