GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Kent District Library is offering members free access to earn an accredited high school diploma.

Its Career Online High School program started in 2019. Since its inception, two dozen lifelong students have completed their degrees. Library officials said they were the first district within the state to offer this digital portal. The program is free to those who are at least 19 years old and have a library card.

Benjamin Valentine said he stumbled upon the diploma program while perusing the district’s website. He and his girlfriend decided together to complete their schooling. “I just figured, why not?” he said. “Seize the opportunity.”

Valentine earned his GED more than a decade ago and went directly to the workforce.

“If you have any GED credits or high school credits from when you were in high school that are newer than 2006, they usually transfer,” said Hannah Lewis, Outreach Coordinator with KDL.

Valentine said he’s now interested in pursing a job in the medical field after his mother passed away from cancer in 2017. With the completion of his high school diploma, Valentine will be able to apply easier to colleges and universities.

“I only have two semesters left, so I should finish it quite early,” he said. The program requires students to complete their studies within 18 months. It can be started any time and all its courses are offered online.