Press Release

Press Release  Massachusetts to Cover Cost of Residents’ GED® and HiSET® Tests

Measure will remove a barrier to earning a high school equivalency credential
For immediate release:
2/09/2023
  • Executive Office of Education
  • Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

Media Contact for Massachusetts to Cover Cost of Residents’ GED® and HiSET® Tests

Jacqueline Reis

MALDENThe Department of Elementary and Secondary Education is pleased to announce that the state is now covering the cost of Massachusetts residents’ initial GED® and HiSET® tests in each subject, plus two retakes. The free HiSET testing began this week, while free GED testing began September 12, 2022.
 
By covering the cost of testing, the Department is ensuring test fees will no longer be a barrier to candidates who were unable to attain their high school credential through traditional means. The fees for high school equivalency exams can be steep for students, costing as much as $143 per test depending on the setting and test mode. Almost 9,000 Massachusetts adult learners took high school equivalency tests in 2021.
 
“By removing testing fees, we are making an investment in Massachusetts residents and their futures,” said Governor Maura Healey. “No one should be held back from earning their equivalency credential due to costs. This investment will encourage more Massachusetts adult learners to continue their education, earn their credential, and begin higher education or enter the workforce.”
 
 “A high school equivalency credential can be the ticket to economic mobility,” said Lt. Gov. Kim Driscoll. “By eliminating the fee burden for students earning their high school credentials, we are making sure cost is no longer a barrier to a brighter future. I hope more Massachusetts students are encouraged to apply for and earn their credential through this opportunity.”
 
 “Adult learners are trying to build better lives for themselves and their families, and this new testing opportunity is designed to make those first steps toward additional education or workforce opportunities easier,” said Education Secretary Patrick Tutwiler. “I’m proud to see Massachusetts take this step to invest in our less traditional students, and I am encouraged that this will allow even more adult learners to earn their high school equivalency credential.”
 
“I hope many people who did not earn a high school diploma will see this as a valuable opportunity to return to their education,” said Elementary and Secondary Education Commissioner Jeffrey C. Riley. “This could be the opportunity some Massachusetts adult learners have been waiting for to get a higher degree or a better job.”
 
Funding for this initiative will come from the adult education line item in the budget, which is expected to sufficiently fund the cost of equivalency tests permanently. The Department estimates it will cost the state approximately $800,000 in the first year.
 
To have their fees covered by the state, test takers will enter a promo code instead of credit or debit card payment when they register for the test. Additional information about covering the cost of testing is available on DESE’s High School Equivalency webpage.

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Media Contact for Massachusetts to Cover Cost of Residents’ GED® and HiSET® Tests

  • Executive Office of Education 

    From pre-school to post-secondary education, the Executive Office of Education works to connect all Massachusetts residents with an education that creates opportunities.

    While Massachusetts' students rank first in the nation on many educational measures, the Executive Office of Education strives to strengthen the foundations of education reform, empower schools and educators, and develop pathways to college and careers so all students in the Commonwealth can succeed, regardless of their zip code.
  • Department of Elementary and Secondary Education 

    ESE oversees the education of children grades pre-k through 12 in Massachusetts, striving to ensure that all students across the Commonwealth succeed.
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