Branch Out

CONTACT INFORMATION: Marketing and Communications Office: 8:30–4:30 M–F
703-324-3100 TTY 711
12000 Government Center Parkway Suite 324
Fairfax, VA 22035
Ashley Atkinson
Editor, Branch Out

Department Resources

Related Resources

Get Your High School Diploma

Career Online High School

Learn how, and why, to earn your high school diploma for free through your library.

By Renee Edwards, FCPL Programming and Educational Services Director

Sobering Statistics on Schooling

As of 2017, indicates that 10% of the U.S. population age 25 and older — 23 million out of 217 million — do not have a high school diploma. Every year, more than 1.2 million students drop out of high school; that means one student every 26 seconds or 7,000 per day. Dropping out of high school can have far-reaching implications; someone without a high school diploma will earn $200,000 less than a high school graduate over their lifetime and almost a million dollars less than a college graduate. HuffPost reports that 38% of those without a high school diploma will fall below the poverty line, and are 40% more likely to rent, rather their own, their residences.

Looking closer to home, Fairfax County’s Demographics General Overview indicates that 7.8% of female and 7.2% of male Fairfax County residents age 25 and older do not have a high school diploma.

It’s Never Too Late

To help more of our neighbors achieve their high school education goals, FCPL offers a free, virtual option. Career Online High School (COHS) is an online high school diploma and workforce readiness certificate program that makes it possible for adults to earn their diploma from the comfort of their own homes.

A limited number of COHS scholarships are available from FCPL to adults who meet a few simple eligibility requirements. Any Fairfax County resident who is at least 20 years old may apply. Applicants should have:

For more information and to see if you are eligible, visit the COHS section of FCPL’s Adults and 50+ online guide.

Fairfax Virtual Assistant