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Maine Adult Education Association

Lisbon Adult & Community Education

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Nineteen Gartley Street • Lisbon, Maine 04250
kelli.gilzow@rsu4.org • (207) 375.6605
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Frequently Asked Questions

I am not 18; can I take the High School Equivalency test?

In the state of Maine 16-year-olds are not permitted to test under any circumstances. If you are 17 years old* you may be allowed to take the test if:

  • you have been officially withdrawn from day high school for one full calendar year;
  • are a documented home-schooled 17-year-old; or
  • you are identified as having an "Immediate Need."

You must provide acceptable written documentation in each case for a waiver to be submitted to the State High School Equivalency Administrator.

PLEASE NOTE: As per the Maine High School Equivalency Administrator, students who are not 18, and do not qualify for 17-year-old testing, are not permitted to test simply due to a court ruling that the individual must obtain their High School Equivalency Diploma. Judges may not make rulings that override High School Equivalency Testing policies. The State High School Equivalency Administrator will not approve waivers for such individuals unless another valid situation is identified as being an "immediate need."  

"Immediate Need" is defined as:

"a third party commitment to the High School Equivalency candidate that the third party will honor that commitment upon the candidate's receipt of a High School Equivalency Diploma. This will be written communication from the person making the commitment to the diploma candidate. The writer must verify that they have the authority and capability of fulfilling the commitment. Three areas of eligibility for a 'documented immediate need' are:

  • employment,
  • enrollment in post-secondary education, or
  • enlistment in the armed services."

Some examples of "documented immediate need" are:

A letter from a potential employer to the candidate committing to employment upon the candidate's receipt of a High School Equivalency Diploma is VALID

An open letter or policy statement from an employer stating that a high school credential is a pre-requisite to employment is NOT VALID

A letter from a counselor indicating that a High School Equivalency Diploma would enhance the candidate's ability to obtain employment is NOT VALID

A letter from a post-secondary institution to the candidate guaranteeing acceptance as a matriculated student in a program upon receipt of a High School Equivalency Diploma is VALID

A general letter, policy statement or brochure stating that a high school credential is necessary for application is NOT VALID

A letter from a recruiter to the candidate indicating that the candidate will be enlisted upon receipt of their High School Equivalency Diploma is VALID

A brochure or open letter from the armed services stating that a high school credential is required for enlistment is NOT VALID

Note: There may be other valid situations in which the receipt of a High School Equivalency Diploma results in an:

  • immediate,
  • definite, and
  • measurable

benefit to a 17-year-old that would not otherwise be available. The State High School Equivalency Administrator may issue a waiver if such circumstances warrant. FMI please contact the LACE office at 375.6605.

*17-year-olds who do not qualify for 'immediate need' status may take High School Equivalency preparation courses and may take pre-tests.

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© 2017 Lisbon Adult & Community Education
Nineteen Gartley Street • Lisbon, Maine 04250
kelli.gilzow@rsu4.org • (207) 375.6605