The GED test was started in 1942 for military veterans whose education was interrupted by World War II. It allowed thousands to get a credential they could use to go on to college. But some argue that it’s not equal to a high school diploma. Janice Laurence, an education professor at Temple, studied outcomes for military recruits during their active duty. "High school graduates on average complete a three-year term of enlistment, and 24 percent of them leave before completing that term,” she said. “The corresponding rate for GEDs is 45 percent. So almost half of them do not complete."