Not everyone is lucky enough to earn a high school diploma, which can significantly impact their ability to get a job and earn a living wage. When you’re working full-time or more without good compensation, it’s even harder to take the time to work toward your degree. That’s where high school completion programs in Illinois come in—they can help teen and adult learners alike earn their high school and college diplomas, setting them up for success later in life.

What is a high school completion program?

High school completion programs, at their most basic, help students earn the credits they need to graduate from high school—but some take it a step further and offer you the ability to earn university credit at the same time. That means you have the opportunity to earn high school and college credits, both applicable toward your graduation requirements, simultaneously.

Earning a college degree faster (and at the same time as your high school diploma) has a number of benefits, but one of the most important is that working adults naturally have less time to devote to studies. If you’ve decided to go back to school to improve your life and job prospects, high school completion programs can help you get higher education credit in Illinois. You’ll save time and money over the long run, and will enjoy greater career success over the long term.

Oftentimes, high school completion programs offer a number of classes that also count toward an associate’s degree at a community college. When the student is done with their high school classes, they’ll be able to enroll at the community college with a number of college credits underneath their belt already. Once they earn an associate’s degree, they can then transfer to a four-year college for a bachelor’s degree.

How do high school completion programs benefit the community?

Here’s a closer look at some of the community benefits of high school completion programs in Illinois:

  • High school graduates earn more: High school graduates tend to earn about 50 percent more than high school dropouts over the course of their lifetimes. Most of us can’t support ourselves on a minimum wage income, which is usually what a high school dropout can expect to earn—if you want to make enough to live on, you need a diploma.
  • High school graduates are less likely to be unemployed: High school graduates have a much lower unemployment rate. If you didn’t graduate, you’re twice as likely to be without a job at any given time.
  • Increasing high school graduation rates increases tax revenue: Studies have shown that if we increase the high school graduation rate from the average of 73 percent to 90 percent, tax revenue would increase by over 100 percent. Investing in your education is a way to invest in the community.
  • Local graduates fund local programs: The more money, time and expertise you can funnel into the community, the better local programs for high school completion tend to fare.

Are you interested in higher education programs in Illinois? Contact the African American Christian Foundation today to learn more about how we can assist you.

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