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Chicago Tribune: New GED Test Will Test Resolve

9/30/2013 12:00 AM

​Kimberly Phiffer dropped out of high school her senior year, believing it was better to leave on her own terms than be told she didn't have enough credits to graduate. Four years after the decision that she said she deeply regrets, and months after losing a pharmacy job because she lacks a diploma, Phiffer enrolled in a GED prep class at Kennedy-King College in Chicago's Englewood neighborhood.

She's confident she can pass, but her main stumbling block is the $50 testing fee. And if she can't save the money and complete the test by the end of 2013, she'll have to pay more than double that to take it next year, when the cost jumps to $120.

"I take care of myself," said Phiffer, 22. "It's hard taking care of yourself, let alone coming up with extra money to get to school, then pay for a test that's now more expensive." ...

The new test debuts at a time when adult educators are revamping their curricula and offering scholarships to encourage those who pass the GED exam to continue directly onto college, said Sameer Gadkaree, associate vice chancellor of adult education at the City Colleges of Chicago, which includes Kennedy-King.

"What we've seen is students who just have a GED are not able to get a good job at a family-sustaining wage, and so for us the focus is really on making sure those students not only get the GED but ultimately go to college and get a college degree," Gadkaree said.

Read the entire article, published on the front page of the September 30th edition, at

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