High School in the U.S. and GED/High School Equivalency
High school in the U.S. is 12 years of education. A high school diploma or equivalency is available for anyone who did not finish 12 years of school. A high school diploma or GED increases education and job opportunities and may be a requirement for college admissions and some financial aid.
Who needs a GED?
- If you finished highschool and/or university in another country, you probably do not need a GED or high school diploma. You may get an evaluation of your high school diploma or degree. A company can review your documents and decide if it is equal to a U.S. high school diploma or university degree. If it is equal to or higher than a U.S. high school diploma, you do not need a GED.
- If you did not finish high school in your country or you cannot get documents to show you finished high school. You may need to get a GED. Emily Griffith offers GED preparation classes and can help you prepare for the GED test.
Education after High School
There are many choices for higher education or education after high school. In the United States, you can return to study at any age. You might choose to continue your education to change your career or to continue in the same career with an American qualification. You can choose from short courses and industry certifications from a technical college or you may choose to complete an associate’s degree, bachelor’s degree, or advanced degree from a community college or university.
- Attend a short training (one day to several months long) and learn new skills for a particular job.
- No experience required to begin training.
- Training is often free or low cost.
Emily Griffith offers short-term training with industry recognized certificates. Hiring events are included in the last week of classes. See below for the different training options:
Career and Technical Education
- Learn the skills and knowledge you need to enter a specific career field.
- Some programs require exams for licensure after you finish your studies.
- Most programs are less than one year.
Emily Griffith offers a range of career and technical programs:
- Recieve on-the-job training, attend classes once a week,a nd in some cases earn college credit.
- Work full-time and earn a paycheck.
- Most apprenticeships require a High School Diploma (or GED), a driver’s license, and a math assessment. Apprentices must be 18 years or older.
Emily Griffith partners with 19 apprenticeship sites in fields such as Plumbing, Electrician, Sheet Metal, and more through our Apprenticeship Training Division.
- Community colleges offer 2-year associate’s degrees and pathways to 4-year colleges and universities
- They also offer career and technical training
- They usually cost less than 4-year colleges and universities.
Learn more about community colleges in Colorado.
University and 4-year colleges
- Both universities and 4-year colleges offer bachelor degrees.
- They are research oriented and offer post-graduate studies.
- They are usually larger than community colleges.
- They are generally more expensive than community colleges.
Learn more about colleges and universities in Colorado.
Public vs. Private
There are public and private schools for all levels of education. Both can offer quality education. Reviewing a school’s accreditation(s) can help determine the quality of the school or program. Public education usually costs less than private education.
Applying for College
The application process and requirements vary from the type of college and program. Universities and 4-year colleges often want to see high school transcripts and ask for scores on a range of standardized tests. However, technical programs and community colleges may only ask you to do a reading and math test. See the list below for information on common standardized tests. Learn more about college admissions processes in Colorado.
If you want to learn more about how to apply to a college program, please schedule a meeting with the CAREERS team. For more information about applying to an Emily Griffith program you can also review the Admission Steps for CTE Programs or visit the front desk at Emily Griffith on the 6th floor at 1860 Lincoln St, Denver, CO 80203.
Paying for Education
- In-State or Resident Tuition is the price of college for students who have lived in Colorado for 1 year or more and intend to remain living in the state for the foreseeable future.
- Refugees, asylees, and special immigrant visa holders (SIV) who are re-settled in Colorado qualify for in-state tuition immediately upon arrival.
- DACA and ASSET – see this page for information
- Out-of-State or Non-Resident Tuition is the price of college for students who have lived in Colorado for less than one year. It is generally double the price of in-state tuition.
- FAFSA is financial aid from the federal government to help pay for college classes. You must have completed high school to be eligible for federal financial aid. There are three types:
- Loans – must be repaid.
- Grants – do not need to be repaid. However, you are not eligible for a grant if have a bachelor’s degree or higher from another country.
- Work study – is paid hours to work for your college.
- Scholarships do not have to be repaid. Money for scholarships comes from private sources like businesses, foundations and individuals who want to support education. Learn more about general scholarships at Emily Griffith or speak to the CAREERS team about scholarships for immigrants and refugees.
- Payment Plans may be available at some schools. Payment plans, where monthly payments are made toward the total cost of tuition, are accepted for Career & Technical Education programs at Emily Griffith.
Evaluation of Foreign Education
Do you have a high school diploma, college experience, or a university degree or college from another country?
- A credential evaluation compares education from another country to education in the U.S. An evaluation report that deems one’s education to be equivalent or partially equivalent reduces the need to start over and may be used:
- For entrance into college or university
- To gain credit for prior learning or to transfer credits to a new school
- To meet professional licensing requirements
- To demonstrate knowledge and skill for employement
- The process and the evaluation used for credential evaluation is often different for each person and is based on the purpose of the evaluation, the type or evaluation needed for intended use, the level of education, and the country from which the education is being evaluation.
- Review Common evaluation companies and the evaluation process visual for more information.
Standardized Tests and College Entrance Exams
Standardized tests are used throughout the American education system. Tests are often required for government funding and most children begin taking standardized tests in kindergarten. As students move to higher levels in the education system testing grows in importance. There are many tests used for entering college. A list of common tests used in education is given below.
College Entrance and Readiness
Post Graduate and Professional Education
English Language Tests