Research Allies for Lifelong Learning

Crossing the Bridge: Adults with GED® Credentials Going to College (2004 to 2010)

Adult educators may wonder how often adults complete high school via a high school equivalency (HSE) test and whether their learners might transition to college after testing. Since cumulatively over 20 million adults have taken GED (R)  tests [1] as HSE, the answers to these questions are important to adult educators, postsecondary administrators and staff, and policy makers alike. Recently the U.S. Census Bureau reported that adults receiving HSE credentials made up approximately 13 to 16% of all high school completers ages 18 and above, as of 2008, depending on which federal survey was used [2]. This same paper reported that slightly more than 42% of adults ages 18 and above with HSE credentials had attended some college.
According to GED Testing Service’s Crossing the Bridge research[3], approximately 43% of GED passers testing in 2003 or 2004, regardless of age, enrolled in postsecondary education by 2009 or 2010, respectively.  Percentages resulted from GED Testing Service data on approximately 500,000 test-takers per year being matched with postsecondary data from the National Student Clearinghouse.  

More information on Crossing the Bridge

[1] GED® and GED Testing Service® are registered trademarks of the American Council on Education and may not be used or reproduced without express written permission. The GED® and GED Testing Service® brands are administered by GED Testing Service LLC under license from the American Council on Education; GED Testing Service, 2012
[2] Crissey & Bauman, SEHSD Working Paper No. 2012-3, February 2012
[3] Zhang, Guison-Dowdy, Patterson, & Song, 2011;      Patterson, Zhang, Song, & Guison-Dowdy, 2010