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What is it?

Improving your reading and math skills may increase your chances of getting a job. If you did not finish high school, your first step is to work toward a GED. A GED is a certificate for people who did not finish high school and do not have a high school diploma. In order to get a GED, you will need to pass a GED test. There are free community programs that will help you study to improve your skills so that you can earn your GED. (GED stands for General Equivalency Degree.)

What do I need to know?

Financial Aid

There are services that can help you pay for your education.  Call the Financial Aid Office at the school where you would like to attend and ask about the different types of aid that may be available.  If you are in an employment program, ask them for help with finding money to help pay for your education.

There is money offered through the federal government, state government and schools that may be available to you to help you pay for your education.  If you are looking for help to pay for school, you should complete and submit a FAFSA - Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Under a new federal law, students who were convicted of drug crimes prior to their enrollment and application for federal financial aid, will no longer be subject to a delay or a denial of aid due to their conviction. As of July 1, 2006, the federal financial aid ban will only apply to students who are convicted of a drug offense while they are in school and receiving federal financial assistance.

For-profit colleges and universities

Be aware that in addition to state funded schools such as Community Colleges and Universities there are a variety of private, for-profit schools who want you to enroll with them. These schools provide students with a degree and skills but are primarily dedicated to making money for the companies that own them. If you are interested in attending a for-profit college or university find out what their graduation rate is and compare it to their default rate (students who don’t complete their degree and stop paying their federal student loans), and if they have any complaints against them with the Better Business Bureau. In most cases, state funded colleges and universities have a commitment to student success and to providing students with the support and resources they need to complete their program.