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Is the AHS Diploma the same as the high school equivalency tests?

Answer: No.


AHS Diploma


Age to Enroll

16 & above

16 & above

Length of Program

Varies based on credits needed

Varies based on academic level

Instructional Method

On-Campus Class and Web-Based Instruction

On campus and off-campus classes

Obtained through

Credit Completion


Credential Received

Traditional Diploma

Equivalency Certificate

Accepted at Community College



Accepted at Universities


Accepted by the Military


Accepted by Employers




16 & above after meeting requirements 

16 & above

How old do I have to be to enroll?

Adult High School was designed for adults who wish to return to school to complete their education. If you are 16 or 17, you must complete paperwork that includes parental permission and release from the public school system.

How many credits do I need to graduate?

You are required to meet the NC credit requirements. You can find your required credits listed by graduation year on pages 4 – 5 of the Adult High School Student Handbook.

How long will it take me to finish?

The amount of time it takes to complete the program will depend on your particular circumstances, like how many credits you still need and how many courses you can take. Courses are offered in five and one-half week sessions both day and evening.

How do I enroll?

Fill out the contact form below and someone will be in touch. 

Does Adult High School cost anything?

You do not have to pay tuition – classes are free.

I was in the Occupational Diploma Program or received an Occupational Diploma or a Certificate of Completion from public school. Can I earn an AHS Diploma?

We do not accept occupational or remedial level credits to satisfy graduation requirements. You may attend orientation for testing to assess your eligibility for the AHS program. You must complete all required credits and testing in order to receive the AHS Diploma.

Will my diploma be from my former public high school?

The diploma you receive will be from Gaston College but is issued in affiliation with the NC Department of Public Instruction and the Local County School Board. It will be signed by the College President, Superintendent of the County Public School System, and the Chairpersons of Gaston College and the County Board of Education.

May I participate in my High School Graduation Ceremony?

No, but Gaston College holds a cap and gown ceremony once per year in which graduates may participate.



Anyone entering Adult High School must be able to placement test at 9th grade level or above.  You may attend an AHS Student Success Class to be tested to assess your eligibility for the AHS program.  In order to receive the AHS Diploma, you will be required to meet all high school credit requirements for graduation as stated by the NC Dept. of Public Instruction (NCDPI).