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Cost of taking GED test to rise in July
Students seeking a GED in Georgia will have to pay almost twice as much as they do now starting in July.

The Technical College System of Georgia voted in May to raise the cost of each of the five GED tests from $19 to $32 apiece to coincide with nationwide implementation of a computer-based GED test.

The cost to earn the diploma will increase from $95 to $160, a change that could be prohibitive for many students, said Sandy Williams, dean of adult education for Altamaha Technical College.

Altamaha Tech, like every other technical college in the state, operates a free regional GED adult education program under the auspices of the technical college system.

Students must pay for the tests, however.

"A lot of people with no job or minimum wage jobs have trouble coming up with the money to take the tests," she said.

Most of the students in the program are considered low income, she added.

"We have seen even more of that this year than in any year in the past," Williams said.

Students who can't afford to take the tests often quit coming to class and try to find a job to earn the money to pay for them, she said.

Some come back and others don't, she added.

Those who don't often return to low-paying temporary or part-time jobs, Williams said.

She also fears the increase may force more students who complete all the courses to have difficulty paying for the tests.

The Altamaha Technical College Foundation has some scholarships available to help GED students pay for tests, but not everyone qualifies, Williams said.

But even with the price increase, she does not expect students to stop coming. An online course, new this year, has also made it easier for students to take classes.

With about two weeks to go in the 2012 fiscal year, Williams said Glynn County has seen 487 students, Camden 298 and McIntosh 83.

"If they really want to take the tests, they usually find a way," Williams said.

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