Iowa Achieves Highest Passing Rate on High School Equivalency Exam

Among states and U.S. territories that use HiSET, a high school equivalency exam, Iowa ranks the highest for the percent of individuals who passed the test. Last year, 95.9% of Iowans seeking a high school equivalency diploma passed the exam compared to 80.5% nationally.

The HiSET has served as the state-approved test since 2014. The exam measures the knowledge and proficiencies equivalent to those of an Iowa high school graduate. A total of 1,003 Iowans passed the test last year, which is administered in 25 states, including Iowa, as well as four U.S. territories.

Meanwhile, the highest number of high school equivalency diploma students at Northeast Iowa Community College (NICC) also passed the HiSET for program year 2020-2021, with 94 graduates, more than any other program year since the test was introduced in 2014. During that time span, 401 students have graduated from the NICC program.

For more information on the HSED program at NICC, visit

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