One of the challenges of getting a GED is paying for classes, study materials, or the test. And many students cannot afford the cost of childcare or transportation to attend classes. However, some adult learners simply cannot attend classes regularly due to family and work responsibilities.
There are solutions. Although resources for adult learners vary, free or low-cost classes and study materials for self-paced programs are readily available in most communities. Online help is also available for GED students working on their General Education Development credential.
Here is a guide to help you find resources:
1. Your public library may have many of the GED study guides and lesson plans available for loan, and may also have GED test videos and study courses on CD ROMs. In some communities, the library even sponsors free GED classes.
2. Most community colleges offer free or affordable GED courses or basic skills classes, which will apply toward a GED program of study. The cost of these GED courses will vary from area to area, but they are generally not expensive. If the classes are paid, check with the Financial Aid Office of the community college. You may be eligible for free classes.
3. In many communities, even childcare and transportation costs are available to GED students. Talk to local GED instructors; check with Community College Student Support Services.
4. Community-based non-profit family support agencies or family resource centers are excellent sources for GED students. Contact your local agency and ask about classes, materials, and other needs related to your educational goal, such as child care, transportation, or adult education classes or scholarships. You may even qualify for a grant that allows you to study at home, on your own schedule.
5. Your local public school district or university may have continuing education courses or adult education courses. Grants are often available to school districts that sponsor programs and classes for adult learners. Call them to see if they have the supplies you need for the GED test. You will probably want to check with the Central Office of the public school district, the nearest high school, and the Office of Adult Education or the office of Professional Services at the university.
6. Don’t forget the local branch of your State Unemployment Office and the local Department of Social Services. Both agencies may have funds or resources available through programs related to job training, workforce development, job readiness, or a DSS family support or job assistance program.
7. If you have a job, your workplace is an excellent resource for adult education. Your employer may already sponsor a program, or be willing to sponsor your GED program and costs, since your goal is as important to your employer as it is to you. Check with your employer or supervisor directly, along with the Workforce Development, Personnel, or Human Resources officer or department. You may need to ask a variety of people in the workplace to find the answer you need.
8. Your local PBS television station broadcasts GED courses you can take. PBS also offers some online courses for the basic skills required for the GED test. They are free.
9. PassGED was created to provide free support and low-cost help to GED test candidates. Lots of free information, test tips and study guides are available, along with financial aid for an online GED program. You’ll also find a learning community of GED students and instructors on the online Message Board who may have additional advice on free or low-cost GED materials. The website address is http://www.passGED.com.
10. You can also check with the American Council on Education, the national administrative agency for the GED. The ACE provides information about tests, official testing sites, GED scores, and transcripts. To locate your official state test site and administrator, a complete list is available at http://www.passged.com/test_state.php.