Finishing Highschool – Over 19 Years Old

ALIS offers advice for people over age 19 who are interested in finishing High School. 

  • If you are UNDER age 19, you can finish your highschool through a local school board and there may be more funding options to help pay for your school. The below information is intended for those OVER age 19.

Finishing high school in a program at a post-secondary school

If you answered No to any of the questions in the quiz, there are several ways for you to either finish high school or get the qualifications you need. You don’t need a high school diploma to enrol in some post-secondary programs.

If you’re older than 19, you will likely have to pay for the program you choose. You may qualify for financial support. See “Funding your high school diploma” at the end of this article.

Connecting with a program that will work for you can be challenging. Try these suggestions:

If you’re interested in apprenticing in a trade, visit the Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training website.
If you’re interested in a specific post-secondary program, contact the schooldirectly:

  Set up an appointment with a counsellor or advisor.
  Ask about the entrance requirements. You may not need a high school diploma to enrol in some post-secondary programs.
  Ask if the school has an upgrading program, if you need to complete a course or improve your mark.
If you don’t know what post-secondary program to take or if you just want to get your high school diploma, you may decide to enrol in an upgrading program:

  Check out these EDinfo links to college and school board upgrading programs and college and university preparation programs.
  Download an overview of upgrading courses offered by colleges and technical schools
  Check out upgrading through a distance learning program, but only if you’re very motivated. Upgrading through distance learning can be harder to do on your own.

Make sure your upgrading credits will be accepted by the post-secondary school of your choice. If you take upgrading at one post-secondary school and plan to enrol in a program at a different post-secondary school, check with the program co-ordinator. You may also be able to get funding for both programs.

If you want a high school diploma so you can land a better job, check out a high school equivalency diploma. You can earn this diploma using credits you already have or by passing General Educational Development (GED) tests. Before you spend time and energy preparing for GED exams, talk to some employers you’d like to work for. Find out if a high school equivalency diploma will help you get the work you want.

Funding your high school diploma

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, you may be eligible for funding through Alberta Works.
If you’re planning to finish high school through a post-secondary program, talk to a counsellor at the school to learn how you can qualify for funding. 
If you’re planning to take a post-secondary program once you complete your high school upgrading, talk to a counsellor to see if you can get funding for both your upgrading and post-secondary programs.

Visit Financial Planning for high school students to find out more about funding for going back to school.

You may not be finishing high school the way a lot of other people do—so what? Not every one learns in the same way or at the same pace. You’re thinking about finishing school. You’re getting ready to take the first step to a brighter future.


The above information may CHANGE. Please see the original source on the ALIS website, HERE.

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