Written by Thomas Goering, NCCM USN(RET)
Published: May 9, 2011
Updated: February 12, 2019
06MAY2014 UPDATE There is NO LONGER a requirement to score 50 or higher on the AFQT in order to be considered as Tier I for ANY of the below credentials.
High School Diploma Graduate
A diploma issued to you after you completed a 12-year “traditional” graded (credit based) day program of classroom instruction; the diploma must be issued from the high school where you completed the requirements for graduation.
- Classroom Instruction. You must have successfully completed four academic years of classroom instruction. An academic year is considered a minimum of 120 hours of classroom instruction per academic course to earn a full credit. To earn a half-credit, you must have completed a minimum of 60 hours of classroom instruction.
- Credit Based. You must meet the minimum required credit requirements in all subjects for high school graduation as determined by the local school system. At a minimum, at least 75 percent of the credits earned towards high school graduation requirements, per academic year, must have been derived from a classroom based (student-teacher environment), instructor-led learning experience. An exception would be allowed in cases where 25% of credit earned through non-traditional instruction occurred in a single year excluding the senior year.
- Graduation Credential. The graduation credential must have been issued by the high school in which you were enrolled and attending at the time you completed the graduation requirements.
Note: If you failed the school’s exit exam, you must have a letter from an authorized school official verifying that you met all the high school graduation requirements but failed the exit exam, and that is the reason you did not receive the high school diploma.
Adult/Alternative Diploma Graduate
New, as of Change Three – 27Jun12: A diploma issued to a graduate of a public or private non-traditional school using alternative methods of instruction to complete graduation credit requirements based on state law (i.e., all alternative, accelerated, or high school completion programs to include the GED (see note 1 for GED clarification).
A secondary school diploma awarded on the basis of attending and completing an alternative, continuation, adult or school/program. A diploma issued from a school/program whose course content and curriculum are similar to, but whose method of instruction is different from the traditional high school program. The diploma you received must have been issued on the basis of completing a classroom structured, (teacher-student environment) teacher-directed, credit-based program.
Must attain an AFQT score of 50 or higher. Classroom Instruction. You must have successfully completed four academic years of classroom instruction. An academic year is considered a minimum of 96 hours of classroom instruction per academic course to earn a full credit. To earn a half-credit, you must have completed a minimum of 48 hours of classroom instruction. Credit Based. You must meet the minimum required credit requirements in all subjects for high school graduation as determined by either the local school system or state education board. At a minimum, you must have earned at least 1 credit towards high school graduation requirements, in each of the four academic years, from a classroom based (student-teacher environment), instructor led learning experience consisting of a minimum of 96 hours of instruction.
- Graduation Credential. The graduation credential must have been issued by the high school in which you were enrolled and attending at the time he/she completed his/her graduation requirements.
Note 1: A traditional GED even with a 50 or greater ASVAB score is still considered a Tier II credential UNLESS the GED was received as a result of an alternative, accelerated school (not all states have this option) in which case the GED may be considered as a Tier I credential.
Completed One Semester of College
A non-high school diploma graduate who completed 15 semester hours/22 quarter hours of college level credit or 675 clock hours from an accredited traditional or on-line post-secondary institution.
If you are a non-high school diploma graduate who attended and completed 15 semester hours of college credit or 22 quarter hours of college credit or 675 clock hours of classroom instruction from an accredited post-secondary institution, you can be classified as Tier I. Credit earned through testing, adult education, assessment, military training or high school equivalency preparation is not applicable.
Credits earned must be from an accredited institution listed in the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) website http://nces.ed.gov.
Credits earned must be from an accredited institution listed in the current or applicable American Council on Education (ACE) Accredited Institutions of Post-secondary Education (AIPE) Directory. Any credits earned from schools that are candidates for accreditation shall not be used towards this requirement. Signed and dated official transcripts from the issuing institution are required. If the transcript does not include credits from all other schools attended, then official transcripts from the other schools are required.
- College level credits (100 series and above courses) earned through on-line Internet courses while enrolled and attending classroom instruction from the same AIPE institution are acceptable.
- Combining semester credits with quarter credits, or combining clock-hour credits with either semester or quarter credits, are allowed. Use the following formula:
- 45 clock-hours = 1 semester credit (1 trimester credit equals 1 semester credit).
- 1.5 quarter credits = 1 semester credit.
- Clock-hours from two or more accredited post-secondary vocational/technical schools may be combined for a total of 675 clock-hour credits.
Job Corps Programs
A Job Corps graduate with a General Education Diploma (GED) or an alternative high school credential
high school diploma and a Job Corps certificate of completion from a vocational/technical program consisting of at least 675 clock-hour credits of vocational/technical education. The official document used by the Job Corps to report skill/trade training clock-hour credits is the Training Achievement Record (TAR).
Only On/Off-site Work Based Learning (WBL) clock-hour training credits documented on the TAR are acceptable towards the 675 clock-hour credit requirements. Employ-ability/Career/Social Skills Training, Orientation, GED Preparation, or non-skill/trade training clock-hours do not count towards the required 675 clock hours of skill/trade training. The Job Corps Certification Form must be included when verifying the educational standing of Job Corps applicants.
Note: If you completed 675 or more clock-hour credits but dropped out of the vocational/technical program before earning a certificate of completion, or failed to earn a GED, you are ineligible for Tier I status.
Home School Diploma
with AFQT Score of 50 or Higher
A diploma issued to a graduate of a home school program in accordance with State requirements, administered by a parent, teacher/school district, or umbrella association.
A home school diploma from the parent, guardian or home school association with certification and transcripts issued in compliance with applicable state laws. The curriculum must involve parental instruction and supervision and closely pattern the normal credit hours per subject used in the traditional high school. At a minimum the last academic year (9 months) must be completed in a home school environment. For applicable laws governing home schools, refer to http://www.hslda.org/laws/default.asp.
DoD authorizes home school graduates with AFQT scores of 50 or higher to be enlisted with Tier I status. Applicants with AFQT scores below 50 are considered Tier II.
If you received a Homeschool Diploma, you must provide the diploma or certificate, and if available, the transcripts indicating that you completed four years of high school curriculum.
Home school transcripts must contain the following information:
- Your name
- Home address
- Date of birth
- Social Security Number (It is acceptable to have only the last four digits)
- Date of home school enrollment
- Date of graduation
- Courses transferred from other educational institutions (if applicable)
- Courses attempted/completed with start and completion dates of each course during each home school grade
- Signature of your parent/guardian, date, and home telephone number
A letter from your parent/guardian describing the education process will suffice if it includes the same information as described in the above. You must also complete an Assessment of Individual Motivation (AIM).
Virtual/Distance School Diploma
A diploma awarded upon completion of an accredited Home Study, Distance Learning, Independent Study, Self-Study, Correspondence School, Cyber School or Virtual Learning Program.
- A secondary school diploma or certificate issued by an accredited program
and AFQT score ≥ 50 is requiredto qualify for Tier 1 status.
- The Distance Education and Training Council (www.detc.org) is the authoritative source for accreditation of distance education.
Prior Military Service
If you are a prior service veteran who served a complete enlistment of four years or more in any Component of the Armed Forces of the United States, you are eligible to (re)enlist as high school diploma graduate.
DD Form 214 or other appropriate military service verification documentation.