United States: The Military No Longer Requires High School Diplomas For New Recruits

In an effort to increase its pool of potential recruits, the Army is dropping its requirement that all new recruits possess a high school certificate or GED.

U.S. Army Recruiting Command said it is transitioning to a “whole of person” strategy, realizing that “some quality candidates may have just reason for being not able to complete their education.” A high school diploma or its equivalent will no longer be necessary, but candidates must score 50 or higher on the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery and fulfill all other regular recruitment conditions as a result of the change.  “This opportunity means that individuals who left high school prior to graduating due to uncontrollable circumstances, such as caring for a terminally ill family member or working to provide for their family, will not be considered ineligible for service solely because they were unable to graduate,” Recruiting Command said.

It is possible to join the military this fiscal year, which ends on Oct. 1, without having a college degree if you begin basic training before that time. In addition, they must be at least 18 years old and be ready to comply in the Army Reserves.

Non-degree holders may serve one contract, but must get a GED before re-enlisting in the military. Additionally, they will be ineligible for any of the present enlistment bonuses.

Military.com reports that the Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (SVAB) is a SAT-style test meant to test a prospective recruit’s intellectual skills. With a qualifying score of 31, a 50 is considered to be below average. According to Army authorities, non-graduates have been allowed to enroll in the past, but only on a very restricted basis.

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