College prepares for GED changes coming in 2014

by: Allison Latos Updated:

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Thousands of people trying to earn an education to get a better job are running out of time.

Big changes are coming next month to the General Equivalency Diploma test, including a high price tag.

Eyewitness News anchor Allison Latos found out how one local community college is scrambling to help students get a diploma.

Central Piedmont Community College student Cecilia Lizcano is rushing to earn her GED.

"To get a better job and learn better English because English is not my first language," Lizcano said.

Dean of College and Career Readiness Kathi McLendon said students are scrambling to get a diploma by the end of December because next year, big changes are coming to the test.

"From October to December of this year compared to last year we've had a 400 percent increase in the number of seats being taken to complete the GED test," McLendon said.

The GED changes every 10 years and the test will be on the computer.

The biggest blow will come to students' wallets. The test fee is jumping from $35 to $120.

CPCC contacted more than 2,000 students to warn them of the changes.

"We're now testing from morning to night six days a week, including Saturday, and we are still booked from now until the end of the year," McLendon said.

Surrounding community colleges are booked solid too, so students who don't earn a diploma this year will be forced to start over in 2014.
Lizcano said she is lucky she's not one of them.

"Now I'm able to help my kids with their homework," she said. "Now with a GED diploma, I have better opportunities."

CPCC is so worried the increased cost will stop people from earning their GED next year, the school is looking for funding and donations to help students afford it.

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