Getting a Higher Education

The Basics

Young people who are finishing or have recently finished high school have to make some big decisions as they become adults. These decisions include whether to continue going to school, what type of school to go to, where to go to school, and how to pay for school.

If you are in this situation, this section will help you decide what to do. It will help you decide whether you want to get more education and what types of education to consider. If you have been accepted into a school or are already attending one, it also has information about how to pay for your education and your rights as a student.

High School Equivalency Tests (HSET)

Some people don’t graduate from high school. That means they don’t have a high school diploma. Without a diploma a person can’t be accepted to college or get some jobs.

If you don't have a high school diploma and aren't in high school anymore, you can earn a California High School Equivalency Certificate. This certificate will let you go to college or take part in other jobs or activities that require a high school diploma.

You can earn this certificate by passing any one of three tests approved by the state of California: the General Education Development (GED) test, the High School Equivalency Test (HiSET), or the Test Assessing Secondary Completion (TASC). The California Department of Education provides an overview of these three tests, with links to more details.

There are books and classes that can help you prepare for these tests. Many people with disabilities can get reasonable accommodations to assist them while taking the tests, including extra time, a private room, a calculator, and more.

Learn more