Vice President, CT Turner, shares some of the background leading up to the changes coming July 1, 2023 for most states. See the FAQ section and the state policy pages to see if these changes are taking place near you.
As you may know by now, many states/jurisdictions will see a price increase and change to the retake policy on July 1. As costs, state fees and contract timelines are different by state, these changes may happen in your state at a later date. To see what this means for your state specifically, you’ll need to visit the state policy pages .
We are proud to have kept the computer-based testing price fixed and stable for more than a decade. During this time, we have continually invested and made many significant enhancements to help students succeed. We have also worked to assist states and adult education programs to market, manage and effectively prepare their learners for their equivalency diploma and job training, postsecondary education, and careers beyond a diploma.
After very careful consideration, and significant discussion and feedback from state GED program offices, we plan to increase the price of the test and adjust the discounted retake policy. These are changes we don’t take lightly, and we have stretched this increase out as long as possible. As with every sector of the economy, we have experienced significant increases in costs over the past decade. Additionally, those of you in a state that may have, or have had, an alternative HSE assessment know that those programs have had a number of price increases since 2014.
We work hard to manage resources wisely and we continue to prioritize continual improvement, reinvesting in value-added services to make the GED program more effective every year. Since 2014, we have created multiple new tools, platforms, and services, while also continuing to provide a secure and reliable assessment. These enhancements include:
- Creation of the highly effective GED.com student portal. This tool is essential to help each student through their GED journey from start to diploma—and beyond. We have made thousands of enhancements, tools, navigation changes, and nudges based on educator feedback and research with learners. These enhancements serve to aid in student persistence.
- Significant expansion of GED Manager that we created for 2014. We have made hundreds of changes to the system to better help states and programs manage their programs and student information.
- Creation of GED Prep Connect at the request of program managers and GED educators. This suite of tools helps students request information from an adult ed program, and for those programs to contact and manage those students –with the aim of increasing enrollment in adult ed programs.
- Creation of Score Reports that can link to a student’s study materials to provide an individualized study guide, allowing student to focus directly on the skills they need to improve on. This tool is invaluable to students and educators alike.
- Creation of GED Ready ® and GED Test Direct. Based on feedback from the field, we created a tool where test credits can be purchased and managed through GED Manager, significantly streamlining management versus traditional vouchers.
- Creation of the GEDWorks™ employer program. This program provides student employees with optional prep resources, advising, and free GED Ready and operational tests. We currently have more than 75 employers, including recognizable companies such as Amazon, Taco Bell, and state Medicaid programs.
- Creation and launch of the Online Proctored GED Test program that we developed to provide students access to testing during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Online Proctored GED Test continues to be valuable in rural areas and to many testers who have difficulty getting to a test center.
- Addition of multiple reports and search options on the GED Analytics platform.
- Continued to provide completely free professional development resources and presentations for educators. In an average year, we deliver professional development to more than 10,000 participants.
- Creation of the ACE-backed GED College Ready and GED CR +Credit program to help students bypass placement exams and some classes with higher scores.
- Assisted state Departments of Corrections, and other areas of states with temporary paper-based testing when needed during the pandemic, or due to other local delivery issues.
- And many other tools, services, and enhancements.
We are committed to continual improvement of the GED program for states, educators and adult learners. Within the past year, we have:
- Begun the work on the first GED app to serve different student needs than what the website does
- Begun work with a green energy/infrastructure pathways program
- Coordinated with the CREDLY badging network to help students show employers their skills
- Worked on two programs to help with identifying student learning styles and non-academic skills needed to succeed post-GED credential
- Started a work group with state leaders on a 3 of 4 program that has helped at least 2,000 students credential when they have only one test remaining—and several other projects are in the pipeline.
You can trust that we will continue to be focused squarely on student outcomes and partnering with the states and AE programs to create better opportunities and lives for adult learners across the country. I hope this helps explain why these two adjustments are necessary. You can also find a high-level FAQ about these changes on the website.
Now, for some specific information you may need related to these changes:
- Test Price Change & Vouchers –When your state’s fees change you may need to know how vouchers will work.
- First off, know that 100% vouchers will continue to cover the new price of the test for the next few years. This type of voucher accounts for the vast majority of unused vouchers adult ed programs likely have on hand. (For example, if you have a 100% voucher and GED test fee in your state changes from $20 to $26, the voucher will cover the full $26 fee).
- GED Direct vouchers purchased through GED Manager are 100% off “credits” instead of vouchers, and they too will continue to cover the full price of the GED test in your state.
- If you have vouchers that are for a specific dollar amount, those will cover the amount on the voucher. (For example, if you have a voucher for $30 and the GED test fee in your state changes to $36, $6 will be the remaining balance when scheduling a test. This can be covered with a $6 voucher, or paid another way).
- Discounted Retakes Policy Change – The discounted retake program will change from students being allowed two retakes within 12 months to one.
- Data show that students utilizing a second or third retake often are not taking adequate time to remediate between test attempts, and two highly discounted or free retakes sometimes reinforces this behavior with no benefit to testers.
- As each retake has a cost to deliver, it was the consensus of state programs that it was better not to have all students subsidize the second retake and keep costs down.