From the Department of Education:
Today the Nevada Department of Education announced prices for state-approved High School Equivalency (HSE) assessments to take effect January 2, 2014. The HSE test centers, which include Nevada community colleges and school districts, agreed to a two-tiered pricing structure for HSE testing next year: the cost of the GED® will be $95, and the two alternate approved assessments, the Test Assessing Secondary Completion (TASC™) and the High School Equivalency Test (HI SET™), will both be priced at $65. The test fees would include the actual cost of each assessment plus an approximate $15 processing fee to defray local test center costs.
"The pricing structure agreed to by the test centers will keep costs low for Nevadans seeking a High School Equivalency credential," said Brad Deeds, State HSE Administrator. "Easier access to High School Equivalency testing can open the door for more people to pursue postsecondary education and training, and can boost the numbers of college degrees and technical certificates our state produces every year."
In October, the Nevada State Board of Education voted to approve the new computer-based GED® as well as two alternative assessments as official HSE tests. At the time, Nevada was the first state in the nation to approve all three assessments for use in determining high school equivalency.
Nevada is one of several states adopting alternative assessments due to changes in the GED® exam. Beginning in January of 2014, the new GED® test will be offered only via computer, outside of correctional facilities. The two new alternative tests, the HI SET™ (designed by Educational Testing Services) and the TASC (from CTB/McGraw-Hill), will allow for either computer- or paper-based testing.
All three assessments cover the same content areas and allow test-takers to demonstrate proficiency at the academic skills expected by employers and postsecondary institutions. Passing any of the three tests will lead to the same Certificate of High School Equivalency issued by the State of Nevada.
State-approved test centers and their local governing authorities may select which test or tests they wish to offer starting in January. Most test centers are located in school districts, colleges and community-based organizations and can now choose the assessment systems that best meet the needs of their local student populations. In order to ensure accessibility and affordability for all Nevada students, test centers must offer both a paper- and a computer-based HSE assessment. All students who pass one of the state-approved assessments will receive the same Nevada Certificate of High School Equivalency.
Last year, over 4,000 Nevadans earned a state-issued Certificate of High School Equivalency, but Nevada still has nearly 300,000 adults without a high school diploma or its equivalent. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, those who have a high school credential earn $181 more per week than those without. Additionally, Americans with a high school credential have an unemployment rate of 8.3%, compared with 12.4% for high school dropouts.
"We now have the opportunity to provide multiple safety nets and multiple pathways to the nearly 6,000 Nevadans who seek a state-issued Certificate of High School Equivalency each year to meet their education and work goals," said Deeds. "Where better-educated adults and better-trained workers live, good jobs will follow."
From the Department of Education