Changes are coming to the GED high school equivalency test that have students bracing for much higher costs and some states looking for alternatives. Starting in January 2014 the GED will no longer be offered in pencil and paper format. The new test is also going to be $120 dollars, which is more than double the cost of the current one.
Staff with the Black Hawk College worry this will deter people from giving it a shot. While scholarship money is available to help some of the more than 500 people going through the school's GED program each year, those resources soon won't go as far.
"Just as students are a little bit shocked with these changes, programs were also shocked with these changes," said Glenda Nicke, Dean of Adult and Continuing Education for Black Hawk College.
"I think that will be hard for a lot of people, the expense and everything else. And that it's getting harder may scare people not to do it," said Tammy Marsden, going through the GED program right now.
Some states subsidize some or all of the expense now, but the student's share is still expected to rise. The new version of the exam is to keep up with tougher state standards.