High school graduates earn thousands more dollars per year than those who did not graduate from high school. Despite this fact, some students drop out of high school before earning their diploma. Just because a high school senior does not have enough credits to graduate does not mean that he needs to drop out. Students can take summer school classes or stay in school for an extra semester to complete their high school education. Other options include online high schools, alternative high schools and earning a GED.

Summer School or Extra High School Semester

Some seniors need to attend summer school or stay an extra semester to complete their high school education. High school seniors who do not have enough credits to graduate should talk to their academic adviser about scheduling classes during the summer or during the next semester. Academic advisers in high school are trained to help students stay in school and finish their high school education.

Alternative Schools

Many alternative schools are available to at-risk students, students thinking about dropping out of high school or students who have already dropped out. If you are looking for a change from the high school you're in now, consider trying an alternative high school as an option for finishing your education.

Online High School Courses

Online high school programs are designed to help students finish their high school education from home. If you do not want to go back to high school for an extra semester without your peers, consider an online high school to help you finish courses you need. Great Lakes Academy (see Resources) is one accredited online high school program. Many others like it exist. Make sure that the online high school you choose is accredited.

General Educational Development Diploma

The General Education Development diploma (GED) is a testing program affiliated with the U.S. government. Students who are older than 16, have not graduated from an accredited high school and are not enrolled in high school are eligible to take the GED. Though the GED is not the same as a high school diploma, it is an attractive option for many students.