Gateway FAQ: Can you get your high school diploma after dropping out?

Monday, September 14, 2015

In a word, yes. If you’re 16 – 21 and you’ve left high school or are behind in credits, there is an option for you to complete your high school diploma if you live in one of the 41 communities Gateway to College serves. Gateway to College helps students not only earn their high school diploma, but also college credit toward a meaningful credential. The best part? It’s free for qualified students.

Is Gateway Right for Me?

Traditional high school doesn’t work for everyone. If you’re experiencing difficulty in your course work or your home life, Gateway provides a supportive classroom environment that helps students thrive. At Gateway, the teachers, staff, and counselors truly care about your success. It isn’t an easy ride, though. Attending a Gateway program takes a significant amount of work and personal commitment. The important thing to know is you’re not alone. If you put in the work, someone will be there to help you through.

How does it work?

All students begin the program by participating in an intensive Foundation term with their Gateway to College peers. Here, you’ll have the opportunity to build academic habits and study skills, learn time management techniques, explore career choices, and gain confidence with the support of instructors and resource specialists trained to help you adjust to college life.

After successfully completing the Foundation term, you’ll transition to the comprehensive campus, taking courses with the college’s general student population. These courses follow a pathway to ensure all credits count toward both a diploma and your college goals. Students in good standing remain in Gateway to College until they earn their high school diploma or turn 21. After you graduate Gateway or turn 21, Gateway staff will provide you with an individualized plan for continuing your college education.

Can I get into college after I graduate?

Yes. At graduation, you’ll receive a high school diploma issued from the high school you most recently attended. Upon graduation, 73% of Gateway graduates continue their postsecondary education. In fact, you’ll already have been in college, and Gateway graduates earn an average of 22 college during their time in the program. Gateway staff will help you create a plan for continuing your education and meeting your career goals.

How do I apply?

Each Gateway location has a different application process. You can find the list of Gateway programs by visiting our program page, where you can contact your program directly. In general, to apply to a Gateway to College program, you’ll need to attend an info session at the college and fill out an application.

Where can I learn more?

If you want to learn more about what it’s like to be in the Gateway to College program, visit our student stories blog. You can read the experiences of #GatewayGrads, and see what it’s like firsthand. 

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