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Crossing the Bridge: GED Credentials and Postsecondary Educational Outcomes

Data from Crossing the Bridge show that when given enough time, most 2003 GED Test passers with post-secondary education goals and aspirations (71.5%) followed up on those goals. The majority (77.8%) of postsecondary students who had passed the GED Tests enrolled in community colleges, or similar types of institutions. This is an important finding given the increasing need for postsecondary education in America’s workforce.


According to Crossing the Bridge, approximately half of GED Test passers who enrolled in a college education and training program returned for a consecutive second semester (50.4%). The most popular majors for these students were nursing, nurse assistant/aide, criminal justice/law enforcement, emergency medical technician and business administration.

Although 1.3 million students drop out of high school each year, a substantial gap exists in federal and state efforts toward the recruitment of adults into postsecondary education, with most effort going toward recruitment via the traditional pipeline of graduating high school seniors. Data from this report indicate there may be another pipeline worth pursuing in the future.

Research and Reports