Boyle Adult Ed working to help people pay for GED
Published 11:36 am Tuesday, October 31, 2017
It can be expensive to make up for missing out on a diploma. The cost of a General Equivalency Diploma (GED) is $120 — and most often, the student is responsible for this fee.
At the Adult Education Center of the Bluegrass Community and Technical College in Danville, they’re trying to make sure students who can’t afford the $120 don’t incur the cost. But now help from the state has gone away, leaving the center shorter on funds for GED assistance than before.
“We’re in better shape than most places in that we’re able to raise the funds for students’ GEDs,” said Al Crout, director of adult education.
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In Boyle County, for example, the local fiscal court regularly covers $2,500 worth of tests.
“It’s greatly appreciated,” Crout said. “It really is. I know their budget is tight.”
The center also takes advantage of grant money, and a few local churches and personal donors chip in to help people afford their GEDs. And the Boyle County Detention Center pays for inmates that take the GED test, said Crout. Gail Jackson helps teach the inmates in that program.
“We always need funding,” Crout said. “The state used to pay for part of it. They no longer do that, so the money we raise goes much quicker.”
According to Boyle County officials, the state used to pay $40 of the $120, leaving only $80 for the individual to cover.
In 2016, there were 108 students taking GED classes and 50-60 of those students took the test. That’s around $6,000 for their GED tests.
The GED consists of four sections, he said: science, social studies, math and a reading-language arts section. If someone misses one section of the test, they only have to retake that section, which would cost around $30.
“That’s changed … Until, I think, two years ago, if you failed one test by one point, you had to take the entire thing again,” Crout said. “Now, the test is a lot tougher. It really is equivalent to a high school education.”
There is a discount for a retake, if that’s done within six months.
Crout said the classes are free to students, but the college also tries to pay for a pre-GED test, called the GED Ready Test, which is about $24. Every student is required to take the pre-test before taking the GED; that’s how they gauge if students are ready for the test.
“The Ready Test is basically questions drawn from the prior year and it’s half the length. If you’re going to pass that, you’re going to pass the GED — it’s very rare that a student doesn’t pass when they’ve passed the Ready Test,” Crout said.
If a student passes the Ready Test “by the skin of their teeth,” Crout said they go back to the classes until they are more prepared.
The GED program at BCTC in Danville is currently ranked No. 9 in the state for GED attainment out of about 180 programs, he said.
Crout said students can also take a test for their National Career Readiness Certificate through his office.
SO YOU KNOW
Anyone interested in helping offset the costs of GEDs for low-income students can contact Al Crout, director of adult education at the BCTC Adult Education Center at (859) 246-6801.