Many students who didn’t graduate from high school desire to pursue a college education but are crushed when they realize that most colleges require a high school diploma. The common perception is that options for students in this category are limited, if not non-existent.
Interestingly, there are a plethora of community colleges that don’t require a high school diploma for admission. In this article, you will find the best in-person and online community colleges that don’t require a high school diploma. Furthermore, all the colleges listed here are accredited by reputable college boards or commissions.
What Is a High School Diploma and Why Is It Normally Required?
A high school diploma is a credential awarded to students who have completed their high school education. It is a marker of their completion of mandatory education. A high school diploma is important because it’s a minimum requirement to gain admission into most universities. Aside from that, most jobs require candidates to have a high school diploma as a minimum requirement.
Is It Easy to Find Universities That Don’t Require High School Diploma?
Yes, you can find universities that don’t require a high school diploma. In most cases, a high school diploma is one of the major requirements to study courses at community colleges or universities. Most colleges use a high school diploma to evaluate your academic performance. Nevertheless, in place of a high school diploma, colleges may request other requirements like ACT or SAT scores.
How to Get Into a College That Doesn’t Require a High School Diploma
Colleges that don’t require a high school diploma expect prospective students to provide other documents that can prove their suitability for admission. To get into a college that doesn’t require a high school diploma, you may be required to fulfill some of the requirements below.
- Provide ACT or SAT scores
- Submit letters of recommendation
- Complete a high proficiency examination
- Take a GED preparation course
- Submit vocational school results
Which Schools Do Not Require a High School Diploma for College Admissions?
|Other Admissions Requirements
|University of California, Berkeley
|ACT or SAT scores, certificate of proficiency, complete 15 A-G courses
|Colorado State University
|ACT or SAT scores, provide a personal statement, recommendations
|Union County College
|GED certificate, placement test, letter of recommendation
|Columbia-Greene Community College
|Official documentation of withdrawal from high school, passing placement exams
|Niagara County Community College
|24 school credits, an official transcript of courses completed
|Lawson State Community
|Be a US citizen
|Houston Community College
|Interview, GED, placement test
|Hinds Community College
|Minimum of 55 in reading, 34 in math, and 60 in English in the ACCUPLACER, interview
|Wayne County Community College
|GED certificate, letter of recommendation
|Central Community College
|GED, submit official transcripts
Best Colleges That Don’t Require Require High School Diploma
Some students are eager to pursue college degree programs to attain professional development, but without a high school diploma, it can be difficult. The list of schools below are ideal for prospective students who don’t have high school diplomas.
University of California, Berkeley
University of California, Berkeley accepts applications from students who don’t have a high school diploma or GED. Aside from this, students must meet other requirements like a GPA of at least 3.0, complete 15 A-G courses, and take the ACT or SAT, among others.
Colorado State University
Colorado State University doesn’t require applicants to get a diploma before being offered admission. However, you need to take the ACT or SAT and provide a personal statement, transcripts, and recommendations. Colorado State University ranks 148 among the best national universities.
Columbia-Greene Community College
Columbia-Greene Community College accepts students who do not have a high school diploma or an equivalent. You must provide official documentation of high school withdrawal, pass placement exams, be at least 17 years old by the start of the semester, and submit an application for admission.
Central Community College
A high school diploma is not required for Central Community College admissions. Applicants must be at least 16 years old and have a GED to be admitted to Central Community College. However, you may not be eligible for financial aid options without a high school diploma.
Wayne County Community College
Although a high school diploma is compulsory at Wayne County Community College, you can get in with a GED. However, you must be at least 18 years old to enroll in Wayne County Community College. Obtaining a GED certificate takes about two to three years. In addition, with a GED, a student can apply for any federal program at Wayne County Community College to help finance their education.
Online Colleges That Don’t Require High School Diploma
Numerous online colleges don’t require a high school diploma for admission. Their admission requirements are comparable to those of other universities but they do not require a high school diploma.
Hinds Community College
Hinds Community College does not require a high school diploma for students applying for vocational admission. Instead, it requires students to be at least 17 years old and pass an interview with an advisor in their fields of study. Applicants without a high school diploma must also have a minimum of 55 in reading, 34 in math, and 60 in English in the ACCUPLACER test.
Houston Community College
Houston Community College’s Career4U program admits students who don’t have a high school diploma or GED. Also, students in this category will benefit from the federal student aid program offered at Houston Community College. Additional requirements include passing an approved Ability to Benefit test and completing the Houston Community College application online, to mention a few.
Union County College
With your GED, you can get admission into Union County College. However, applicants in this category must pass a placement test after submitting their application. Students are accepted into the Ability to Benefit program. Unfortunately, students without a high school diploma will not be eligible for financial aid and will be unable to compete for associate degrees.
Lawson State Community
The eligibility requirement to get into Lawson State Community is not far-fetched from what other universities expect from applicants. With a GED, you can get into Lawson State Community, but you will be ineligible for financial aid programs in some cases.
Niagara County Community College
Niagara County Community College does not require a high school diploma if you do not have one. Instead, you can gain admission if you complete the 24 school credits in designated areas. However, you need to submit an official transcript from Niagara County Community College to the State Education Department. Only students who are at least 18 years old are eligible for this education path.
Should You Still Submit a High School Diploma Even if It Is Not Required?
Yes, you should submit a high school diploma even if it’s not required because it demonstrates academic commitment and a strong work ethic. However, students who didn’t graduate high school shouldn’t worry about not having a high school diploma as many schools understand there are a plethora of circumstances that can make obtaining one difficult.
Submit a High School Diploma if
- Your chances of getting admission into the institution get better with one
- It will exempt you from attending a GED preparation program or taking a high proficiency examination
- You have a chance to get financial aid, grants, or scholarships
Don’t Submit High School Diploma if
- Your chances of getting into the institution will not improve
- It is optional or discretionary
- No benefits are attached whatsoever
Should I Attend a College That Doesn’t Require High School Diploma?
Yes, you can attend a college that doesn’t require a high school diploma. Usually, in place of a high school diploma, most colleges offer vocational training, GED preparation courses, and high proficiency examinations. Also, some colleges offer online programs or placement tests to substitute for a high school diploma.
Finally, colleges that don’t require a high school diploma are not inferior in any way to those that make high school diplomas a mandatory requirement for admission. This means that with or without a high school diploma you can attend a four-year college.
Colleges That Don’t Require High School Diploma FAQ
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