In full transparency, the following is a press release from the Massachusetts Department of Elementary & Secondary Education (DESE) submitted to SOURCE media.
MALDEN – The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education announced today, February 9, the Commonwealth 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 Massachusetts 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.