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High School Diploma

The criterion for high school graduation is not uniform across the United States. Criteria is determined by each state and, sometimes, by each school district. Generally, although, each state or district does factor in the following elements:


Local Education Agencies also play a role in deciding minimum requirements for high school requirements. Some Agencies have liberal and arbitrary authority, while others must abide by state or school district guidelines and have little power to adjust the criteria.

Using Washington State as an example, students must:


Additionally, students must prepare a final project demonstrating their overall skills and aptitudes and complete a life plan for their first year following graduation.

It must be emphasized that the above is an example of high school diploma. Unique requisites are mandatory in each school district and students must ensure they meet qualifications stipulated by the school district in which they attend secondary school.

For adults who did not obtain a High School Diploma through attendance at a secondary school, there is an alternative known as “General Education Development”. Employers accept a GED Diploma or Certificate as an equivalency to a High School Diploma.

Once again, using Washington State as a sample, adults participate in tests in:


These tests take approximately 7 hours to complete and must be written at an Official GED Testing Center. Applicants must obtain a minimum of 410 points on each test and a combined minimum score of 2250 on all five tests. The GED Testing Service develops the tests and partners with US states and Canada.