September 14, 2012 12:27:12 PM
GED small cost for big payoff
Reading your opinion in Wednesday's paper on the increasing expense of the GED test, I didn't know whether to laugh or cry.
At first glance, I agree that a cost jump from the current $40 to $75 next year and $120 in 2014 seems steep. But I don't know the cost to upgrade the test and you failed to be specific on that subject. You then make the leap that an $80 cost increase may be prohibitive to those needing a GED.
Pardon me, but you seem to be losing sight of the big picture. Education is an investment. Those needing a GED, for whatever reason, missed their first opportunity to achieve a high school diploma at no personal expense and are now being given a second chance. It is well known that those without a high school diploma or GED have a higher rate of unemployment.
Employed adults between the ages of 18 to 34 make an average annual income of $27,458. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported in 2011 that the median income for workers 25 and older without a high school diploma or GED was $23,504. Those with a diploma or GED earned a median income of $33,176 annually. I'm going to assume that information is correct because I'm sure the government wouldn't lie to me. So for a cost of $80 to $120, a worker can increase his/her median income by about $10,000 annually. Such a deal. If I could invest about $100 once and earn about $10,000 annually, I'd spend it in a New York minute. That would go a long way to paying what Kiplinger reports is the average US cell phone bill of $50 to $60 per month.
Martin M. Pomphrey, Jr. M.D.