Financial Aid For GED

Last Updated on April 14, 2024.

Many students ask if there is financial aid for GED testing. Well, the answer is yes, but under specific conditions.

Online GED Classes

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Let’s talk first about what kind of budget you need if you want to prepare and pass the GED® test. The price of the test is generally $36 per subject in most states, and you need to pass 4 subject tests, so in total, the price is $144 in most states.

Please bear in mind that online testing is more expensive because you’ll have to pass four GED Ready® tests and attain passing scores to qualify for the online GED exam.

Start your GED prep with GED online classes for free, where our website offers 100 of Onsego’s premium lessons at no cost.

If you are uncertain if you can pass the GED test, purchase the GED Ready test. This is a diagnostic test that will tell you if you can pass the real GED test.

The indication of your readiness is scoring in the Green Zone on the GED Ready Test. If you get this result, then you can sign up for the GED test and expect that you will pass it. The GED Ready test costs $6.99 per subject, so $28 in total.

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Buying the GED Ready test is cheaper than purchasing GED retakes. If you don’t pass the GED test on the first try, you will pay $15 per subject in most states for a retaken test. Generally, you can have up to 3 retakes a year.

To prepare for the test, you can study on your own using an online GED prep course. You can also attend traditional classes in schools near you.

Many states offer free GED classes through their community colleges or local libraries.

There are many free and paid online GED prep courses. Free GED prep courses are published on this site, for example. Paid courses’ prices vary from $9.90 per month up to $250 per 2 years.

In general, you will need at least 1.5-2 months of intensive studying to get ready for each of the four GED subtests, though there are test-takers that require far less time.

Let’s put it all together: $144 to pay for the tests + $28 for the GED Ready Tests. If you will use free prep online classes, there are no extra costs. Please note that Onsego Advantage students get four GED Ready tests for free. That’s included in their plans!

So, in most states, your minimum budget will be around $170 for your getting your GED diploma. However, if you decide to take traditional classes, you will need to add the costs of transportation. Buying a paid premium GED prep course will cost you extra, too.

So, you will add a minimum of $100-300 extra.

Financial Aid for GED Students

Often, an adult GED student finds him or herself in complicated situations. They may be single parents, lack transportation, find themselves in bad relationships, or suffer from emotional problems that may include substance abuse.

These kinds of issues may hold them back from attaining their goals of getting their GED credential, getting a better academic education, and starting a well-paying career. They didn’t complete their high school diploma, so an application for a position at a business will always be in jeopardy. Fortunately, there are more and more employers that offer tuition assistance programs to help their workers get ahead in life.

FASFA, the most popular Federal Aid Program for students, is available only if you already hold a GED diploma; however, there are other tuition support possibilities.

Many Healthcare Insurance Providers include free GED testing for their members. WellCare (which operates under a different name in each state), for example, offers a High School Equivalency Benefit Program.

To be eligible for a voucher for the GED exam, students must score a minimum overall average standard score of 150 (or Green Zone) on the GED Ready practice test.

Also, similar programs are offered through Aetna Medicaid Health Plans in many states that support members who are seeking to earn a GED diploma. Keep in mind, though, that when you make it into your favorite college, maintaining academic achievement is crucial.

States Offer Free GED and HiSET Testing:

If you live in one of these states, your GED test will be subsidized.

Five states offer GED or HiSET testing for free: New York, West Virginia, Connecticut, Illinois, and Maine.

  • New York uses the GED Test
  • Maine is using the HiSET (High School Equivalency Test)
  • West Virginia is using the HiSET (High School Equivalency Test)
  • Connecticut uses the GED (General Education Development) Test (but there is a small registration fee)
  • Illinois offers the GED test for free

2 states and D.C. partly subsidize the GED test:

  • Arkansas: the GED exam fee is $16 ($4 per module or subtest)
  • Maryland: the GED exam costs $57 for all 4 subjects ($14,25 per module) but only for 1-st time testers
  • District of Columbia: the GED fee is $15 for the entire battery ($3.75 per subtest)

Some states offer free GED testing, and almost every state offers free GED preparation classes. You can also use free online GED classes and GED practice tests published on our website to see if online learning fits you well. If so, you can enroll in Onsego’s comprehensive, accredited online GED course

But recently, we’ve seen more states that offer free GED testing, especially for first-time testers: Illinois and Kentucky are now also offering free GED or HiSET testing to first-time testers, and Ohio reduced the fees drastically. Illinois reduced the GED testing fees considerably; learn more <- here.

The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education also announced that the state covers the cost of the GED and HiSET exams. The GED exam was already free (including 2 retakes), and now, the HiSET is free as well. Learn more on this Massachusetts GED page.

Alaska and Nebraska now also offer FREE GED testing for students enrolled in Adult Education programs. The states pay for GED testing, a value of $144!

Additionally, Texas, Massachusetts, and New Mexico introduced a voucher program so that eligible students can take these states’ HSE (High School Equivalency) tests for free as well.

So, taking the GED or HiSET test is available at no cost in West Virginia, Texas, Maine, Massachusetts, New York, New Mexico, Nebraska, Kentucky, Illinois, Connecticut, and Alaska.

How Your State Can Help with GED Financial Aid

Your state and the federal government share the cost of the programs that offer the most assistance, such as TANF and Medicaid. Check out also this page about Google’s new Career Certificate Programs, a great way to get well-paying employment without having to earn a costly college degree.

This means that each state has different eligibility requirements and different benefits for each program. Also, the eligibility and benefits policies change frequently depending on budgets and the economy. What was true last year might not apply this year. Therefore, it’s important to check your state’s official websites.

Counties and school districts also use their tax revenue to provide services, while non-profits, such as public colleges, social service agencies, and hospitals, receive funding from both the government and private sources. In Missouri, qualifying adults, 21 and older, can now earn a high school diploma for free as well.

Many programs are delivered at a physical location in the form of services carried out by staff. In fact, for every dollar paid in welfare cash assistance, the United States spends about $15 on social service programs delivered typically by nonprofit agencies.

While local programs offer many benefits, they can be hard to get in rural or where the demand for social services is higher than the supply.

Dial 2-1-1

Available in all 50 states, 2-1-1 provides free and confidential information and referrals for social services. Call 2-1-1 for help with food, housing, employment, healthcare, counseling, and more.

You can also call or email the office of a community action agency or a major non-profit organization in your county to find out if they can help you to get your degree. There are so many grants and scholarships available in America!

GEDWorks Program

Under the GEDWorks program, employees can get their GED diplomas for free! GEDWorks™ is developed by GED Testing Service, the publisher of the GED exam. The program is for corporations and other businesses that want to stimulate their workers to earn their GED diplomas.

Over 4,000 employees have earned their GED credentials through the GEDWorks program, and participating employers cover multiple industries, including food service, hospitality, media, manufacturing, transportation, and retail.

These companies include Walmart, Hilton, KFC, Taco Bell, Sheetz, Pizza Hut, Red Roof, Winn-Dixie, Benchmark Electronics, Bell’s Brewery, EPI Breads, Cheesecake Factory, and many more.

One of America’s biggest employers, Amazon, with currently over 1 million (!) employees, also offers workers without a high school or GED diploma financial support to earn their secondary education (GED) degree. The company helps with educational support and pays for the cost of GED testing.

Applicants who do not hold a GED diploma can get lots of benefits, for example, healthcare benefits after 90 days, overtime and holiday payments, paid off time, and flexible schedules for those who attend educational programs.

Free GED and HiSET Testing in Texas

Through a generous grant from the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC), students can now take the HiSET or GED exam for free if they qualify. The subsidy is targeted toward Texas students who are seeking to earn their Texas Certificate of High School Equivalency or TXCHSE.

Holding the credential will certainly improve their chances of acquiring a good position in the Texas workforce and boost their earnings potential. The degree additionally qualifies them to go ahead with their academic education in university or college.

To qualify for the Texas Workforce Commission HSE subsidy program, applicants must be Texas residents of at least 21 years of age and not already have a high school or GED diploma. You can learn more here about the -> Texas Workforce Commission GED subsidy program.

Find a School that Offers Free GED Classes and Testing

Some schools that offer GED preparation will also pay for your GED exam. You will need to contact the school or the education center directly. Check here to find -> a list of GED schools near you. 

Finding financial aid for GED prep and testing is not easy, but it’s possible. Don’t give up, and in the meantime, take advantage of our free GED practice tests and lessons. Just manage your time wisely, check out the number of requirements that colleges have for their admissions policy, for example, if they consider the GED the same as a common high school degree, and visit our GED-related news pages regularly.

Many of your questions can be answered if you click on the appropriate links on this website, and your local library will also have lots of prep books and other resources.

In most states, you are not required to sign up for an adult education or training program, but proper preparation is strongly advised, as passing the GED exam is a challenging process. Your school board may help you fill out FAFSA student loan forms, and they keep records of all types of education events.

Your GED diploma opportunities include your right to take the test in English or Spanish at most testing sites, so please request information on current options and fees at your test center. Your GED credential will definitely lead to better work and get you into college!

GED Testing Service is now offering an online testing option to qualifying test-takers in participating states. A trained online proctor will supervise the process while using state-of-the-art AI (artificial intelligence) to protect the integrity of the GED test. Handheld calculators are not allowed, but there will be an on-screen calculator.