Individuals who choose not to or are unable to complete high school can later earn a General Education Development (G.E.D) certificate. Passing the G.E.D. program is the equivalent of earning a high school certificate because the G.E.D. evaluates you in all of the major educational areas covered during a typical high school education, and if you want to continue your education, some colleges will accept your G.E.D. for admission.

Community Colleges

Community colleges are open-enrollment institutions, which means that they welcome anyone who wants to attend. However, if you have not taken tests typically administered during high school, such as the SAT and ACT, you need to take placement tests before being allowed to enroll in classes. Placement tests determine if you have a solid knowledge base to succeed in college-level classes. Failing placement scores doesn't exclude you from being able to enroll in college, but you will have to take remedial classes before enrolling in classes for college credit.

Four-Year Colleges and Universities

More than 90 percent of colleges and universities accept G.E.D. graduates, according to DiplomaGuide.com; however, a G.E.D. certificate alone is not enough for acceptance into these institutions, many of which require that you take the SAT or ACT and that you score within the required range for admission for all students. In addition, some schools ask that you provide more letters of recommendation than required of individuals with high school diplomas, notes the DiplomaGuide.com. Admissions officials may ask that you provide examples of completed projects as a way to prove that you can follow tasks through completion. If you still are denied admission, you can enroll in a community college for their first two years of school, and by achieving a high grade-point average, you will be able to transfer into a four-year college or university, notes GEDResource.com.

Technical Schools

Most technical institutions usually accept students with G.E.D. certificates, but acceptance requirements varies among schools. Technical schools that are not accredited or only minimally accredited may not require anything beyond the G.E.D certificate, but fully accredited technical schools, which offer bachelor's degree programs and are affiliated with state college or university systems, have the same kind of acceptance requirements as many four-year colleges and universities.