Minnesota GED Programs vs. BlueSky Diploma

Trying to decide between a GED and a BlueSky diploma? The facts below will help you weigh your options.

Future opportunities
Age requirements
Support from teachers
Preparation for life, college

Q: How does getting GED or earning a high school diploma affect future opportunities?

A: A high school diploma carries more weight with military recruiters and human resources personnel who are hiring for entry-level positions.

For example, if two applicants were to apply for the same job and one has a diploma and the other a GED, the person with the diploma would most likely get the position. There are actually some companies that will not hire someone without a high school diploma.

A high school diploma shows the ability to be persistent and work hard over the “long haul,” typically regarded by employers or recruiters as a positive characteristic. A GED might be viewed as a “quick fix” by some.

Generally, salaries of people with high school diplomas surpass those with a GED.

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Q: How do the costs of getting a GED compare with the costs associated with earning a high school diploma at BlueSky?

A: BlueSky Online School is a public high school and thus offers a free high school education. A GED student might have to pay for the exam.

Students can also start working on college credit at BlueSky at no cost. Eligible 11th and 12th graders can earn college credits through free online courses offered through BlueSky's partnership with Rasmussen College. BlueSky students also can enroll in Minnesota's Post Secondary Enrollment Options (PSEO) program, in which students can take college courses at participating colleges and universities, also for no fee.

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Q: What are the age requirements for the GED?

A: State law requires that a person be 19 years old or has not attended high school for 12 consecutive months before taking the GED. There are very few exceptions to this rule. Sometimes there are waiting lists to take the GED exam, with students over the age of 21 given priority.

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Q: How difficult is the GED exam compared with the state tests required for a high school diploma?

A: The GED exam is harder to pass than most students realize. Students need to study and prepare for 5 different academic areas and pass at 60% or higher. In fact, recently a test was given to graduating seniors and 40% were not able to pass the GED exam!

If a high school student is unable to pass the GRAD test, he or she would more than likely have a difficult time passing the GED exam.

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Q: How does the support offered in GED programs compare with the support at BlueSky Online School?

A: At BlueSky Online School, each of our students enjoys the support of a three-person team made up of a caring teacher, counselor, and social worker, who work with the student throughout their time at BlueSky. BlueSky also offers special classes to prepare students for required state tests.

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Q: Which better prepares students for college and for life: taking the GED exam, or earning a high school diploma?

A: The experience of earning a high school diploma prepares a student for college and beyond. Frequent, one-on-one contact with teachers sharpens students' communication skills. Students at BlueSky Online School are guided to learn to prioritize, manage their time, set goals, develop work plans, and see tasks through to completion – all skills that will serve them throughout their lives.

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