The Ottumwa Courier

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August 26, 2013

No more GEDs in Iowa

(Continued)

“The very last time that [GED program final exam] will be given here is December 10,” said Wyngarden. “If they don't finish, they'll have to start all over.”

Yet the testing center is still allowing students who want their high school diploma to sign up for the GED program; they just need to be aware that they have a limited amount of time to finish. GED classes take place on the North Campus (airport area), Centerville and the various service satellite centers.

The amount of time it takes to start and finish the GED program depends on the skill of the student. Someone who did well in high school, or is at least skilled in math and reading, can be done in weeks, while someone who is, in essence, starting their high school education from scratch, will need a lot of time to get caught up.

“We have known about this and posted letters. People putting it off a little bit are now coming to us, ‘I need to get this done by December!’ But if they don't come, they're going to lose the time and money they already invested,” Wyngarden said.

The new HiSET test will be $50. The 2014 GED testing series would have cost $120.

“Our top priority has been to choose an assessment that is the right fit for Iowa,” said Jeremy Varner, administrator of the DOE Division of Community Colleges. “The savings to Iowans are important because we know that cost can be a barrier for people who want to earn a high school equivalency diploma.”

Wyngarden said regardless of which program they take, students will leave the adult program more prepared to earn a sustainable wage or enter the world of higher education.

— To see reporter Mark Newman's Twitter feed, go to @couriermark

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