Q: I had to leave high school out of nesessity (I am on my own at an early age),
and I got my GED. I'd like to try to attend a four year school, in spite of
Basically, what I'd like to know is where I might have the most luck applying
to in the VA/NC/SC/TN/GA area?
A:I was in the same situation as you were, though I left high school not out of necessity but for specifically for early entrance to college. After having explored many options, I decided to enroll early at a local university (Florida International University). The only method open to me was early admission via GED, as I came from a private school that had no dual enrollment or early admission programs. I was accepted quite enthusiastically into my university. I am loving the college teaching style, and am certainly learning and discussing far more intensely. Nonetheless, I am currently in the process of applying to other schools to experience the "college life" (for good or bad). Generally, the GED is accepted on-par with traditional high school diplomas in state schools. Most state schools have GED-specific entrance fields in their applications, and are actually compelled by law to accept GEDs as a valid form of high school completion. Of course, acceptance depends largely on many factors, including your high school GPA, your GED test scores, and your SATs. If you "had to leave" because of academic reasons, you might face problems as your grades *are* looked at. The situation in private universities seems to vary more. Generally, the applications don't go out of their way in being appropriate for the particular situations of GED graduates. Things like class rank and "final graduating GPA" are not applicable, and can definitely leave you scratching your head. However, if you call these schools, most--if not all--will tell you what to do to make your situation clear to the admissions board. The applications can work for you. It should be noted that the primary method of high school graduation for home-schooled students is the GED. Therefore, most universities accept the GED--but often by putting a greater emphasis on grades, SATs, and sometimes SAT II's. In recent years, many home-schoolers have all-together avoided the GED and are applying for college without a diploma at all to "avoid the stigma." In their case, things like SATs and student portfolios are taken into consideration. Colleges really value home-schooled kids, and their acceptance rate is higher than the average at most of the top schools. It is no surprise, therefore, that most schools will accept GED graduates provided their academic and extracurricular record is very strong. If you did have a strong academic record, good SATs, and will be able to write very compelling application essays, you definitely have a shot at some of the premiere public schools in your area, and even the private ones, too. As I said, however, you will need to do some work to contact the schools and see how to make the applications work for you.
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