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High School Equivalency Diploma (HSED) Program

IWD Adult Education and Literacy

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As of July 1, 2023, Iowa's Adult Education and Literacy Programs have transitioned to Iowa Workforce Development to reflect programs and services primarily focused on workforce development and employment. The change was made as part of a broader state government realignment to bring together entities that work with similar subject matter. Iowans can expect the same quality services from these programs, in addition to greater access to job services provided through IowaWORKS.

The high school equivalency test gives students who left high school before graduating an opportunity to earn a High School Equivalency Diploma (HSED). The test meets the requirement set by Iowa Code 259A.1 that the diploma shall be issued on the basis of satisfactory competence as shown by tests covering all of the following: Language Arts-Reading, Language Arts-Writing, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies.

In January of 2014, Iowa began using the HiSET® high school equivalency test developed by Education Testing Service (ETS). The Department of Education has maintained records of students who completed the HSED program prior to the change to HiSET®, as well as for all students who successfully completed the HiSET® since 2014.

The Iowa Department of Education convened a High School Equivalency Diploma (HSED) Task Force in 2016. The HSED Task Force recommended revisions to Iowa Code 259A, which would authorize the Iowa Board of Education to adopt additional pathways to achieve a HSED based on quality standards and demonstrated competency. Task Force Report.

Earn Your HSED

Visit to learn more about earning your HSED and to find a program near you.

Directory of HiSET Preparation Centers by Area

Des Moines Area Community College
Eastern Iowa Community College
Hawkeye Community College
Indian Hills Community College
Iowa Central Community College
Iowa Lakes Community College
Iowa Valley Community College
Iowa Western Community College
Kirkwood Community College
Northeast Iowa Community College
North Iowa Area Community College
Northwest Iowa Community College
Southeastern Community College
Southwestern Community College
Western Iowa Tech Community College

Transcript and Diploma Requests

Information on how to request a transcript for HSED or GED.

HSED Test Takers

Information for test takers who want to earn their HSED in Iowa.

HiSET Test Examiners

Information for HiSET test examiners, including the Iowa Test Administration Manual, training, forms and FAQs.

Iowa HSED Alternative Pathways

Information regarding Iowa's alternate pathways for earning a HSED.