I didn’t graduate high school. How can I still get a diploma?
Since 2014, New Jersey has offered three different types of high school equivalency tests that you can take to get a state-issued diploma. In addition to the GED, people can also take the HiSET. All the tests include subjects that are covered in most high school programs, such as writing, social studies, science, literature, and math. All of these tests are offered electronically. If you need a paper test to accommodate a disability, see the information below about testing accommodations. For more information about the test, visit their websites at:
How do I know if I am eligible to take one of these tests?
You may take any of the three tests if you are a New Jersey resident at least 16 years old and you:
How do I sign up for the tests?
The tests are given at approved testing centers. Go to Testing Centers (from the State of New Jersey Department of Education). Search by county or test type. Contact the specific testing center to get the schedule and find out how to register.
Is there a fee?
Yes. The total cost (test and administrative fees) will depend on which test you are taking. Information about testing fees (including re-testing) is listed on the state website with the information about testing centers.
If I have a disability, can I get testing accommodations?
The law requires that all approved testing centers provide people with disabilities full access to the offered tests. If you need, or think you might need, accommodations, you should make a request to the specific testing company.
Testing accommodations are based on individual needs, so you should not be told that only a certain type of accommodation is available for your disability.
Information about how to get accommodations for the individual tests can be found on the websites as follows:
How can I prepare for one of these tests?
Some people prepare for high school equivalency tests by taking an adult education class. See Adult Basic Education Program Directory (from New Jersey Career Connections) for a directory of adult education classes. Contact programs directly for information about schedule and cost.
Are there other options that do not require passing a high school equivalency test?
Yes, the Thirty College Credit Route Program permits New Jersey residents who are older than 16 and have completed at least 30 general education college credits from an accredited higher education institution to apply for a state-issued high school diploma. For more information and an application, see Thirty College Credit Application For a State-Issued High School Diploma (from the State of New Jersey Department of Education).
New Jersey residents older than 16 may also complete an adult high school program. These instructional programs permit adults to obtain a locally issued state-endorsed diploma after completing local and state requirements. See New Jersey Adult High Schools (from the State of New Jersey Department of Education) for a list of programs and fees.
In New Jersey, you have the right to register at your local high school until the age of 20 (or 21 if you are eligible for special education).
If you have any questions about the information contained in this article, you may also contact Legal Services of New Jersey’s Education Representation Project by calling LSNJLAWSM, Legal Services of New Jersey’s statewide, toll-free legal hotline, at 1-888-LSNJ-LAW (1-888-576-5529).
This information last reviewed: Aug 4, 2017