Adult diploma

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New Member
Hi! I was reading an article of the gossip site . In the article the actress Jessica Chastain say that she dropped out of high school but eventually got her adult diploma.
How could she get her diploma without going back to high school? In my country when you drop out of high school, you can go back or study on your own and get a diploma. She also says that she didn't graduate. But you have to graduate to get a diploma, don't you? Can you explain me how the American school system works, because I don't understand it. Than you.
  • Sparky Malarky

    English - US
    Usually, people who have dropped out of high school can take classes. These are often held at the same schools teenagers attend, but at night. The adults eventually are given a general equivalency diploma. This is commonly called a GED, but calling it a diploma is not wrong. It will count the same way a regular high-school diploma counts when applying for college and so on.

    Some locales may also have correspondence or online classes which will apply toward the GED.


    Senior Member
    GED stands for General Education Development. You take the test and, if you pass, you receive a certificate rather than a diploma. Some people think of it as a diploma but there is a difference. It is generally accepted as the equivalent of a high school diploma for community colleges and vocational schools. Most universities will also accept it in lieu of a high school diploma but do not consider it a diploma. Many colleges and universities will take GED students who have additional community college credits over students with only a GED. The military imposes additional requirements on applicants who have only a GED and not a high school diploma and they restrict the number of GED candidates they accept each year. Some employers will hire a high school graduate in preference to a GED certificate holder because it shows persistence and stability.

    In other words, it's similar and may qualify as the equivalent of a high school diploma, but not in all circumstances. It actually is just a certificate that proves you can pass a test for general knowledge and education.
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