Illinois gives High School Diplomas instead of GED Certificates

Students in Illinois who pass their GED or HiSET tests receive a standard High School Diploma instead of GED (also known as High School Equivalency) Diploma.

In June, Illinois Governor JB Pritzker signed into law that references to State of Illinois HSE (high school equivalency) certificates are replaced with Illinois High School Diplomas.

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This significant change recognizes the high standards of the GED® and HiSET® tests and protects GED or HiSET graduates from unreasonable misconceptions, both in Illinois and in other states.

GED misconceptions

In the past, there were some unjustified stigmas and assumptions that GED and HiSET graduates had received lower levels of education, achievement, or degrees.

This significant change reflects that the Illinois GED or HiSET certificate is an actual diploma that ensures that the recipient commands knowledge and skills at the level of a high school student upon graduation.

The adjustment indicates that no graduate of an Illinois high school or an equivalent program will face unjustified challenges based on an inaccurate and wrong assessment of their educational level.

Important legislation

This important legislation changes school codes as well and recognizes high school equivalency diplomas and certificates issued by other states as being equivalent to Illinois High School Diplomas, so it will be easier to transfer educational requirements across various states.

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State Representative Amy Elik (R) said she was proud to be the sponsor of this new law, which encourages more Illinoisans to earn their GED diploma since, from now on, their achievements will be labeled high school diplomas.

State Senator Cristina Castro (D) said that students who completed the GED or HiSET exam have demonstrated their skills and have met the requirements associated with functionally completing high school. Therefore, they deserve the same treatment and recognition as students who took a more conventional path.

Recognition of achievements

The recognition of their achievements as ‘diplomas’ tells the students, future employers, and educational institutions that they’re ready for success beyond high school. The path that took them there is less relevant.

The change makes clear to colleges and employers that whichever path of high school completion a student took, they have demonstrated to meet the standards and requirements to move ahead into our workforce or into postsecondary training or education.

The change makes sense as it has removed an unnecessary and unjustified barrier between the students and their personal or professional goals. To see if you qualify for the GED test, check out <- this page.

Illinois lowers the GED test fee

The Illinois College Board has increased GED test discounts in hopes of encouraging state residents to complete their secondary education degrees. The total cost of GED testing was brought down to $40 when the exam was taken in person at a test center or $56 when the exam was taken online.

Previous 2020 and 2021 discount programs were redeemed by almost 20,000 Illinois GED test takers. To benefit from this offer, GED testers need to use the code “ILSAVE20” upon checkout when registering for (one of the) four GED sub-exams.

The Illinois Association of Regional Superintendents of Schools President Mark Kleisner said they are thrilled that Illinois Governor Pritzker has allocated funds to reduce the testing fees for the GED and HiSET high school equivalency (HSE) exams.

By reducing the fees so significantly, more and more Illinoisans can pursue their dreams, and the change will open doors to brighter futures and more rewarding careers.

Equal access to college

This new piece of legislation will be a great help to make sure that all students, regardless of their educational pathways, will have equal access to a college education. This is just one more step toward offering equal opportunities and closing equity gaps for all Illinoisans.

This significant change demonstrates that the Illinois Governor and the state’s Legislature are committed to opening more doors to rewarding careers and fulfilling lives for students working so hard to earn their high school equivalency certificates.

The community colleges of Illinois, probably the state’s largest providers of HiSET and GED classes, are very pleased to see that Illinois supports their adult education students. In combination with a good online course, GED prep classes offer an excellent way to get all set for the exams.

This legislation is a first and very important step for these students toward a college education and a rewarding and successful career in the workplace.

Last Updated on August 8, 2022.