CLASP/National Council of State Directors of Adult Education (NCSDAE)
May 2012
Sinking or Swimming: Findings from a State Survey of Adult Education Tuition
and Financing Policies
INTRODUCTION
At no time in recent history has the importance of adult education been greater and the funding
more threatened.1 Despite the fact that at least 93 million adults in the U.S. could benefit from
basic skills education to improve their economic success and mobility, funding for these services
is stagnating at the federal level and being slashed in statehouses and state agencies across the
country. Yet demand for these services remains high, with at least 160,000 people on waiting
lists that exist in nearly every state.2
Not only is demand for these services strong, but students with low basic skills now need more
education than ever to compete for jobs in a slowly recovering economy. The jobs that
disappeared in the last recession are being replaced with jobs that require higher levels of
education and, often, a postsecondary credential. In fact, one estimate suggests that 64 percent of
jobs by 2018 will require some level of postsecondary education. To meet this demand for
educated workers, some states are adopting innovative instructional strategies that combine basic
skills education with postsecondary-level coursework or job training.3 These approaches, called
“career pathways” or “bridge programs,” are cropping up across the country and being
encouraged and supported by the U.S. Departments of Education and Labor in recent
competitive grant programs, yet they can be more costly than traditional models of adult literacy
and education.
Yet, already a persistently underfunded system, adult education has reached its capacity, and can
no longer simply “do more” with less funding every year. These new needs for the adult
education system amid declining revenues begs the question: How can the system continue to
improve instruction, meeting higher-level demands for students, with fewer and fewer resources
each year? Traditionally offered for free or at a low cost, some states have adopted new tuition
policies for adult education services, yet getting mixed results. Additionally, changing standards
and a new cost structure for the GED are putting even more pressure on an already strained
system.
To begin the conversation about new funding structures and new opportunities for funding,
CLASP and NCSDAE initiated a national survey of statewide tuition and financing policies. The
survey covered a range of issues, including:

The division of funding by local, state, federal and tuition sources;
1
Adult education includes adult basic education for those at the lowest skill levels, adult secondary education and
GED preparation for those at higher skill levels, and English language services. It primarily serves those without
high school diplomas, high school graduates who are not college-ready, and students with limited English language
proficiency. Services are supported by federal funding under Title II of the Workforce Investment Act (Adult
Education and Family Literacy Act), as well as state and local funding. A variety of local providers offer adult
education, including K-12 districts, community colleges, and community-based organizations.
2
NCSDAE, Adult Student Waiting List Survey, 2009-2010,
http://www.ncsdae.org/2010%20Adult%20Education%20Waiting%20List%20Report.pdf
3
NAEPDC, Adult Education Supporting the President’s Workforce and American Graduation Initiatives, 2010,
http://www.naepdc.org/State%20Alignment%20Initiatives%20-%20FINAL%202.2.10.pdf
1
Sinking or Swimming: Findings from a State Survey of Adult
Education Tuition and Financing Policies

2012
How the agencies that administer adult education determine the funding allocations to
local programs;
The existence of any special discretionary resources available to incent local innovation;
The existence of statewide tuition/fee policies and the amount of such tuition/fees;
The current cost to students to take the General Educational Development (GED®); and
Any expected changes in state policy to make the GED® more affordable to students
when a new, computer-based assessment is introduced in 2014 by the GED Testing
Service.




State responses to these questions are included in this report, which is intended to shed light on
important policies that govern the way adult education is funded, including those costs borne by
local districts and institutions, states, the federal government, and students. It does not represent
a causal analysis of why certain states choose one method over another or what causes a
particular outcome. In other words, through this report, we hope to supply information about the
variety of ways that adult education is funded, not provide an analysis of which policies yield the
greatest revenue.
Methodology
This survey was administered in February 2012 through an online survey instrument. It was
distributed to State Directors of Adult Education in all 50 states plus the District of Columbia.
CLASP followed up with some respondents to clarify answers and, in some cases, to obtain
detailed information on a particular topic. CLASP also conducted additional research beyond
what was reported by states.
Limitations
While every attempt was made to ensure the data presented are accurate and comprehensive,
there are some limitations to the survey findings presented in this report. Primarily, while the
survey responses reflect the vast majority of states, seven states and the District of Columbia did
not respond to the online survey. In addition, not all of the states that responded answered all of
the questions completely.
The diversity of funding policies and governance structures in adult education across states is
also a challenge. While federal funds are provided to each state and the District of Columbia,
most programs receive a mix of federal, state, local, and sometimes philanthropic funding. In
some cases, the state agency does not collect complete information on the myriad funding
sources, and thus, is not able to report on the breadth or depth of funding that exists. States also
vary widely in terms of governance, state law, and policy—making them nearly impossible to
compare uniformly.
2
CLASP/National Council of State Directors of Adult Education (NCSDAE)
Sinking or Swimming: Findings from a State Survey of Adult
Education Tuition and Financing Policies
2012
CHARACTERISTICS OF PARTICIPATING STATES
Forty-three states submitted responses to the online survey. These states represent diversity
across several dimensions: administering agency, geography, number of students enrolled in
adult education, and percentage of students in ABE, ASE, and ESL.
Governance
The agency that administers adult education varies by state and can play an important role in
determining the overall direction and goals of the program. Of the 43 states that responded to the
survey, six administer adult education through the workforce system (such as the Department of
Labor or the Department of Workforce Development), twelve run it through the postsecondary
system (such as the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges or the Board of
Regents), and twenty-five states administer the program in the Education/K-12 system (such as
the Department of Education). In limited cases, agencies span more than one of these systems.
Table 1. Administering Agencies of Adult Education in Survey States
States
Administering Agency
Labor/Workforce System
(AR, IN, MD, MI, SD, TN)
Postsecondary/Community College System
(AL, GA, IL, KS, KY, LA, MS, NC, OH, WA, WI, WY)
Education/K-12 System
(AZ, CA, CO, CT, DE, HI, ID, IA, MA, MN, MO, MT, NE, NV, NH,
NY, ND, OK, PA, RI, SC, TX, UT, VT, VA)
6
12
25
Geographic Diversity
The states also have significant geographic diversity, with all of the major Census regions
represented. Twelve states are in the West; 10 states are located in the Midwest; 8 states are
located in the Northeast; and 13 states are in the South.
Table 2. Survey States by Region
States
12
10
8
13
3
Region
West
(AZ, CA, CO, HI, ID, MT, NV, ND, SD, UT, WA, WY)
Midwest
(IL, IN, IA, KS, MI, MN, MO, NE, OH, WI)
Northeast
(CT, DE, MA, NH, NY, PA, RI, VT)
South
(AL, AR, GA, KY, LA, MD, MS, NC, OK, SC, TN, TX, VA)
CLASP/National Council of State Directors of Adult Education (NCSDAE)
Sinking or Swimming: Findings from a State Survey of Adult
Education Tuition and Financing Policies
2012
Size of the Adult Education Program
States vary widely in the number of adult education students they serve—this largely represents
the significant differences in population, but can also reflect differing socioeconomic trends, as
well as the level of immigration in a state. States in this survey are representative across the
spectrum of how many students are served in adult education. The state that serves the most
students is California, which enrolled 392, 918 students according to 2010 data from the National
Reporting System (NRS).4 The survey state with the fewest enrollees is North Dakota, which
enrolled 1,581 students. Other large adult education states include New York (122,833 students)
and North Carolina (115,312). Other small adult education states include South Dakota (2,423
students) and Vermont (1,590 students).5
Proportion of Students in ABE vs. ESL
Individuals in adult education are included in one of three broad program types: Adult Basic
Education (ABE), which serves students at the very lowest skill levels, typically 8th grade level
and below; Adult Secondary Education (ASE), which serves students with intermediate and
high-basic skills, typically 9th grade – 12th grade level; and English as a Second Language (ESL),
which includes students with limited English skills at all levels. Among the survey states, 46
percent of students are in ABE, 12 percent of students are in ASE, and 42 percent are in ESL.
This division between the three program types is exactly the
Figure 1. Percentage of Adult
Education Funding by Revenue
same as the division at the national level, so the survey states
Source
reflect the national trend. States that report serving a high
proportion of ESL students include Nevada (77 percent),
California (66 percent), and Colorado (61 percent). States that
report serving a low proportion of ESL students include
Louisiana (6 percent), Montana (6 percent), and Mississippi (1
percent).6
HOW ADULT EDUCATION IS FUNDED
Tuition
1%
Local
9%
Federal
45%
State
45%
States use a combination of federal, state, local, and tuition
dollars to fund adult education services statewide, using a
network of local providers. Federal funding from the Adult
Education and Family Literacy Act (Title II of the Workforce
Investment Act, or AEFLA) provides an annual stream of federal funding that is distributed to
4
The National Reporting System (NRS) is the performance accountability system that governs the use of federal
adult education funding under Title II of the Workforce Investment Act.
5
These figures may not include all of the students that are served by adult education services in the state. States may
use local or state funding to serve students and not include these students in the National Reporting System. In
addition, to be counted in these totals, students must be enrolled for at least 12 hours.
6
These figures may not include all of the students that are served by adult education services in the state. States may
use local or state funding to serve students and not include these students in the National Reporting System. In
addition, to be counted in these totals, students must be enrolled for at least 12 hours.
4
CLASP/National Council of State Directors of Adult Education (NCSDAE)
Sinking or Swimming: Findings from a State Survey of Adult
Education Tuition and Financing Policies
2012
states via formula. States and local districts or institutions also contribute funding for adult
education, though the division of revenue by source varies wildly by state.
In order to receive federal adult education funding, states must match the federal contribution
with at least 25 percent in nonfederal funds (which includes state and local funding). These funds
may be provided in cash or in-kind. Historically, most states have contributed funds well beyond
this match level with funding from the state, local institutions or school districts, or tuition. In
this survey, states reported that, on average, 9 percent of their funding comes from local sources,
45 percent comes from state sources, 45 percent comes from federal sources, and 1 percent
comes from tuition charged to students (see Figure 1).7
Federal Funding
Federal funding from Title II of the Workforce Investment Act comprises, on average, 45 percent
of the total funding for adult education in the survey states. The amount of WIA Title II funding
has generally remained flat in the last several years, but has dropped by 17 percent in real dollars
since the height of funding in 2002. In FY2012, just under $600 million was appropriated for
WIA Title II.8
State Funding
Among the survey states, three contribute no state funding for adult education, nine contribute 25
percent or less in state funds toward total adult education funding, thirteen contribute between 26
percent and 50 percent, twelve contribute between 51 percent and 75 percent, and five contribute
76 percent or more in state funding (see Table 3).
Table 3. Percentage of Total Adult Education Funding from State Funding by State
States
3
9
13
12
5
7
8
Percentage of State Funding Contribution
Contribute no state funding
(AZ, CO, IA)
Contribute 25 percent or less in state funding
(KS, MT, NE, OK, SD, TN, TX, VA, WI)
Contribute 26-50 percent in state funding
(AL, CT, DE, GA, ID, IN, LA, MD, MS, MO, NH, OH, PA)
Contribute 51-75 percent in state funding
(HI, IL, KY, MA, MI, NV, NY, ND, RI, UT, WA, WY)
Contribute 76 percent and over in state funding
(AR, CA, MN, NC, VT)
South Carolina was not able to provide this information.
http://www.clasp.org/admin/site/publications/files/adult-ed-funding-enrollment-February-2012.pdf
5
CLASP/National Council of State Directors of Adult Education (NCSDAE)
Sinking or Swimming: Findings from a State Survey of Adult
Education Tuition and Financing Policies
2012
Local Funding
Among all states in the survey, local funding averages 9 percent, but this varies widely (see
Figure 2). Twenty-five states report that no funding is contributed by local sources, which
includes programs, school districts, and institutions. Of the remaining 17 states, 9 indicated the
local contribution was 20 percent or more and 8 indicated that it was less than 20 percent (see
Figure 2). The states with the highest local contribution were Connecticut (44 percent),
Wisconsin (43 percent), and Colorado (40 percent).9
Connecticut
Wisconsin
Colorado
Montana
Kansas
Maryland
Nebraska
New Hampshire
Massachussetts
Virginia
Pennsylvania
Ohio
Indiana
Tennessee
Rhode Island
Georgia
Nevada
4
0
5
15
15
15
11
10
10
7
10
20
15
20
23
26
25
25
28
30
40
36
35
40
44
43
45
50
Figure 2. Percentage of Adult Education Funding from Local Districts, Institutions, or Programs in States
that Report Local Funding
Student Tuition and/or Fees
Only five states reported that tuition is part of the adult education funding mix, resulting in an
overall average of 1 percent for the percentage of funding that comes from student tuition and/or
fees. Of these states, four indicated that this comprises less than 10 percent of their total funding
for adult education and one indicated that it comprises 26 percent of its funding. A more detailed
discussion of tuition and fee policies in the states can be found later in this report on page 13.
Commentary
Funding for adult education is a hot topic this year as
many states are finding the level of state investment
drastically declining as a result of multiple years of state
revenue crises and budget shortfalls. And while this
survey is not a definitive source of current state funding
levels, state responses to this question seem to reflect a
9
For many years, states and localities
contributed roughly $3.50 for every
$1.00 in federal funding. This is no
longer the reality; in fact, the results
of this survey suggest that nonfederal
contributions are closer to $1.20 for
every $1.00 in federal funding.
Colorado provides no state funding for adult education.
6
CLASP/National Council of State Directors of Adult Education (NCSDAE)
Sinking or Swimming: Findings from a State Survey of Adult
Education Tuition and Financing Policies
2012
general disinvestment in adult education at the state level. In 2009, the Office of Vocational and
Adult Education of the U.S. Department of Education reported that states and localities
contributed roughly $3.50 for every $1.00 in federal funding. This is no longer the reality; the
results of this survey suggest that nonfederal contributions are closer to $1.20 for every $1.00 in
federal funding. Recent reports beyond the scope of this survey have also shown a growing trend
among states and local districts to cut funding for adult education and English language
services.10
State Profiles:
MN, RI, WI
Key Questions for Further Research





Should the federal government contribute a greater share of the funding needed to
educate low-skilled adults given the decline in state and local funding and the growing
demand for these services?
Forty-six percent of current adult students are non-English speakers and seeking to better
integrate into society and jobs. As immigration is a national issue, should the federal
government increase funding to address their language and citizenship needs?
What are the key reasons why some states and localities contribute a much greater share
of adult education funding than others? How does a larger state and local stake in adult
education impact student outcomes?
How does more or less reliance on federal funding vs. state and local funding impact
student outcomes?
How much of state funding is cash vs. in-kind?
HOW LOCAL ADULT EDUCATION PROVIDERS ARE FUNDED
Adult education services are provided through a network of providers that include, but are not
limited to, local school districts, community and technical colleges, and community-based
organizations. In order to determine the providers, states solicit multi-year plans from local
applicants. To those successful applicants, states must distribute annually 82.5 percent of their
federal allocation of AEFLA funds to those local programs and may also provide additional state
funding. Recipients of these funds, in turn, serve students directly by providing an array of adult
education, literacy, English language, family literacy, workplace education, career pathway and
other services based on the needs of the locality.
See Foster, Marcie. “With Budgets Slashed, Adult Education Programs Struggle to Keep the Lights On,” CLASP,
February 21, 2012.
10
7
CLASP/National Council of State Directors of Adult Education (NCSDAE)
Sinking or Swimming: Findings from a State Survey of Adult
Education Tuition and Financing Policies
Federal Adult Education and Family Literacy Act Funding
Competitive Grants to Local Providers for Adult
Education Services

Must use direct and equitable process for
RFP.

State must contribute 25 percent
nonfederal match, to be used in the same
way as federal funding.
State Leadership
Funding and
Other Set-Asides
2012
State Adult Education
Funding
 Must follow state
requirements, which
may be different than
federal.

Any portion used
toward 25 percent
match must be used
in the same way as
federal funding.
Unlike other federal programs, such as WIA Title I Adult Programs and Youth Programs, state
agencies—rather than localities—have significant influence on the types of activities and
programs they wish to support. While programs must generally meet minimum requirements,
such as the ability to collect and report data to the National Reporting System (the federal
performance accountability system for adult education) the state is given some flexibility on the
priorities on which they decide to distribute funds to programs.
In soliciting multi-year applications, states must use a competitive grant process that provides for
“direct and equitable access” to all eligible applicants. The intent of this provision is to ensure
that the full range of adult education and English language service providers—including K-12
districts, community colleges, community-based organizations and others—are able to compete
equally for federal funds. Due to the uncertainty of both federal and state funds, states allocate
funds annually to the approved programs.
How States Distribute Federal Funding Provided Under WIA Title II
States provided a wide range of answers when asked how they distribute federal funding to local
programs. Twenty-seven states say that the amount of funding provided to locals is determined
by a formula that takes into account a combination of enrollment data, eligible population, and
past performance. Seven states indicate that their funding is determined by a formula that takes
into account only one of the above factors. Furthermore, nine states report that they do not use
either of the above methods to determine the amount of funding that flows to local providers. Of
these nine states that use an alternative method, the majority use some type of performancebased funding system for at least some portion of these funds. One state in this category awards
funding according to a complex rubric that includes 10 dimensions of program operation and
performance and weighs each of the factors differently.
Some states report using a two-tiered approach to funding local providers. To ensure equity,
funding is provided by formula (based on the number of adults without a high school diploma) to
counties, which then grant the funds based on a competitive process. This ensures that services
are provided with geographic equity but also maintains compliance with the federal “direct and
equitable” provisions.
8
CLASP/National Council of State Directors of Adult Education (NCSDAE)
Sinking or Swimming: Findings from a State Survey of Adult
Education Tuition and Financing Policies
2012
The use of performance funding to distribute federal funds to local providers is extensive,
although states vary in terms of the student outcomes that they use as performance criteria. Not
all states provided information on the measures they use, however, the most common
performance indicators states report using to fund programs are:



Educational functioning level gains,11
Number of GED’s/Adult High School Diplomas awarded, and
Number of contact hours.
Table 4. Division of States by Distribution Method of Adult Education Federal Funding
States
27
How States Distribute Federal Funding to Local Adult Education Providers
Funding to locals is determined by a formula that takes into account a
combination of enrollments, eligible population, and past performance.
(AL*, AR*, DE*, GA*, ID, IL*, IN*, IA, LA, MD*, MA*, MI, MS*, MO*, MT*,
NE*, NV, NH*, NC, ND, OK, PA*, SD*, TN*, TX*, WA, WY*)
7
Funding to locals is determined by a formula that takes into account only one of
the following: enrollments, eligible population, and past performance.
(CA, HI*, KY*, OH*, SC, VT, VA)
9
None of the above is used to determine the amount of funding that flows to local
providers.
(AZ, CO, CT, KS, MN, NY, RI*, UT, WI)
* Indicates the state also uses this method to distribute state funding.
As previously mentioned, states often contribute additional state funding to adult education
beyond the federal contribution (see page 5). Although states are not required by federal law to
distribute this additional state funding beyond the required match in the same way as federal
funding, twenty-two of the states indicate that they do use the same method (see Table 4).
How States Distribute State Funding
States that provide funding beyond the level of the federal 25 percent match can use their
additional state funding differently than their federal funding. This is an important distinction as
this funding can typically be used flexibly, depending on the state’s priorities and needs.
Eighteen states report that they use or distribute state funding differently than federal funds. Of
these states, eight report that state funding is distributed based on a formula that takes into
account a combination of enrollments, eligible population, and past performance. Four states
indicate that state funding is determined by only one of the above factors. Six states report that
they do not use either of these methods to determine state funding distributions to local
providers.12
11
In some cases, not all educational functioning levels are treated similarly. At least one state awarded double
performance points for programs that helped students at the lowest basic skill levels move to a higher educational
functioning level.
12
Three states (AZ, CO, IA) do not have state funding to contribute, so they are not included in this calculation.
9
CLASP/National Council of State Directors of Adult Education (NCSDAE)
Sinking or Swimming: Findings from a State Survey of Adult
Education Tuition and Financing Policies
2012
Among these 18 states, respondents commonly indicated that state funds are distributed based on
past performance, but sometimes given different “weights” than the federal funds. Other states in
this category use the funds in completely different ways. Examples of these uses include
providing funds to supplement what federal funds do not cover, or providing a portion of
services solely on a specific population, such as young adults, or for a specific program model.
Table 5. Division of States by Distribution Method of Adult Education State Funding
States
8
How State Funding for Local Adult Education Providers is Determined
Funding to locals is determined by a formula that takes into account a
combination of enrollments, eligible population, and past performance.
(ID, KS, LA, NV, NC, ND, SC, WI)
Funding to locals is determined by a formula that takes into account only one of
the following: enrollments, eligible population, and past performance.
(AR, MI, UT, VT)
None of the above are used to determine the amount of funding that flows to
local providers.
(CA, CT, MN, NY, OK, VA, WA)
4
6
States Profiles:
LA, IN, KY
Commentary
How states distribute federal and state funding to local providers can be an important policy
lever for aligning adult education resources with a state’s priorities. Through the design of the
state RFP, which dictates how funding flows to local providers, states can incent innovation or
encourage a particular type of instruction or service delivery. For example, if funds are awarded
to local programs on the basis of the number of GED passers they produce, programs have a
strong incentive to help more people pass the GED. If program funding is awarded in part on
how many students transition to postsecondary education (and/or complete a certificate or degree
program down the line), local providers will be incentivized to focus on ways to improve their
transition programming, perhaps sparking new relationships with community colleges or local
job training providers.
A number of states appear to be using some version of a performance funding system to
distribute funds to local providers. 13 This innovative funding mechanism can be used to
determine funding based on program outcomes versus simply student demographics or
characteristics. While the use of performance funding in adult education is not new, there are few
studies that address it. The most extensive report on the topic is a 2007 report from MPR
conducted on behalf of the U.S. Department of Education that examined the funding formulas,
13
Harnisch, Thomas. Performance-based Funding: A Re-Emerging Strategy in Public Higher Education Financing,
American Association of State Colleges and Universities, June 2011.
http://www.congressweb.com/aascu/docfiles/Performance_Funding_AASCU_June2011.pdf
10
CLASP/National Council of State Directors of Adult Education (NCSDAE)
Sinking or Swimming: Findings from a State Survey of Adult
Education Tuition and Financing Policies
2012
implementation processes, evaluation processes in three states: Indiana, Kansas, and Missouri.14
The National Adult Education Professional Development Consortium (NAEPDC) has also
collected examples of state performance funding formulas.15 Since these reports have been
released, innovations in funding mechanisms in higher education are increasingly being used and
spreading to other systems—such as career and technical education and adult education—as a
greater number of states recognize that these systems should be working together to help students
at all skill levels reach for higher goals.
Furthermore, since states report using the measures in the NRS as partial drivers of evaluation
criteria for funding, the federal government may want to consider how these measures are
driving policy beyond just compliance. In fact, changes in the NRS being implemented in July
2012 may already have an impact in some states. These new changes shift some performance
measures from goal-oriented measures to cohort measures. Currently, an adult education student
is only tracked toward achieving the outcomes that they set as a goal. Starting on July 1, 2012,
states will be required to report on cohorts of students toward the achievement goals. For
example, instead of only tracking employment outcomes for adult education students who
articulate a goal of entering employment, all unemployed students will be tracked as whether
they entered employment after exit from the program. This aligns AEFLA performance measures
more closely with workforce development programs and may allow states to think more broadly
about incentivizing programs that help students meet longer-term goals, such as receiving
additional workforce training, entering employment, or earning a postsecondary credential.16
Key Questions for Further Research





Are certain provider types more likely to receive funds using a given grant process or
grant criteria?
For states that use performance funding, how often do these formulas change to adjust to
the state’s new priorities or new student demands or interests?
To what extent are the performance indicators used in these funding distribution formulas
driving a focus on GED preparation and on educational functioning level gains, instead of
longer-term outcomes?17
What are the outcomes of states that set higher bars for achievement (e.g. postsecondary
transition, employment, or credential attainment) and hold programs accountable for
these outcomes?
How can these higher-level outcomes be incorporated into distribution formulas without
resulting in “creaming”?
14
http://www.mprinc.com/products/pdf/Performance_Based_Funding_in_Adult_Ed.pdf
http://63.117.44.95/resource_library/financial_systems/performance_funding.html
16
Information about these new NRS changes can be found in the NRS Implementation Guide 2012:
http://wdcrobcolp01.ed.gov/CFAPPS/OVAE/NRS/guidelines/AssessmentPolicyGuidance.docx.
17
Educational functioning levels are used to measure the basic skills gains of adult education participants. A “gain”
from one level to another is assessed by a student’s performance on a basic skills assessment, such as TABE,
CASAS, WorkKeys, or BEST (ESL only). Educational functioning levels for English speakers (ABE, ASE) are also
assigned grade level equivalents, e.g. 0 – 12.9).
15
11
CLASP/National Council of State Directors of Adult Education (NCSDAE)
Sinking or Swimming: Findings from a State Survey of Adult
Education Tuition and Financing Policies
2012
SPECIAL FUNDING FOR LOCAL INNOVATION IN POSTSECONDARY TRANSITION
AND ALIGNMENT
The goals of adult education are changing nationally, placing greater demands on states and local
programs to help students reach longer-term goals, such as moving up in the workforce or
earning postsecondary credentials. To meet these ambitious goals, states are working across
systems to deliver programs that can leverage the strengths of other agencies and institutions,
such as workforce development and community colleges. The U.S. Department of Education has
also focused significantly on alignment in collaboration with other agencies, such as the
departments of Labor and of Health and Human Services.
At the lower tier of instruction, these partnerships are developed to deliver high-quality
instruction that is contextualized to the high demand jobs in the area and incorporate work
readiness (SCANS) skills enabling the low level learner to not only gain educational skills but
begin the on ramp to upper tier opportunities.
At the upper tier, these partnerships are often developed to deliver high-quality instruction that
enables students to take postsecondary-level courses either alongside their basic skills classes or
subsequently, without needing to enroll in remediation at the community college after they leave
adult education. Program models that support these goals are often called “career pathway” or
“bridge” programs and can include instructional practices such as co-enrollment in adult
education and postsecondary classes, team teaching (with a basic skills teacher and a
technical/academic postsecondary faculty member), contextualization, and dual enrollment.
Since resources for adult education are already scarce, states and institutions must often find new
sources of funding to support these new programs.
In a time of declining resources, many states have had to be creative about how to continue
supporting innovation while still maintaining existing levels of service to students in the state.
When asked in our survey if they had special sources of funding to support these innovations,
nineteen states said that they have discretionary resources available to incent local innovation
such as dual enrollment in postsecondary coursework, team teaching, contextualization,
workplace literacy, or others. Some states use more than one funding source or use discretionary
funding from different levels of government. Below is a table of the sources of funds used by
these states and the number of states that report using each source.
Table 6. Discretionary Resources Used to Incent Innovation





Federal
WIA Title II – State

Leadership Funding (8)
WIA Title II – Grants to

Local Providers (3)
WIA Incentive Funds (4)
WIA Title I Discretionary
Funds (2)
Wagner-Peyser (1)
12
State
State Adult Education
Funding (2)
Special Funds from the
State Legislature (4)


Local
Community Colleges
(1)
Foundations and
Business (1)
CLASP/National Council of State Directors of Adult Education (NCSDAE)
Sinking or Swimming: Findings from a State Survey of Adult
Education Tuition and Financing Policies
2012
State Profiles:
TX, VA, WA, MN
Commentary
While only nineteen states reported that they have special funding available for incenting
innovation, based on information collected outside the scope of this survey, it is evident that
many other states are creatively utilizing a wide variety of funding sources to support this type of
innovation.
Due to restrictions on the comingling of federal adult education funds with other funding
sources, some states and local programs are “braiding” multiple sources of funds to develop a
more sustainable funding stream to serve students with low-basic skills. While braided models
typically are comprised of funding from a variety of different programs, together, they can build
a formidable source of funds with which to deliver programs. In addition, states that use braided
funding say that the benefits are beyond financial; the process also facilitates joint collaboration
between state agencies and divisions and can ensure that all have a stake in ensuring success of
the program or initiative.
Key Questions for Further Research




In a time of scarce resources, how can adult education programs better leverage business
and employer funding? Must states count such private funds in their “maintenance of
effort” reporting to the federal government?
What is the most common use for these other funding resources that adult education
funding cannot provide, either due to legal restrictions or scarcity of funding?
Are states administered by a certain agency more likely to leverage related funding
streams—for example, are states that are administered by the workforce system more
likely to have access to workforce dollars?
Are these funding partnerships easier to do when systems are governed by the same
agency?
STATE TUITION AND FEE POLICIES FOR ADULT EDUCATION COURSES
Historically, adult education programs have been provided for free or at a low-cost since students
in these courses are typically disadvantaged and low-income, often with significant family
responsibilities. However, programs that receive federal WIA Title II funds are allowed to
charge tuition/fees to students provided that they are “necessary and reasonable and do not
impose a barrier to the participation of disadvantaged persons that the program was designed to
serve.”18
See “Frequently Asked Questions on Adult Basic Education State Grant Administration,” U.S. Department of
Education. http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ovae/pi/AdultEd/dael-faqs.pdf.
18
13
CLASP/National Council of State Directors of Adult Education (NCSDAE)
Sinking or Swimming: Findings from a State Survey of Adult
Education Tuition and Financing Policies
2012
To better understand the landscape of tuition policies that dictate state and local program
decisions, we asked states about existing policies for charging tuition/fees for adult education
courses, including those for adult basic education, adult secondary education, and English
language services. We defined tuition/fees as costs beyond those for class materials, which are
often charged to students to cover the expenses for textbooks or other materials. We also
explicitly excluded from tuition/fees in this question the cost of taking the GED test. (Findings
about the cost of the GED to students and expected changes to state policy in light of the new
GED assessment in 2014 can be found on page 14.)
All of the survey states fit into three categories across the spectrum of charging tuition and fees:
(1) states that require local programs to charge tuition/fees and set the amount, (2) states that
allow programs to charge tuition/fees and (3) states that allow local programs to charge
tuition/fees.
Table 7. State Tuition and/or Fee Policies
States
2
Tuition and/or Fee Policy
Require local programs to charge fees and set the tuition/fee level
(HI, WA)
21
Allow programs to charge tuition/fees19
(AZ, CA, CO, IL*, IN, IA, KS, MD*,MI, MN, MO, NE, NV, NH*, OK, RI, SC,
TX*, UT, VA, WY)
20
Prohibit local programs from charging tuition/fees
(AL, AR, CT, DE, GA, ID, KY, LA, MA, MS, MT, NY, NC, ND, OH, PA, SD, TN,
VT, WI)
*Only allow fees for students with skills at the 9th grade level or above and/or ESL students.
Average Tuition Levels
While most states allow local programs to determine fee levels, two states set a statewide
required fee amount.20 One of the states that requires and sets fee levels $10 or less per course
and the other state requires a $25 per quarter tuition charge. The latter, however, administers
adult education programs through the community and technical college system and permits local
colleges to waive this fee for students with limited economic means.
Just under half of the states (21) indicate that they allow programs to charge tuition/fees. Of
these, four (4) states indicate that they only allow programs to charge tuition/fees for students at
higher skill levels, such as those in Adult Secondary Education (9th grade level and above) that
are often preparing for the GED® or for ESL students. The remaining states in this category
report that, though they allow programs to charge fees, few programs actually do and the state
may still play a role in determining the appropriateness and level of fees. One state says that the
maximum tuition and fee level is set by state statute and another reports that all proposed tuition
19
Three (3) of these states allow fees for only higher-level students, at the 9th grade level and above.
Though the state did not respond to the survey, Florida also requires and sets tuition levels for adult education
students.
20
14
CLASP/National Council of State Directors of Adult Education (NCSDAE)
Sinking or Swimming: Findings from a State Survey of Adult
Education Tuition and Financing Policies
2012
and fee charges must be approved by the state. In addition, just under half of the states (20)
report that they prohibit local programs from charging tuition/fees.
State Profiles:
WA, FL
Commentary
Charging tuition or fees for courses may be an attractive option for state agencies or legislatures
seeking to close budget gaps. However, findings from this survey and a recent survey of adult
education practitioners and program administrators suggests that states should proceed with
caution when instituting these new policies.
According to an informal survey facilitated by the LINCS listserv, proponents of tuition or fees
say that charging students a modest tuition helps them feel more engaged in their education. It
can also lead a shift to managed enrollment as fees are easier to collect on a regular schedule.
This shift may support a greater focus on “bridge: programs, which are typically taught in
cohorts rather than the traditional open-entry/open-exit model of adult education. Tuition can
also represent a modest and consistent revenue stream for programs struggling with funding.
On the other hand, charging a level of tuition that is too high or not providing waivers for tuition
can lead to drops in enrollment, as adult education students are often very low-income. In
addition, while some practitioners believe that charging a modest amount can lead to increase
persistence and more serious study, without additional supportive services, tuition alone may not
result in a significant increase in persistence or completion. Lastly, many adult education
programs are often thinly staffed and collecting and enforcing tuition can sometimes be more
costly than the revenue it brings in.
Key Questions for Further Research





Given plunging state revenues, could states institute fees that would not deter their
students to gather more revenue for the program? What tuition/fee level is the “right” fit?
Should students at different levels be charged different fees? Should some students be
charged higher rates based on their program type?
At what break-even point does the cost of collecting and tracking fees off-set the revenue
produced?
There is significant overlap in the role played by developmental education and adult
education, yet, as the survey responses show, adult education generally charges very
little, if at all. In states in which the adult education system is governed by the
postsecondary system, are there systemic reasons why a student might be served in one
system over another?
Should there be a more systematic way of driving students to free or low-cost adult
education programs (and with them, driving resources) instead of costly developmental
education? What changes would need to be made on the adult education system side to
facilitate this type of process?
15
CLASP/National Council of State Directors of Adult Education (NCSDAE)
Sinking or Swimming: Findings from a State Survey of Adult
Education Tuition and Financing Policies

2012
Given that some states do not allow charging for instructional expenses, how many states
are permitting these charges? What is the range and average of these charges? Assuming
that this is contributing to local funding, how much revenue is received in this manner?
STATE RESPONSES TO CHANGES IN THE GED®
Brief Overview of Change in GED® Assessment
One of the most significant recent developments in the field is the development of a new GED®
assessment that will be introduced in January 2014. This new assessment, which will be aligned
with the Common Core Standards, will replace the 2002 version of the GED® in both content and
in form. The new assessment will be taken on a computer; the paper version will only be
available in limited instances or for those needing an accommodation for a disability. The state
agency will no longer administer the test directly, but states may continue to be responsible for
administrative matters, such as issuing diplomas and transcripts and may have a role in selecting
which programs can proctor the test. The content of the test is also being updated to align with
the Common Core Standards that have been adopted by 45 states and the District of Columbia
for their K-12 systems.21
Typical GED® Testing Fees
Although most states report that adult education course fees are generally offered at a low cost to
students, those students who wish to take the GED® must often pay fees that cover the cost of
administering the test and processing the credential. States generally fall into three categories: (1)
states that charge a flat, uniform fee for the test, (2) states that allow local programs to determine
the cost for students, and (3) states that do not charge for the GED® test.
Table 8. State GED Testing Fee Policies
States
27
13
3
GED® Testing Fee Policies
Charge students a flat, uniform fee for the GED® test
(AL, CT, DE, GA, HI, ID, IL, IN, IA, KS, KY, MD, MA, MS, MT, NV, NH, NC,
OH, RI, SC, SD, UT, VT, VA, WA, WI)
Allow local programs to determine the cost for students
(AZ, CA, CO, LA, MI, MN, NE, ND, OK, PA, TN, TX, WY)
Do not charge for the GED® test
(AR, MO, NY)
21
Alaska, Nebraska, Texas, and Virginia have not adopted the Common Core Standards. Minnesota has not adopted
the Math portion, as it maintains that its existing standards for Math are higher than what the Common Core
requires.
16
CLASP/National Council of State Directors of Adult Education (NCSDAE)
Sinking or Swimming: Findings from a State Survey of Adult
Education Tuition and Financing Policies
2012
Cost of the GED® to Students
The majority of states that responded to this question report that they charge a flat, uniform fee
for the test. Since students who take this assessment must successfully pass a battery of five tests,
typically the state institutes a fee for each of the five content area tests and, in some cases, gives
students who take all five content areas a “discount.” The average costs reported below are for
the full battery of five GED® content area tests, which are all required should a student wish to
be certified as holding a GED®. The table below shows the range of fees to students in the states
that do not offer free GED® testing.
Furthermore, many first-time test-takers must repeat one or more of the content area tests. Some
states reported that “re-taking” is free or provided at a minimal cost to the student. Only one state
reported that re-testing is as high as $20-$25 per content area test.
Current GED® Cost Compared to New Cost Structure
Figure 3 shows the GED testing fee by state among states that have a flat fee. Of these states
with a flat fee, 11 charge $60 or less, 15 charge $61 – 119, and only two charge $120 or more.22
Across all of these states, the average cost is $71. According to the state responses in this survey,
a fee of $120 for the full battery of five tests would result in an increased cost to the student in
nearly every single state.
Georgia
Wisconsin
Iowa
Idaho
South Dakota
Indiana
Hawaii
Utah
Kansas
South Carolina
Median Value
Washington
Vermont
Mississippi
Delaware
New Hampshire
Massachussetts
Nevada
Kentucky
Virginia
Rhode Island
Montana
Illinois
Alabama
Maryland
Ohio
North Carolina
Connecticut
$13
$-
$20
$25
$65
$65
$60
$60
$58
$55
$55
$50
$50
$45
$40
$40
$60
$85
$85
$80
$75
$75
$75
$75
$75
$80
$100
$100
$95
$95
$95
$100
$120
$120
$128
$140
Figure 3. GED Testing Fees for States with a Flat Fee
22
Georgia, one of the states that charges $120 or above, is a pilot state for the CBT GED test and thus, has already
instituted the higher testing fee.
17
CLASP/National Council of State Directors of Adult Education (NCSDAE)
Sinking or Swimming: Findings from a State Survey of Adult
Education Tuition and Financing Policies
2012
Soon, the GED Testing Service will institute a new price structure. The new cost will be $24 per
test, for a total of $120 for a full battery of five tests. Re-taking any of the content area tests will
cost an additional $24 per test. These costs are for the existing test and may increase when the
new assessment is launched in 2014. For the vast majority of students, a GED testing fee of $120
for the full battery of tests will represent a stark cost increase.
State Actions to Keep the GED Affordable for Students
Currently, the state administers the GED test and most states are not prohibited from using state
funding to make the test more affordable for students.23 However, currently, only 14 of the 42
states who responded to this question say that they use state funding to make the test more
affordable for students. In some cases, this state funding is indirect—states pay for salaries or
other program costs so that local programs can keep the cost to students down. Twenty-nine
states report that they do not use state funding to make the GED more affordable for students. In
these states, other funding, such as Workforce Investment Act Incentive Grants or private
corporate donations, to provide the GED to students for free in certain situations or during
certain times of the year.
We also asked states if they expected any changes in state policy in light of the changes to the
GED in 2014. Interestingly, while only 14 states responded that they currently use state funding
to make the GED more affordable for students, 21 states responded that they anticipate changes
in state policy to keep GED testing fees more affordable for students after 2014. While it is too
early for states to have definitive information, states report that they are actively discussing
options such as:



Allocating more funding at the agency level to help offset the cost of the test to students,
Pursuing changes in state law that would prohibit funds being used to subsidize the test,
or
Working with other state systems, such as workforce development or social services, to
identify new resources for GED test-takers.
States
21
22
Plans to Keep the GED Affordable for Students after 2014
States anticipate changes to state policy in order to continue to help
keep the GED affordable for students.
States do not anticipate any change in state policy or are currently
in discussions about this at the state level.
State Actions to Seek Alternatives to the GED®
Most states have an alternative high school diploma (HSED) option that requires students to
meet certain criteria that can include a combination of taking an assessment (can include the
GED), completing high school credits, or completing college-level credits at a community
college, or demonstrating skills and knowledge earned through experience through a student
23
State law prohibits New York from charging for the GED test.
18
CLASP/National Council of State Directors of Adult Education (NCSDAE)
Sinking or Swimming: Findings from a State Survey of Adult
Education Tuition and Financing Policies
2012
portfolio. These existing options are not used widely in all the states due in part to the brandrecognition of the GED® as the standard secondary school equivalency exam and the lack of
awareness among students about these state-recognized alternatives.
As the new assessment is still a year and a half from implementation, most states note that it is
too early to determine what changes are likely to be made to state policy. However, nine states
report that they are exploring providing new options to students as an alternative to the GED®.24
These options range from an entirely new third-party assessment to boosting the popularity of
existing alternatives, such as state-recognized high school equivalencies. These conversations are
almost entirely driven by the expected increase in the cost to students and the interest of the state
in having an accessible and affordable option for adults and youth to obtain a secondary high
school credential if they are unable to receive a traditional high school diploma. However, other
considerations include the accessibility of the new, computer-based test and the ability of
students to quickly adapt to the higher academic standards of the new GED assessment.
State Profiles:
KY, NY, WI
Commentary
The upcoming change in the GED® is one of the most significant developments to occur in the
adult education field in decades. While the implications of this change are not yet known, the
vast majority of states express serious concern about what these changes will mean for students.
While most states indicate that they do not use state funding to make the test more affordable for
students, state policies that prohibit or limit fees are clearly serving this purpose. Indeed, policies
that make the process of going back to school or obtaining a high school equivalency simpler and
less costly yield great economic, social, and health returns across the country. Nationally, adults
without a high school diploma can cost the federal government $671 each year in temporary cash
assistance and in-kind benefits such as Medicaid, food stamps, and housing subsidies—but by
supporting these individuals to obtain a high school diploma or a secondary school equivalent,
this negative revenue could turn into an increase of over $5,400 in net taxes collected per student
(that is, total federal and state taxes less the value of cash and non-cash transfers).25 Furthermore,
educational attainment is one of the most important factors determining an individual’s wellbeing and that of their children. This return to investment of education is also replicated at the
state level.
Given the consequences of this shift to a likely more expensive test, states and the federal
government should consider the implications of a drop in the number of students who are able to
obtain high school equivalencies and the resulting drop in economic success. As noted above,
many states are taking pro-active measures to identify and lift up existing, lower-cost
24
A group of more than twenty states are exploring alternatives through a task force of the National Council of State
Directors of Adult Education, however only nine states reported in this survey that they were seeking an alternative
assessment.
25
Ishwar Khatiwada, Joseph McLaughlin, and Andrew Sum, with Sheila Palma, ―The Fiscal Consequences of
Adult Educational Attainment, prepared for the National Commission on Adult Literacy, December 2007,
http://www.nationalcommissiononadultliteracy.org/content/fiscalimpact.pdf.
19
CLASP/National Council of State Directors of Adult Education (NCSDAE)
Sinking or Swimming: Findings from a State Survey of Adult
Education Tuition and Financing Policies
2012
alternatives. Challenges for these states will include the time it takes to develop such an
assessment and the lack of brand recognition that the GED® enjoys among students nationally.
Key Questions for Further Research



Beyond the cost increase, what are the other implications for running the GED® test
outside of the state administrative structure?
To what extent can private or other federal funds, such as workforce funds, be used to
support the cost of the GED®?
How can federal policy mitigate the potential issues that may arise with a new private
structure of the GED?
CONCLUSION
Adult education is facing monumental financial and policy challenges, just as the system is
becoming more important than ever for individuals and the economy alike. Declining state
support, stagnant federal funding, and changes to the GED that are likely to raise costs overall,
could further threaten the ability of the system to continue to provide education at existing levels.
Considering that only two million of the potentially 93 million adults that could benefit from
services actually receive them, the nation risks perpetuating a generation of undereducated adults
if it does not drastically increase support for adult education. Recent evidence from one state that
instituted stringent tuition policies and concerns from practitioners nationwide about the ability
of students to afford a new, more expensive GED, suggest that raising costs to students should
not be a part of the revenue mix. Instead, the federal government and states should re-examine
their priorities and the return on investment that adult education can provide through increased
income and sales tax revenue, increased education for the children of these adults, and improved
health and safety outcomes. With a secondary and postsecondary education more important than
ever in our nation’s history, now is not the time to deny workers, English language learners, and
out-of-school youth educational opportunity and economic success.
20
CLASP/National Council of State Directors of Adult Education (NCSDAE)
Sinking or Swimming: Findings from a State Survey of Adult
Education Tuition and Financing Policies
2012
Appendix A
Percentage of Funding by Revenue Source
State
Local
State
Federal
Tuition
Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
District of Columbia
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
0
***
0
0
0
40
44
0
***
***
7
0
0
0
11
0
28
0
0
***
26
20
0
0
0
0
36
25
4
23
***
***
0
0
0
15
0
33
***
0
80
88
0
45
28
***
***
38
60
29
64
49
0
20
71
40
***
31
60
60
88
32
35
21
10
70
50
***
***
72
87
65
29
25
67
***
0
20
12
60
11
72
***
***
55
40
71
36
40
100
52
29
60
***
42
20
40
12
68
65
43
65
24
22
***
***
28
13
35
56
75
0
***
0
0
0
0
0
0
***
***
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
***
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
2
5
***
***
0
0
0
0
0
21
CLASP/National Council of State Directors of Adult Education (NCSDAE)
Sinking or Swimming: Findings from a State Survey of Adult
Education Tuition and Financing Policies
2012
Percentage of Funding by Revenue Source
State
Local
State
Oregon
***
***
Pennsylvania
15
32
Rhode Island
10
70
South Carolina
0
0
South Dakota
0
10
Tennessee
10
15
Texas
0
25
Utah
0
75
Vermont
0
81
Virginia
15
25
Washington
0
58
West Virginia
***
***
Wisconsin
43
22
Wyoming
0
63
9
45
Total
Notes: *** The state did not participate in the survey.
22
Federal
Tuition
***
53
20
0
90
75
75
25
19
53
16
***
35
37
45
***
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
7
26
***
0
0
1
CLASP/National Council of State Directors of Adult Education (NCSDAE)
Sinking or Swimming: Findings from a State Survey of Adult
Education Tuition and Financing Policies
2012
Appendix B
State Tuition Policies
State
Response
Alabama
Alaska
Prohibits
***
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
District of
Columbia
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Other
Prohibits
Allows
Allows
Prohibits
Prohibits
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Allows
Allows
Prohibits
Prohibits
***
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Other
Prohibits
Allows
Minnesota
Mississippi
Allows
Prohibits
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Allows
Prohibits
Allows
23
***
***
Prohibits
Requires
Allows
Allows
Allows
Additional Details
***
State allows local program to charge supplemental class fees, based
on a sliding scale, but does not allow local programs to charge tuition.
Schools may charge a small fee, commonly a "registration fee."
***
***
$10 fee for enrollment in ABE, ASE, and ESOL.
No more than $3 per unit of instruction at the ASE level only.
Some local programs have recently started charging class fees, but
this will be the first year that data will be collected.
***
State allows local programs to charge fees or tuition for upper level
students only, and does not set fees, but issues a policy that fees may
not present a barrier to participation.
Most programs do not charge, but a few charge a minimal materials
fee.
The amount charged by the local program has to be approved by the
state AEL office.
Maximum charge per year per student is $25.
CLASP/National Council of State Directors of Adult Education (NCSDAE)
Sinking or Swimming: Findings from a State Survey of Adult
Education Tuition and Financing Policies
2012
State Tuition Policies
State
Response
Additional Details
Allows
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Other
***
***
Prohibits
Prohibits
Prohibits
Prohibits
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Allows
***
Prohibits
Allows
Allows
Prohibits
Prohibits
Other
Texas
Allows
Prohibits
Allows
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Programs can charge for educational services above the ABE level
(8th grade functioning level).
***
***
Oklahoma only has two programs that charge an enrollment
processing fee.
***
State allows local programs to charge a minimal fee to Adult
Secondary Students (grades 9-12 reading level) only. Amount is
locally determined.
By state statute, programs may charge up to $100 per client per
program year. Any fees are set by the local boards of education or
local boards of trustees
The state requires a tuition charge of $25 and requires that each
college have a waiver policy for students with limited economic
means.
***
Requires
Washington
***
West Virginia
Prohibits
Wisconsin
Allows
Wyoming
Notes: *** The state did not participate in the survey.
24
CLASP/National Council of State Directors of Adult Education (NCSDAE)
Sinking or Swimming: Findings from a State Survey of Adult
Education Tuition and Financing Policies
2012
Appendix C
State Policies on GED Testing Fees
Uses State
Funding to
Keep the GED®
Test Affordable
for Students
Anticipates changes in
state policy on keeping
GED® testing fees
affordable for students
after the new
assessment in 2014
50
***
Varies by Local
Program
0 (No charge)
Varies by Local
Program
Varies by Local
Program
13
75
No
***
No
***
***
No
Yes

Yes
Yes

No
No
No
No
Yes
No
No
Yes
***
***
***
***
***
***
***
No
No
Yes
No
Yes
No
No
No
No
Yes
No
Yes
Yes
No
No
Yes
Yes
No
***
No
Yes
***
Yes
Yes
No
No
Yes
Yes
No
No
No
No
No
Yes
Cost for Full
Battery of GED®
Tests
State
Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
District of
Columbia
Florida
***
95 (paper)/160
(CBT)
Georgia
95
Hawaii
100
Idaho
50
Illinois
70(paper)/120(CBT)
Indiana
100
Iowa
85
Kansas
60
Kentucky
Varies by Local
Program
Louisiana
***
Maine
45
Maryland
65
Massachusetts
Varies by Local
Program
Michigan
Varies by Local
Program
Minnesota
75
Mississippi
0 (No charge)
Missouri
55
Montana
25
CLASP/National Council of State Directors of Adult Education (NCSDAE)
Seeking
alternative
assessment


***

Sinking or Swimming: Findings from a State Survey of Adult
Education Tuition and Financing Policies
2012
State Policies on GED Testing Fees
Uses State
Funding to
Keep the GED®
Test Affordable
for Students
Anticipates changes in
state policy on keeping
GED® testing fees
affordable for students
after the new
assessment in 2014
No
No
No
Yes
65
Yes
Yes

***
***
0 (No charge)
***
***
Yes
***
***
Yes
***
***
25
Yes
Yes
No
Yes
No
No
No
Yes
***
***
No
No
Yes
Yes
No
Yes
Cost for Full
Battery of GED®
Tests
State
Nebraska
Nevada
New
Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North
Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South
Carolina
South Dakota
Varies by Local
Program
60
Varies by Local
Program
40
Varies by Local
Program
***
Varies by Local
Program
55
80
95
No
Varies by Local
No
Program
Tennessee
Varies by Local
No
Program
Texas
85
No
Utah
75
Yes
Vermont
58
Yes
Virginia
75
Yes
Washington
***
***
West Virginia
120
No
Wisconsin
Varies by Local
No
Program
Wyoming
Notes: *** The state did not participate in the survey.
26
Seeking
alternative
assessment
***
No
No

No
No
Yes
Yes
Yes
***
No

***

No

CLASP/National Council of State Directors of Adult Education (NCSDAE)
Download

Sinking or Swimming: Findings from a State Survey of Adult