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More students seek GED to avoid cost hike
It's uncertain when prices will go up
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A delay in the expected cost increase for testing has led more students to seek their GED before year’s end.
General Educational Development test-takers currently pay $95 for the full battery of five tests that measure reading, writing, social studies, science and mathematics.

A new fee structure, which will charge $50 for each test, or $250 for all five, was supposed to take effect today.

But earlier this month, the Technical College System of Georgia and its Office of Adult Education voted to hold off on the increase until at least early next year.

Brenda Thomas, associate vice president for adult education at Lanier Technical College, said participation in its GED program has not slacked off.

The program, which also operates at the college’s Forsyth campus, offers the test, but also provides future test-takers with material and information to help them pass.

When the increase was first announced, it “was horrible,” Thomas said.

“With the scurry for testing, everything was filling up,” she said. “We had a tremendous waiting list. But now, it’s like students are pulling back and waiting to test when they are ready.

“They are speeding up because they know it can go up at any time, so they are very focused on their goal to get that done within the next few months.”

Thomas said several people in the GED program were testing too early to avoid the fee increase. Some dropped out. Others decided to wait until they were ready to pass, despite the higher cost.

The delay in the fee hike stemmed from technical issues as the GED Testing Service works to set up a new computer-based testing model.

From what she’s been told, Thomas said the main system is having synchronization glitches.

Once the computer-based model is up and running, which won’t be until at least early 2012, the increase likely will kick in.

Until then, Thomas said, the extension of current prices will help the students “who come and go and come and go.”

“Now they’re going to just stay until they get it done, because they’re going to get a reprieve,” she said. “We’re very excited about this reprieve for them.”