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April 11--  The cost of taking a GED test in Georgia is going up as of July 1st.

The Technical College System of Georgia says the price is increasing from $95 to as high as $250.

The national administrator of the GED tests announced the increase in March and it was approved by the state board at its meeting Thursday.  "We were asked to vote on it, but it didn't matter.  It was either do that or not have a GED program.  The test is a national test and you have to go by what their rules are," according to Dr. Cathy Mitchell, president of Southestern Technical College.

The state is advising current GED students to take their tests before the end of June to avoid the rate increase.  

"It's going to be very difficult for our students to come up with that kind of money.  Our Foundation has been very good about raising money for adult education and I'm sure it will continue to do so.  I remember a few years ago it was $45, then it went to $55 and then $95.   Now it will be about two-and-a-half times what it is currently and that's a large increase," she said.

Toombs, Montgomery and Tattnall counties have been working for more than ten years to increase the number of people taking the GED because it's important to the area's economic growth.

"It's very difficult to bring an industry into a community which has a large number of people without high school diplomas.  That's one of the things a business looks at right off the bat. I'd much rather pay $250 for someone to take a test and get their GED and become a taxpayer than the other way around," Dr. Meehan notes.