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Alberta Supports Contact Centre

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Upgrade or Finish High School

Many Albertans return to high school. They know a diploma can lead to higher wages, open doors to better jobs and qualify them for post-secondary education programs.

Are you thinking about going back to high school to get your diploma? Do you need a few more credits or better marks in the core subjects? Did you attend school in a country with different requirements? 

If these scenarios describe your situation, you might want to consider upgrading or finishing high school.

You can go back to high school in many different ways. Your choices depend on your age and what you want to do in the future. There are many funding options to help with costs.

Have a plan

Think of what you want to do when you finish your high school diploma. Your ideas and dreams are the start of your career plan.

Maybe you already have a career plan you are working towards.  Maybe you’ve just started your plan. Or maybe you know that a diploma can lead to new job opportunities, but you aren’t sure yet what kind of career you want.

Use these resources to help you get started on a career plan that is right for you:

Find out where you can finish high school

There are many options when it comes to finishing your high school education. Look for the option that is right for you and your situation.

Finish high school through a local school board

You may want to complete your high school diploma by taking courses at a school in your area. Call your local school board for more information.

If you’re considering a post-secondary program after you finish school, ask about programs that let you complete the high school courses you need and start a post-secondary program in the same semester.

Finish high school at a post-secondary school

Look into completing your high school diploma at a post-secondary school in Alberta including, among others: 

Finish high school through a distance learning program

Finish high school through an outreach program

Outreach or alternative high school programs provide alternatives to classroom learning. Find out more about outreach programs in your area.

Earn a high school equivalency diploma

You can earn a high school equivalency diploma by using credits you already have or by passing General Educational Development (GED) tests. Find out if an equivalency diploma will help you meet your education and employment goals.

Both public and private post-secondary institutions offer GED tests and courses to help students prepare for these tests. Adult learning centres also offer GED preparation courses.

Take high school equivalent courses to get into a post-secondary program

Many colleges and technical institutes in Alberta provide high school equivalent courses. These courses can qualify you for admission into specified post-secondary programs. However, the courses do not lead to a high school diploma.

Find upgrading and college and university preparation programs at OCCinfo. 

Find out if you qualify for financial support

Publicly funded high school is free for Albertans who are 19 or younger as of September 1 of the current school year.

You may qualify for financial support to help you finish high school.

  • If you’re over 18 and have been out of school for a full year, talk to an Alberta Supports coordinator in person or call the Alberta Supports Contact Centre.
  • If you’re planning to finish high school at a post-secondary institution, talk to a counsellor.
  • If you’re planning to take a post-secondary program once you complete high school, talk to a counsellor about funding for both programs.
  • If you’re thinking of a distance learning program, ask about a Skills Investment Bursary. The bursary can cover the entire cost of a course, including tuition, course materials and taxes.

Upgrade or finish high school for better jobs and career opportunities

Your path to upgrading or finishing high school may be different than other peoples. Don’t worry. Not everyone learns in the same way or at the same pace. 

If you’re thinking about finishing school, you’re getting ready to take the first step to a brighter future.

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