The High School Equivalency Diploma (HSED) is an alternative credential to a high school diploma for adults. Our program offers standards-based classes to prepare students for the High School Equivalency Diploma.


  1. Complete online paperwork. Students under the age of 19 will have additional paperwork sent to their email.
    Begin Registration
  2. Make an appointment to take your placement tests so that we can find out your academic level. You have the option of selecting in-person testing or online testing. 
    1. If you select in-person testing, you will attend a placement testing session at the Western Iowa Tech campus.
    2. If you select online testing, you will attend a placement testing session via Zoom.
  3. Meet with an instructor to register for classes.

Eligibility Requirements

  1. Students enrolling in the High School Equivalency program must be at least 16 years and 9 months by their scheduled registration testing date.
  2. Students that are under the age of 19 years will need a form signed by a school official stating that they are not enrolled in a K-12 school district prior to their registration testing date.
    1. Our Student Records Specialist will send the form to your email prior to your placement testing appointment.
  3. You must be proficient in English. You can improve your English with English Language Learning classes.

Class Options

Students have several options to complete their HSED. There are three pathways available for students to achieve their HSED. During registration, each student will meet with a HSED staff member to discuss which pathway may be right for them.

Option 1: Take the HiSET® Exam

In the HiSET (formerly GED) option, students take five tests over the core subjects (Math, Reading, Writing, Social Studies, and Science). In preparation for these tests, we offer free classes taught by Western Iowa Tech HSED instructors that prepare you for success not just with the tests, but also in your career or future college experience.


Most students need to take classes to improve their reading, writing, math, social studies, or science skills before taking the HiSET exam.

Classes are available in-person, on Zoom, or online. In-person and Zoom classes are offered in the daytime and evening. Regular participation each week is absolutely necessary for success. These classes are intensive and missing even one day’s worth of assignments can put students significantly behind.

Your length of study depends on your academic level and how much time and effort you put into studying, class time, and homework. Each student is different. Some students earn their high school equivalency in a few months, while other students take a few years to complete the program. The average length of time to complete the program is six months - one year. 


Classes are free.

HiSET tests are $15 each for a total of $75 for all five tests.

Option 2: Complete High School Credits

In this pathway, students will work independently in an online program to complete the coursework needed for their remaining high school credits.

  • To be eligible for this pathway, students must have 6 or fewer credits left to complete.
  • Please note that graduation credit requirements in the Western Iowa Tech HSED program may be different from those of local community schools, so there may be some discrepancy between the credits students needed while enrolled in high school and the credits they will need for the HSED program.
  • To enroll in this option, students must have an official transcript sent to the HSED program. Transcripts should be sent to


Each independent study course is offered through an online platform. An instructor will be available for tutoring and advising services. All mid-term and final exams will be proctored at Western Iowa Tech with an instructor or through remote proctoring services.


Students will get the first two months of access to their online coursework free and then will have to pay $25 per month for further access (if needed).

Option 3: Transfer Your Degree

In this pathway, the participant will be awarded a High School Equivalency Diploma if they present a postsecondary degree equivalent to an associate degree or higher. 

To qualify for this option, the participant will need to meet the following requirements:

  1. Provide an official postsecondary diploma and transcript.
  2. Provide proof of Iowa residency for at least 90 days prior to registration.

2024-25 Class Dates

Session 1 Aug. 19 - Oct. 10, 2024
Session 2 Oct. 21 - Dec. 19, 2024
Session 3 Jan. 13 - Mar. 6, 2025
Session 4 Mar. 18 - May 8, 2025
Summer Session May 27 - Jul. 31, 2025