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Free GED And HiSET Testing Available at NECC

Submitted by on February 14, 2023 – 3:35 pm

Haverhill, MA (February 13, 2023)– The General Educational Development (GED) and High School Equivalency (HiSET) tests are now both free to Massachusetts residents, thanks to funding from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Both tests are available through the Northern Essex Academic Placement and Testing Center.

“Covering the costs eliminates a barrier for test candidates unable to attain their high school credentials through traditional means,” said NECC Academic Placement and Testing Coordinator Donna Felisberto. The fees for high school equivalency exams cost as much as $143 per test, depending on the setting and test mode. Almost 9,000 Massachusetts adult learners took high school equivalency tests in 2021.

sign for northern essex community college at entrance to the Haverhill campus

The Academic Placement & Testing Center offers in-person services on the NECC Haverhill Campus and the Lawrence Campus.

“By removing testing fees, we are making an investment in Massachusetts residents and their futures,” said Governor Maura Healey in a DESE press release. “No one should be held back from earning their equivalency credential due to costs. This investment will encourage more Massachusetts adult learners to continue their education, earn their credential, and begin higher education or enter the workforce.”

“A high school equivalency credential can be the ticket to economic mobility,” remarked Lt. Gov. Kim Driscoll. “By eliminating the fee burden for students earning their high school credentials, we are making sure cost is no longer a barrier to a brighter future. I hope more Massachusetts students are encouraged to apply for and earn their credentials through this opportunity.”

Funding for this initiative will come from the adult education line item in the budget, which is expected to fund the cost of equivalency tests permanently. The Department estimates it will cost the state approximately $800,000 in the first year.

Felisberto points out many benefits to obtaining high school equivalency credentials, including job advancement, the ability to enter college with high school credentials, and, in some cases, exemption from other college placement exams.

NECC offers an array of services through the Academic Placement and Testing Center.  “As a National College Testing Association (NCTA) certified testing center, we offer a variety of testing services,” Felisberto said. “Whether you are looking to earn college credit by completing an exam on a certain subject, take a test for licensure and certifications, take the GED or HiSET to earn your high school equivalency credential, or take the ATI TEAS test for our health profession programs, we can help.” You can find more information about testing at NECC on the webpage or via email Vouchers for the free GED and HiSET tests can be found under the “Registration” section of the page.