High School Completion Program
The High School Completion program (formerly the GED program) offers free courses designed to help you to earn a high school equivalency diploma and become prepared for college and the workplace. Whether you’ve recently left school or have been out of class for years, our program works with students of all levels and ages to advance their education and accomplish their academic and professional goals.
Classes focus on building the skills necessary for success on the equivalency exam, which includes reading, writing, mathematics, social studies, and science.
In 2014, the State of Iowa adopted the High School Equivalency Test (HiSET) as the exam that students take to earn a high school equivalency diploma. The HiSET test replaces the GED test which is no longer given in Iowa.
Students enrolling in the High School Completion program must be at least 16 years old before September 15 to participate.
If you are 16, 17, or 18 years old, your parent or guardian and the last high school you attended must complete the Request for Admission to Test Age Waiver for High School Equivalency Diploma form [pdf] granting you permission to prepare for the HiSET test.
- You must be proficient in English. You can improve your English with English Language Learning classes.
Preparing for the HiSET Test
Before taking the HiSET test, you must enroll in classes to improve reading, writing, math, science, and social studies skills. You will also learn basic computer skills while you study in the High School Completion program to prepare you for the computer-based HiSET test.
Your length of study depends on your academic level when you start the program 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.
How do I get started?
You and your High School Completion teacher will determine when you are prepared to begin the testing process. This will include CASAS testing, practice testing, official practice testing, and HiSET testing.
The HiSET test consists of five separate subject tests.
- Social Studies
When you schedule your first HiSET test, you must pay a $50 test fee. The testing fee can be paid by credit card, debit card, or voucher. You can purchase a voucher at the Metro Center using cash or check.
Please note, Iowa code does not permit students under the age of 17 to take a HiSET test.
View the HiSET Testing schedule.
Online Testing Scam
Official HiSET tests are not available online. Tests are computer-based but must be taken at an approved Iowa testing center such as the Hawkeye Metro Center.
Be careful of scams asking for large sums of money to complete the High School Equivalency testing online!
On the Day of Your Scheduled HiSET Test
Bring with you a valid, unexpired, government-issued photo ID, such as your driver's license.
Diplomas/Transcripts/Letters of Verification
When you have successfully passed all five HiSET tests, with a minimum individual test score of 8 and a total score of 45, you will have earned your High School Equivalency diploma and can participate in the graduation ceremony held in June.
You will not be eligible to receive your diploma until you are 18 years old and/or the class with which you started ninth grade, has graduated. However, you may request transcripts and letters of verification prior to that time.
High School Equivalency diplomas, transcript, and letters of verification requests must be made at www.diplomasender.com.
After You've Earned your High School Equivalency Diploma
Are you interested in enrolling at Hawkeye Community College and working towards earning a college degree? Our Transition Specialist will help you develop educational and professional goals, and then will help you with the transition process into various college and career opportunities. Our staff will work with you to ensure that earning a high school equivalency diploma will help you accomplish the goals you’ve set.