Alexis Brophy is a college student, and already working in real estate. But she struggled to finish high school because of health issues, due to an auto-immune disease. Her disease “made it very hard to get through the traditional high school day. I have extreme fatigue, joint-swelling and pain. Everyday I wake up different.”

Emily Hanford / American RadioWorks

Today's workers need more education and skills than ever before. But 39 million adults in the United States don't have even the most basic credential: a high school diploma. Many hope their ticket to a better job is passing a test called the GED. But critics say the test is too easy and hardly the equivalent of a high school education.