High School Completion FAQS

Are you interested in completing your high school diploma and perhaps even earn credits for college and/or a career program? Below are some responses to questions people frequently ask about the High School Completion program at Everett Community College.

What is the High School Completion program?
HSC is a program in which students can complete coursework for a high school diploma which meets the minimum credit requirements of the state of Washington.

I’m twenty-one years old or older, am I too old to earn a high school diploma? Isn’t my only option a GED?
No, students 16 and older are eligible for the Adult High School Completion program, and students 19 and older may be eligible for the reduced tuition waiver. The average age is 22, but there are students in their thirties, forties, and older in our program.

I want to go on to college and/or a career training program, but I don’t have any money. Do I need to have a high school diploma to apply for the Pell Grant or other financial aid scholarships?
As of July 1, 2012, one of the minimum requirements for federal money includes having a high school diploma or a GED. The high school completion office is not an expert in this area. For additional information, please call the Financial Aid office at (425) 388-9280.

How many classes will I need to take to complete my high school diploma? 
This depends on how many credits you have earned at your previous high schools. If you completed grade nine, it may take about 5 to 6 quarters to finish your high school diploma. If you have completed grade ten or eleven it can take three to five quarters. If you completed most of the twelfth grade it might take one to two quarters. We can not tell you for sure until you come in and speak with one of our advisors. Please call 425-388-9257 to make an appointment.

How do I know what classes to take?
A High School Completion advisor will evaluate your transcripts and determine how many and what classes you will need to take to graduate.

How do I apply for the High School Completion program?
You will need to get an official, sealed copy of your transcripts (the records of the classes you took and your grades) from any high school(s) you attended. If need be, the transcripts will have to be translated into English. In the United States, grade nine, the third year of junior high counts towards the credits needed for a high school diploma. Also, for students from the United States who are part of the class of 2008 and beyond, please make sure that you obtain information on results from your state tests (example: WASL for Washington State students).
Once you have those in hand, please contact our office and make an appointment with one of our High School Completion advisors at 425-388-9257.

What are some of the benefits of the High School Completion program?

  • HSC students 19 and older may receive a tuition waiver for classes they need to obtain their high school diploma.  A HSC student going full-time would pay about $250.00 a quarter for tuition instead of the regular college tuition of about $900.00.
  • If a student qualified for the reduced tuition, the full-time cost will be around $300 instead of the regular college tuition price.
  • Students can take classes which can apply towards their career, their vocational certificate, their Associates degree, and towards their high school diploma at the same time. 
  • For example, if a HSC student takes computer classes (depending on the course), these may apply towards the math, science, and/or elective requirements for a high school diploma but also towards an Electronics degree.  If a student needs United States history, they can take one of the High School Completion program U.S. history classes or, if they are academically ready, a college level U.S. History class which would count both towards their High School Diploma and also their college degree.

What is the GED?
The GED (General Education Development) Test is a test that certifies that the taker has high school level academic skills in reading, writing, and math. Everett Community College offers GED preparation classes to help students build their skills and test with confidence. You can also take the GED test here at our college. If you are interested in taking prep classes, please call 425-388-9257 or click here for more information. 

Which is better, a High School Diploma or the GED?
There’s no right answer to this question. Depending on a person’s academic skills, how much time they have to complete a high school diploma or a GED, and what their goals are in life, either option can be the right one. This is a question you can discuss with a High School Completion advisor.

I have a high school diploma from my own country. Will Financial Aid accept this or do I need to earn a United States high school diploma, too, to go to college or take career classes at Everett Community College?
No, the high school diploma you earned in your own country is accepted.

Do I need a high school diploma to go to college or take classes that are not GED or ESL at Everett Community College?
No, you don’t need a high school diploma. Students 18 and over can take classes such as art, music, math, or PE. However, if you want to earn a college degree or a certificate in most career programs such as Cosmetology, you will need to take an English and Math placement test called the COMPASS or ASSET.

Do I have to take the COMPASS or ASSET to be in High School Completion?
Not necessarily; however, if you plan on taking college level courses while in our program, then you most likely will be required to take the college placement test before you can enter into those courses. For information on the college placement tests or the GED test, please contact our testing center at 425-388-9288.

Do I need to be a citizen to be in the High School Completion program?
No, you don’t need to be a citizen. However, if you are in the United States with F, M, H, J, L, TD, TN or B visas, you need to contact the International Student Services office at 425-388-9220 for information about admissions to Everett Community College.

What, exactly, do you require for the high school diploma through Everett Community College?
The High School Completion program at Everett Community College follows OSPI’s minimum requirements for obtaining your diploma:

  1. Earn high school credit (minimum number of credits set by your respective school district)
  2. Complete a High School and Beyond Plan
  3. Complete a Culminating Project
  4. Pass state tests showing achievement in basic skills OR complete state-approved alternatives to those tests

Here is a breakdown of the credits required (0.5 credit is equal to one high school level class):

English 3.0
Math* 2.0
Washington State History 0.5
U.S. History 1.0
Current World Problems 1.0
Science 2.0
Occupational Electives 1.0
P.E./Health 2.0
Restricted Electives 1.0
General Electives 5.5
Total 19.0

 *If you are part of the class of 2008 through 2013 and have not passed the state’s math tests, you will have other math requirements. Our advisors will discuss these with you at your appointment.