The High School Diploma

Getting a high school diploma is quite an achievement whether it is earned via public or private school, or homeschooling. A GED is not technically a diploma, but it IS recognized as the equivalent. Hard work pays off no matter how you go about it.

However, a diploma is not to be confused with a high school transcript. A transcript is necessary when a student makes application to a school of higher learning. It lists the courses taken and grades earned.

What is a High School Diploma?

A high school diploma is a certificate by which a person or organization certifies that the person named on the diploma has successfully completed a program of study. The high school diploma certifies that a student has successfully completed a program of secondary education.

In the United States and Canada, the high school diploma is considered the minimum education required for government jobs and higher education. An equivalent is the GED.

Requirements for a High School Diploma

Most countries around the world award the high school diploma based on the student’s satisfactory completion of specified coursework, attendance,  and passing one or more standardized tests. Every country has different requirements for receiving a diploma, and in some cases, individual schools set their own requirements.

If a student does not meet all of the prescribed standard graduation requirements, he or she will not receive a high school diploma, but will instead receive a certificate of attendance.

Benefits of a High School Diploma

There are numerous benefits to having earned a high school diploma, one of the biggest is more and better job opportunities. According to the Alabama Cooperative Extension Agency, dropouts work more labor-intensive jobs, experience more unemployment, have more difficulty finding work, and are less likely to advance within a company. High school graduates have additional job opportunities available to them through various technical and trade programs that often require only a few months of training but require a high school diploma for entrance. This opens the door to many more job opportunities than exist for high school dropouts.

Pomp and Circumstance

The earning of a high school diploma results in a ceremony in which students who have passed all their required courses get to walk across a stage in front of friends, loved ones, and other as their name is called out. They are handed their diploma by a leader of the school, many times the superintendent.

Sometimes, students receive blank pieces of paper wrapped with a ribbon or empty leather binders during the graduation ceremony; when this occurs the actual diploma is received later.

The student has cause to celebrate now. They have proven they have what it takes to excel in this world. Many continue their education by attending college or a trade school.