The General Educational Development (GED) degree is designed to be a credential equivalent to the high school diploma. However, growing evidence indicates that GED recipients have worse outcomes than high school graduates. Such findings raise the question: is the GED socially equivalent to the high school diploma? Although educational assortative mating patterns have long been used as a barometer of the social distance across educational groups, there has not been a study that has addressed this question by examining the marital sorting patterns of GED recipients. Using log-linear models, our study shows that the odds of intermarriage between GED recipients and high school graduates resemble those between GED recipients and those without a secondary degree. Racial/ethnic minorities had greater difficulty crossing the GED/high school graduate boundary when they married. Our findings detract from the purported view that the GED degree is equivalent to a traditional high school diploma.
- educational assortative mating
- high school diploma