Earning your New York High School Diploma or Regents Diploma!

A high school diploma can expand career and education opportunities for high school graduates in New York. The state also offers alternate paths to a diploma or its equivalent for adults who did not earn one through the normal school system.

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How to Earn Your High School or Regents Diploma in New York

The state of New York awards its qualified high school students with a Regents diploma instead of a general high school diploma or local diploma. For adults who did not earn a high school or Regents diploma while they were in high school, the state of New York offers three alternatives: the General Educational Development (GED) credential, the National External Diploma Program (NEDP) and Operation Recognition, a high school diploma program for which some veterans are eligible.

Regents Diploma

The state of New York offers a Regents diploma to high school students who complete 22 credits during their 4 years of school, including 4 of English language arts, 4 of social studies, 3 of science, 3 of mathematics, 1 of the arts, 0.5 of health, 1-3 of foreign language and 2 of physical education. Elective courses can round out the 22. Additionally, students must receive a score of at least 65 on all five of the required exams: English language arts, global history, U.S. history, science and algebra.

Students who earn scores of 90 or better on their exams will receive an honors Regents diploma, and those who take additional tests in math, science and a foreign language can receive a Regents diploma with advanced designation. Students who complete a career and technical education program through their high school may receive a Regent diploma with a career and technical education endorsement.

GED

In New York, GED testing is offered for free at approved on-site testing centers. The process is managed by the New York State GED Testing Office of the New York State Education Department. Students cannot complete GED testing online or via computer. Free classroom, one-on-one, online and self-directed GED preparation options are available for students who'd like to pursue them, although none are required prior to taking the exams.

NEDP

The NEDP is a distance-learning, performance-based assessment program that allows adults to earn a high school diploma once they can demonstrate certain competencies. It is administered through Comprehensive Adult Student Assessment Systems (CASAS). Participants meet weekly with an assessor. Upon successful evaluation of their abilities in 65 areas of transferable skills, a high school diploma may be awarded.

Operation Recognition

Veterans who left school in order to enlist in the military and serve during the time periods that included World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War can receive a high school diploma for free through Operation Recognition if certain criteria are met. Requirements include qualified service between established start and end dates, honorable discharge from military service and New York State residency. Veterans with a high school diploma equivalent are still eligible to receive this diploma, which may be issued by any high school in the state that already confers diplomas.

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