Changes to GED test could be huge challenge for some students - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Changes to GED test could be huge challenge for some students

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- High school dropouts are proving Friday night it's possible to turn your life around. 

As GED graduates get ready to receive their diplomas, there are changes to the test that are likely to create new barriers in just a few months. 

"I didn't make it far in school," said 27-year-old Marlee Mitchell.

Mitchell was just 13 years old when she dropped out of 9th grade.  With a mother sent to prison and a father who was never in her life, she dropped out to help raise her five brothers and sisters:  "Not really knowing what to do...I just stepped up and done as much as I could."

But Marlee knew she needed to take the steps to better her life. She convinced her sister, Brittany, to take GED prep classes with her, and on April 15, both sisters passed.

"No matter how many struggles you have, always push yourself to become better," Marlee said.

When the Mitchell sisters took the test, it cost them $60 a piece, and even that was a struggle.  But come January 1, the test price will jump to $120.

Cammie Kramer with JCPS Adult Education says, "When that fee doubles to $120, we know that is going to be a huge challenge to many of our students."

The test will also be administered on a computer. A paper version will no longer be available.

With just a few months left to take advantage of the current GED, students are being encouraged to sign up now for free prep courses at the JCPS Adult Education Center.

"Our classes fill up," Kramer said. "If they need those classes, they need to come to us now, and that way, they have time to increase their skills before they take the test."

Despite the changes upcoming, former dropouts like Parker Wilson say no matter the cost, getting your GED is worth it, and opens new doors.

"Don't let nobody set the limitations for you," he said. "You set your own limitations in life."

And Marlee Mitchell is reaching even higher. This fall she plans to attend college. 

"I want to be something in life," Mitchell said. "I don't want to be a nobody. I want to make something."

The JCPS annual GED graduation ceremony will be held Friday night at Gheens Academy.

From now through July 31 in Kentucky, students can take the GED test for free.  The offer is made available through a state grant.

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