CLEVELAND - Ohioans without high school diplomas will have to pay more next year to take a test for an equivalency certificate but can receive vouchers toward that expense if they get career counseling beforehand at certain sites.
The GED test in Ohio is expected to cost $120 in January -- triple the current cost -- with the switch from a paper test to a computerized version.
Test-takers can get $80 in vouchers toward that cost if they first meet with a counselor at one of Ohio's 91 career-technical district sites, The Plain Dealer in Cleveland reported. The program was allotted $4 million in the state budget.
"A lot of people take the GED because they want a better job," Ohio Department of Education spokesman John Charlton said. "If they are getting counseling to help with a resume and learn about jobs, it helps."
The American Council on Education, which administers the GED, decided the test should reflect college-readiness standards.
More than 19,200 Ohioans took the GED last year, and 13,248 -- more than two-thirds of them -- passed. About 1.4 million Ohio had no high school diploma, according to the GED Testing Service, the state's vendor.
The new test, which is scored immediately, contains sections on reading, math, science and social studies, each costing $30. The vouchers for test-takers who get career counseling apply $20 to each section, Charlton said.
People who have passed some but not all sections of the old test will have to start fresh with the new version, the newspaper reported.
Those who fail and must retake a section will be charged only $10, Charlton said.
The number taking the GED increased by nearly 2,000 between November and mid-December compared with last year, Charlton said.
The GED is accepted as an alternative to a high school diploma.
Statistics show people lacking a high school diploma or GED have trouble finding jobs, the newspaper reported.