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Diploma versus GED: What’s the difference?

Question: I’m trying to figure out how to homeschool my daughter. Is there really any difference between a GED and a diploma? My child is most likely going to want to go to a trade school. – Researching Mama

Hi Researching Mama,

No, there is essentially no difference. Understand that a few trade schools require an accredited high school diploma or GED. It shouldn’t really be a barrier for most trade schools, but if your daughter has a specific school in mind it might be wise to ask them if accreditation is required.

A big consideration is what grade level your daughter is in. If she is in elementary or middle school, this isn’t really a question that you need to answer right now; your decision now won’t really have an effect on if she receives a diploma or what kind. And even if you decide to go through a route in high school the doesn’t lead to an accredited diploma, the GED option is always open down the road.

Also, know that “homeschooling” in Florida is pretty easy and flexible, but it means different things–registering with an umbrella school, registering with the county, having a home private tutor, and online/virtual school are all often called “home school”, but they aren’t the same thing. For example, registering with your local county as a homeschool student won’t lead to a diploma. However, registering with Florida Virtual School full time will–however, you are going to be required to fulfill almost all of the same requirements, including standardized annual tests, that high school students at a brick-and-mortar would have to.

There are a lot of great options, but you should consider what kind of homeschooling your daughter will respond to, and which one fits what you want.


Find out about the various legal options available for homeschooling in Florida on our General Information Page.

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