DEAR ABBY: I have worked in the field of education for more than 40 years, with the last 25 years serving in adult education, helping students complete their high school equivalency diploma.
Big changes are impending worldwide in this very important educational service. Starting in 2014, the cost may go up. Up until two years ago, the classes in our community were free. The testing cost $7.50, which paid for a printed diploma. Since then, the cost has gone up -- first to $25 and then to $35.
Now the GED program has been bought by a for-profit organization and the costs will go higher than ever. Furthermore, it will no longer be possible to take the test using pencil and paper. It will all be done on computer.
Please encourage the thousands of adults who do not have their high school degrees to make a life-changing decision for themselves and their families now! -- JOY IN A CLASSROOM DOWN SOUTH
DEAR JOY: I am sure many readers will thank you for this important heads-up. Readers, the changes Joy has described will go into effect on Jan. 2, 2014. According to the media representative for the GED Testing Service in Washington, D.C., the costs of the tests will be determined by the state in which it is administered. It is currently between $0 and $250, and in 2014 will "marginally increase or decrease" according to which state you live in. (Decrease? Forgive me for being doubtful ...) Criteria for passing or failing the test will remain the same.
Readers, any of you who are not computer literate should start now. Do not delay. If you are uncomfortable with technology and have a friend or relative who is knowledgeable, more information can be obtained by visiting www.gedtestingservice.com.