Feb 222013

By Linda Kor
Anyone contemplating getting a GED (General Education Development) diploma may have an added incentive to complete the testing this year. According to Blaine Hatch, vice president of Administrative Services for Northland Pioneer College, as of January 2014 the cost to complete that test is likely to increase substantially.
During the Feb. 19 meeting of the Navajo County Community College District Governing Board that included a discussion of the upcoming budget, Hatch explained that with board approval, the $85 testing fee and the $12 retesting fee would be eliminated from the upcoming budget. While that may sound like a savings for the student, the reality is that although the college will not be charging a fee, the company providing the assessment will be collecting the fees directly and the cost will likely increase as much as 65 percent.
“I don’t know for certain, but I anticipate that beginning in January of 2014 the cost to take the GED could go up to $130 to $150,” stated Hatch. The college will continue to provide services to the students and will receive $5 per student per hour for administering the test and allowing the use of its facilities.
Pearson, the company that provides the testing, will be changing from a paper format and begin providing the assessment online in January. The content of the assessment will be more rigorous and aligned with Common Core Standards, a set of uniform educational standards now adopted by nearly every state. The assessment will consist of four testing areas, including Reasoning Through Language Arts (reading and writing), Mathematical Reasoning, Science and Social Studies. The content will also include fewer multiple choice questions, and more essay and fill in the blank questions.
GED test takers who have not completed and passed all five subjects of the current test by Jan. 1, 2014, will have to start over with the new test and the scores from the current test will not transfer to the new one.