More than 1.2 million adults in Georgia don’t have a high school diploma. For many, taking the GED Test and earning a GED credential can change their lives for the better, including opening doors to higher-paying jobs. Except that some can’t afford the $160 that is required to take the five-part GED Test.
To help alleviate that, AT&T is donating $50,000 to the Technical College System of Georgia for GED testing scholarships for less-fortunate Georgians. The money will also help some GED students take the next step and complete a technical college education.
This latest donation from AT&T will allow about 1,200 low-income Georgians to receive a scholarship voucher that will help pay for most of the cost of the full GED Test.
To be considered for the award, the learner must be enrolled in a state-approved adult education class and have a minimum score of 500 on each of the five GED practice exams that cover reading, writing, science, social studies and mathematics.
Sylvia Russell, the president of AT&T Georgia, announced the donation and presented the check to TCSG Commissioner Ron Jackson during the monthly meeting of the TCSG State Board on Dec. 6. Russell is also a member of the board that sets the policies and procedures for Georgia’s 25 technical colleges and their technical education, adult education, and workforce training programs.
"The adult education program of the Technical College System of Georgia is a critical part of the education system in Georgia ensuring qualified low-income adults have access to the classes and testing they need to continue their education and skills training," said Russell. "We are very pleased to support the TCSG's efforts to improve the lives of Georgians and to strengthen our workforce which is vital to the economic environment in our state."
The TCSG Office of Adult Education is also partnering with six of the state’s 25 technical colleges on the development of a new initiative, Georgia Accelerating Opportunity, that will allow adult learners to enroll in college while also preparing to take the GED Test. A portion of the AT&T donation will provide 65 program participants with $150 awards for their college books, supplies and equipment.
Last year, the TCSG Office of Adult Education served almost 82,000 Georgians through Adult Basic and Secondary Education and GED instruction and testing programs. More than 17,000 of those adult learners passed the GED test and earned their GED diploma. According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2011 Statistical Abstract, a person with a high school or GED diploma earns approximately $10,000 more annually than a person without those education credentials.
For more information about the TCSG, go to www.tcsg.edu