Kentucky Skills U, an agency within the Education and Workforce Development Cabinet, has made it easier for Kentuckians to earn a General Education Diploma (GED).

Gov. Andy Beshear and Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman announced that Kentucky Skills U will waive testing fees for Kentuckians who seek to earn a GED, helping to break down a financial barrier for more than 335,000 Kentuckians currently without a GED or high school diploma.

EWDC allotted $600,000 in state funding to waive the test fees, which total $30 for individual tests or $120 for all four courses in Kentucky.

In a statement, Beshear said the GED test fee is one of the most common barriers facing adults who seek to earn their GED in Kentucky, and waiving the GED test fees will help bring those adults closer to earning the GED and joining Kentucky’s workforce.

“Education is the key to a better future for the Commonwealth and our citizens,” Beshear said in a statement. “This state funding will remove one more barrier for Kentuckians and provide them one more opportunity to earn their GED, a critical piece to helping the more than 335,000 Kentuckians without a GED or high school diploma to participate in our workforce and thrive.”

In 2017-18, Kentucky’s GED pass rate was 86 percent, exceeding the national pass rate of 79 percent. The number of working-age Kentuckians without a high school diploma or GED declined by 35 percent from 2000-2016.

In 2000, Pike, Floyd, Johnson and Perry County were four of 33 counties statewide where between 31-40 percent of working-age adults did not have a high school diploma or GED.

In 2016, for Pike, Floyd and Johnson County, that percentage declined to about 11-20 percent. Perry County’s percentage declined to 21-30 percent, according to Kentucky Skills U.

In a statement, Coleman called the waiving of the GED test fees a “step forward” for Kentucky and said she believes every Kentuckian has the right to quality education.

“As a teacher, I know there is no greater way to positively change a person’s economic situation than lifting their level of education,” Coleman said in a statement. “This announcement is a step forward for our state and signifies our commitment to education.”

Kentucky Skills U provides no-cost adult education services in all 120 Kentucky counties to individuals seeking to become college and/or career ready. Students can prepare for the GED, transition to post-secondary education, or receive career and training for employment.

According to Kentucky Skills U, Kentucky requires the GED Ready Practice test be taken prior to the GED exam. The GED Ready test is available for free through Kentucky Skills U, or individuals may take the test online for a fee at, www.ged.com.

For more information, visit, www.kyskillsu.gov.

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