GEDs are often (but not always) regarded as a kind of cop out from finishing high school, and I'd imagine the stereotypical GED
grad is viewed as someone who dropped out of high school and then entered a GED
preparation program (i.e., Alternative High School Equivalency Preparation or
AHSEP). However, from what I saw when I took my GED test, many test takers are
older. Some are in their 20s and others in their 30s and a few in their 40s.
There is no age limit as to when you can get your GED, and the only requirement is that you don't have a standard high school diploma.
Some GED grads couldn't get their regular diplomas because they were
home schooled and others dropped out. Those are two reasons why someone
might choose to get their GED. Despite that, there is an obvious stigma
associated with earning your GED. I specifically remember being told that an
employer would see that I have a GED and assume I either didn't do well in
school or was a troublemaker (and that's quite possible and probably true, after all at least one person assumed that). I'd say most drop outs stopped going to school
because they didn’t fit in. But the reality of having a GED a lot less harsh, after all anything is possible. However, don't think it will be easier than getting your High School Diploma (probably with Advanced Designation if you learned a Second Language, at least in NYS).
You might have to make up a few classes in college or take you SATs in addition
to your GED, but for someone who doesn't fit in to the status quo or has some
other reason as to why they can't go to school, earning your GED is sometimes a better choice. Just make sure you know what your about to do.
I'm told by Tem42 that "None of the (American) home schoolers I know got a GED, including myself. Most states will allow homeschools to write out an official transcript, and if desired, a 'degree' or certificate of completion, or whatever. And a transcript from a homeschool looks better to a college than does a GED."