Tennessee offers free high school equivalency testing
Adult educators remove barriers to boost employment and income
NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development is now giving students who left high school before graduating the opportunity to earn their high school equivalency diploma at no cost.
“This is a real game changer for those who need this credential to get a job,” said Jason Beard, Administrator of the Adult Education Program. “Our target is to have diplomas in the hands of 5,000 graduates by the end of the year, and we know removing the test fee is a great incentive to meet our goal.”
The state of Tennessee offers two test options to earn a high school equivalency diploma. The HiSet is managed by the nonprofit organization Educational Testing Service, and the GED is administered by Pearson Education. The HiSet’s original cost is $75 compared with $125 for the GED. In order to reach as many potential graduates as possible, the HiSet will be the only test offered at no cost by the Adult Education program. Once a student passes either the HiSet or GED, an official state high school equivalency diploma is issued that does not make reference to which test was taken.
According to the American Community Survey, approximately 700,000 Tennesseans have less than a high school diploma. National figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (see graphic below) show employment opportunity and income increase significantly with educational achievements.