Approximately 98 percent of colleges and universities within the United States and most U.S. businesses recognize the General Educational Development, or GED, as a viable alternative to a high school diploma. The GED certificate is also recognized internationally. The GED Testing Service based in Washington, D.C. designs the curriculum and the test.
Indiana University, Penn State University, DePaul University, New York University and the University of Texas are some brick-and-mortar schools that recognize and accept the GED from prospective applicants. Many online universities also accept the GED.
The GED is the only nationally accredited high school certificate. The GED Testing Service administers tests in most states, save New York, West Virginia, New Hampshire, Montana and Iowa. Missouri, Louisiana, Massachusetts and Maine also do not administer the GED test. However, residents of these states may take the test in another state that allows non-residents to test.
Although the GED is recognized internationally, some institutions and companies within and outside of the United States may not accept it. Canada has its own version, also called the GED. The curriculum and test cover the same subjects: reading, writing, math, science and social studies. Canadians who pass the GED test receive a Newfoundland and Labrador High School Equivalency Certificate.
Similarly, states may award some variation of a Certificate of High School Equivalency to individuals who pass the GED test. Consequently, the term "general equivalency diploma" often denotes a GED, but the acronym does not officially correspond.