It still pays to have a high school diploma, according to recent studies. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics released a report that shows some major differences between people who hold a high school diploma versus people who have a GED. Here are four reasons why that free online diploma really does matter.

1. You will make more money

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, people who have a high school diploma earn on average $179 more per week than those with a GED. That’s about a $9,300 per year gap between those with a diploma and those without.

2. You will find a job more easily

A GED actually stands for general education development, not general equivalency diploma. A GED does not hold the same value as a high school diploma, and studies show that a stigma follows those who have GEDs as someone who quits or can’t work hard. According to the Bureau, people who have a GED have an unemployment rate of 11 percent whereas people with a high school diploma are only at 7.5 percent.

3. You’re more likely to stay in college

If you are thinking of attending college, you definitely want to make sure you get that diploma. Reports show that 77 percent of people with a GED drop out of college after the first semester versus only 24 percent of those with a high school diploma.

4. An online diploma is free

One of the pros of the GED for some may be that you don’t have to sit in a physical building every day, but an average GED test costs over $120 and it holds less value than a diploma. Another option is to go to a tuition-free online high school, such as Primavera Online High School, where you can get your diploma and still enjoy the comfort of your home.

If you’re a student looking to get back on track, Primavera Online High School has a credit recovery program, with just two classes every six weeks to help you catch up and focus on what you’re learning. Find out more information at

Classes start August 3. To start your online application visit