One of the challenges of getting a GED is paying for classes, study materials or the test. And many students can’t afford the cost of childcare or transportation to attend classes. Or, some adult students simply can’t go to classes on a regular basis because of family and job responsibilities.
There are solutions. Though resources for adult learners vary, no-cost or low-cost classes and study materials for self-guided programs are readily available in most communities. There’s also help available online for GED students working on their General Education Development credential.
Here’s a guide to help you find resources:
1. Your Public Library may have many of the study guides and GED lesson plans available for loan, and may also have videos and CD ROM GED testing study courses as well. In some communities, the library even sponsors free GED classes.
2. Most Community Colleges offer free or affordable GED courses or classes in basic skills, which will apply to a GED study program. The cost of these GED courses will vary from area to area, but generally they’re not expensive. If classes are fee-based, check with the community college Financial Aid Office. You may be eligible for free classes.
3. In many communities, even childcare costs and transportation are available for GED students. Talk to local GED instructors; check with the community college Student Support Services.
4. Community-based nonprofit 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 childcare, transportation or adult education classes or grants. 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. There’s often grant money available to school districts that sponsor programs and classes for adult learners. Give them a call to see if they have the material you require for the GED test. You’ll probably want to check with the Central Office of the public school district, the nearest High School and with the Adult Education Office or Career Services office at the university.
6. Don’t forget about the local branch of your State Unemployment Office and local Department of Social Services. Both of these agencies may have funds or resources available through programs related to job training, workforce development, job readiness or a DSS family support or welfare-to-work program.
7. If you’re employed, 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 just as significant 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 find you 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 that you can take. PBS also offers some online courses for basic skills required for the GED test. They’re free.
9. PassGED was created to provide free support and low-cost help for GED Test candidates. Lots of free information, test advice 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 at the online Message Forum who may have additional advice about free or low-cost GED materials. The website address is http://www.passGED.com.
10. You may also want to check with the American Council on Education, the national administrative agency for the GED. The ACE provides information about testing, official test sites, GED scores and transcripts. To locate your official state test site and administrator, a complete listing is available at http://www.passged.com/test_state.php.
Leonard Williams, an e-learning instructor with http://www.passGED.com, is also a curriculum specialist who focuses on research and development, implementation and assessment of best-practice learning solutions for adult learners and people with educational challenges. Leonard�s email is [email protected]. He invites feedback and questions from GED students and instructors.