Adult High School Completion

What can I do if I have not earned a high school diploma?

Lake Washington Institute of Technology (LWTech) is pleased to provide a number of educational pathways to help adults reach their goals. LWTech offers a wide variety of degree and certificates to prepare students for today's careers and tomorrow's opportunities, and also has many options for earning a high school diploma or equivalent. Here are answers to some questions you may have:

Do I need to have a high school diploma to apply for financial aid?

Generally, to apply for federal financial aid you need to have a high school diploma or high school equivalency like the GED®®.

Do I need a high school diploma to go to college or take classes at Lake Washington Institute of Technology?

No, you don't need a high school diploma. Students 18 or older are eligible for admission to the college.

Am I too old to earn a high school diploma?

No! LWTech has options for students from age 16 and beyond. Students under 21 may be eligible for a program through our on-campus high school Lake Washington Technical Academy. Students 21 and older have several options depending on individual needs and interests. 

For example:

  • Students age 21 years and older who earn an associate degree (AAS or AAS-T) at LWTech may request the high school diploma from the college. Earn then ask, simple as that! The State of Washington has agreed that earning the associate degree signifies a student has mastered a body of knowledge at least equivalent to the requirements of a high school diploma.

  • Students 21 years and beyond can earn a high school diploma through completion of basic skills courses which allow students to earn credits towards a high school diploma through a competency-based approach tailored to adult learning styles.

  • Students age 21 and older can take college level classes to complete missing graduation requirements that were not finished during high school.  

Keep in mind, it is never too late to earn a high school diploma or equivalent! Many students who wish to achieve this important milestone are in their thirties, forties, and older.

What is the GED®®? or High School Equivalency Testing?

Even if you didn't finish high school, you may have knowledge and skills comparable with a high school graduate. The GED®® (General Education Development) is one of several high school equivalency examinations that certify that the taker has high school level academic skills in key subject areas. Beginning in January 2014, the GED®® exams will be:

  • Delivered in a computer-based format only.

  • Four tests that align with the national Common Core State Standards. These standards are designed to ensure every student is ready to compete and succeed; whether he or she  goes on into  higher education or pursues a better career in the global economy.

How can I prepare for the GED®® exam?

Lake Washington Institute of Technology offers several ways for students to build their skills and test with confidence. We can provide you with practice tests or can register you for low cost test preparation classes.

 Which is better, a High School Diploma (Adult High School or High School 21+ ) or the GED®®?

There's no right answer to this question. Depending on your academic skills, how much time you have to complete your education, and what your goals are in life, any option can be the right one.  Either version of the high school diploma requires effort, class attendance, and completion of credits. A high school equivalency examination such as the GED®®may be the fastest way for you to meet your goals, since it requires only that you pass a standardized test.  However, institutions such as the military restrict the admission of GED® completers and may give preference to applicants holding a high school diploma.  

How much will it cost?

This will depend on the option that is best for you and most aligned with your interests and goals. The cost per class can vary from $25 up to regular college tuition. We can discuss in more detail at your evaluation appointment. The testing fee for the GED®® is $30.00 for each of the four subjects ($120 total) and the re-testing fee is $36.00 per test.

What courses will I have to take?

An evaluation of your transcripts must be done before we can tell you what courses you need to complete your diploma. The State of Washington sets the minimum requirements for the high school diploma. A total of 19 or 20 credits are required and are spread among English, mathematics, history, government, art, science, physical education, occupational subjects, and electives. LWTech offers a wide variety of ways to complete these requirements.

Where do I begin?

Step 1: Contact the High School Programs office (425) 739-8107 to make an appointment for an evaluation. At this appointment we can discuss your goals and previous educational coursework completion, then determine what classes you will need to take in order to complete your high school diploma. We will discuss options for taking these classes and any testing that is needed to get started.

Step 2: If you have earned credit when you were in high school or through other accredited schools or colleges, you will want to contact them to obtain official copies. Official copies must be in a sealed envelope. It is a good idea to ask for a second copy so that you can have one for your records and one for the evaluation

 We look forward to helping you reach your educational goals!