A new report from NCES found that GED recipients’ socioeconomic status was lower than that of high school graduates, but higher than the socioeconomic status of high school dropouts. This report uses longitudinal data to compare 10th-graders who four years later were GED recipients, high school graduates or high school dropouts. Characteristics of GED Recipients in High School: 2002–06 uses data from the Education Longitudinal Study of 2002 (ELS:2002) to compare the demographics, high school experiences, and academic achievement of students.
The results show that students who earned a GED four years after the 10th grade(in 2002) differed during their high school year in some aspects from both graduates and from students who dropped out, were more like graduates in some aspects, and were more like students who had dropped out in other aspects. Other findings include:
• In ninth grade, the grade point average of GED recipients was between that of high school dropouts and high school graduates. However, by tenth grade GED recipients did not differ from students who dropped out; both groups had lower grade point averages than graduates.
• Generally, GED recipients and students who dropped out reported similar reasons for leaving high school prior to graduation, except that a higher percentage of students who dropped out reported that they could not complete the courses or pass the tests needed to graduate.