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The One Decision That Could Cost You $500,000

July 26, 2023 | Tracie Hummel
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Now that we have your attention, we wanted to share a crucial life hack and little known secret. If you’re one of the million+ young adults who have already dropped out of high school this year or the countless others who are wondering if it would be OK to drop out, this is for you. We wanted to share some stats and facts with you about the value of a high school diploma so that you can make the decision that’s best for you.

Most importantly, and the answer you’ve been waiting for, high school graduates earn more than $500,000 during their lifetime compared to those without a diploma (according to the US Census Bureau and the Bureau of Labor Statistics). So, if you’re asking yourself ‘why is high school so important,’ a big part of that answer comes down to your lifetime earning potential. Choosing to drop out of high school could cost you $500,000 or more over the course of your life.

Change the course of your life now–learn how you can earn your high school diploma with support and flexibility.

Of course, it’s not just about money. Earning a high school diploma comes with many other benefits like building a sense of pride and self confidence, the ability to join the military and a chance to pursue additional educational opportunities like college and trade schools.

Click here to see why some of our students say their diploma was important to them. (Spoiler Alert: Everyone has a different ‘why’ and that’s OK!)

Receiving your high school diploma is the first step to a successful future, regardless of whether your ambitions are career-based, educational or family-oriented. Not only will you have more opportunities, but you’ll be better prepared for success in the real-world.

Even if you’re not sure what your goals are, high school can be a good opportunity for you to explore career pathways and figure out your passions, especially if your high school offers career and technical education (CTE) programming. These programs allow you to begin preparing for your career while you’re still in high school, which means you’ll graduate with skills and knowledge that will give you an edge in today’s competitive job market.

Wondering why high school is important? Here are some other things you should know if you’re considering dropping out or pursuing a GED instead of a diploma.

  • High school graduates are eligible for 90% of available jobs; additionally, GED recipients may face certain stigmas from employers as many employers favor high school graduates
  • Dropping out of high school is linked to higher rates of unemployment, criminal activity, reliance on public assistance and more
  • Generally speaking, the GED has a fairly low pass rate – in 2018, the pass rate across all test takers was just under 60 percent, meaning that 40 percent of those who took the test did not pass
  • GED candidates are responsible for the cost of any GED prep as well as the fees required to take the test, which vary by state. Most states charge about $120 to take the test.
Check out our interactive GED v. High School Diploma guide here to learn more and see what’s right for you.

Earning a high school diploma is an incredible achievement and it doesn’t come without challenges, especially for the millions of American young adults facing non-academic barriers to success like mental or physical health challenges, bullying or demanding work or family responsibilities.

For these students in particular, the traditional high school model simply doesn’t work. Crowded classrooms, thousands of hours required on-site per year, and a lack of social-emotional support only perpetuate their personal struggles. One-size fits all schooling just doesn’t work for some students.

How Acceleration Academies helps remove non-academic barriers to academic success.

Fortunately, there are other options. Programs like Acceleration Academies offer students a high school diploma (not a GED) and take into account the life circumstances that could be affecting its learners. At Acceleration Academies, students benefit from flexible scheduling, a blended learning model and career coaching/support. Best of all? It’s tuition free! And, students are surrounded by a team of caring educators who will help them overcome the academic and non-academic barriers to success.

And, they’ll graduate with the same diploma that could be their ticket to $500,000 more in earnings during their lifetime 😉

If you’d like to learn more about earning your high school diploma with Acceleration Academies, click here.