More than 60 years ago, the General Education Development testing service was created for veterans to receive high school diplomas. This comprehensive exam lasts more than seven hours and covers reading, writing, mathematics, social studies and science. Approximately 95 percent of community colleges and four-year universities accept the GED in lieu of a high school diploma.

Why Some Colleges Will Not Accept A GED

It is estimated that around 60 percent of graduating high school seniors could not pass the GED exam, yet some colleges do not view a GED certificate as equivalent to a high school diploma. GED-holders represent a risk to the matriculation statistics of these institutions, as less than 10 percent of high school drop outs who receive a GED will be awarded a college degree.

Colleges That Do Not Accept A GED

The following is a partial list of colleges and universities that will not accept a GED certificate as of February, 2011: Acadia University, Alberta College of Art and Design, Anderson University, Aquinas College, Ball State University, Bowdoin College, Clayton State University, Concordia College, Fairfield University, Fayetteville State University, George Washington University, Georgia Baptist College of Nursing, Georgia Southern University, Georgia State University, Gonzaga University, Goucher College, Hanover College, Harding University, Institute of Western Ontario, Kettering University, Lakehead University, McGill University, Meredith College, Providence College, Santa Clara University, Sewanee - The University of the South, Southern Methodist University, Southern Nazerene University, St. Joseph's University, Talladega College, Union College, Union University, University of Alaska, University of Alberta, University of Lethbridge, University of North Carolina, University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill, University of West Georgia, University of Western Ontario, Valdosta State University, Webb Institute, Wilmington College, Worcester State College and Yeshiva University. There are also many colleges that will only accept a GED on a provisional basis.

Alternate Choices

If the college you wish to attend does not accept a GED, consider attending a community college first, then transferring to your four-year college of choice. Once you have college experience, your lack of a high school career is no longer as important.

Shortcomings of the GED

The GED still has negative connotations to many people. Although the GED was created for the United States Armed Forces, GED-holders are only enlisted by special waiver. In addition, each branch has capped the number of GED-holders enlisted. This cap ranges from 1 percent of Air Force enlistees to 10 percent of Army recruits.

Studies have shown that people who hold a GED instead of a high school diploma have lives similar to high school drop-outs. A high school diploma is typically preferred by employers and by many colleges and universities.