Financial Aid For Students Without High School Diploma Or GED

The General Educational Development (GED) test is accessible to any student seeking the equivalent of a high school diploma.  Unfortunately, the GED test is not free. The cost of the GED test varies depending on the state. For instance, the state of Maryland offers the GED test for as low as $45. However, normally the test cost around $120 for all four subject tests.

For a student who doesn’t have a high school diploma, but wants to continue on to college, a GED is likely their only option. Unfortunately, if they don’t have the financial resources to take the test it makes their path to higher education a little harder

Can you get financial aid for GED?

Sadly, there’s limited student aid or resources for those who want to take the GED test. Generally, the GED test cost less than $100 and there is currently no federal aid to help students take the test. If you can’t afford the cost, consider getting financial aid assistance from a local vocational agency or the department of social services in your state.

What types of programs are available for students who need help paying their GED?

Students who need help paying for their GED don’t have a lot of options to help them pay for it. However, the department of social services in your state or local vocational agency may be able to help you pay for your GED test. You can also apply for grants and scholarships from private institutions and/or organizations. To check out some private scholarships, visit Fastweb.

What types of financial aid programs are available for finishing high school (in person or online)?

Technically, there aren’t any financial aid programs available for those interested in finishing high school in person or online. However, if you need help with finishing high school, reach out to a local vocational agency and/or the department of social services in your state. If there is student aid available, they may be able to help you find it.

Can you get financial aid for college without GED or High school diploma?

In order to qualify for financial aid for college, you must have a high school diploma, GED or associate’s degree. Don’t have any of those requirements? Don’t worry! You may be able to receive financial aid for college under the Ability to Benefit (ATB) act. ATB makes it possible for those who don’t have a high school equivalency level of education to be able to pursue higher education.

Federal financial aid programs for GED

There aren’t many federal financial aid programs for GED. Thankfully, the U.S Department of Education revised and reopened the Ability to Benefit in 2015. ABT allows students who don’t have a high school diploma or its equivalent to be eligible for Title IV financial aid. What is Title IV financial aid? Similar to the Federal Pell Grant, and other governmental programs, Title IV financial aid is federally funded. In order to be eligible for Title IV, financial students must complete numerous requirements and government-approved tests such as:

  • Enroll in a school that receives Title IV funding.
  • Complete at least six credits worth of coursework that applies to a degree or certificate program.
  • Pass the Ability to Benefit test provided by the Department of Education

If you want more information about the Ability to Benefit act, contact your school’s financial aid office. They will be able to provide the information necessary to determine whether you may qualify for the Ability to Benefit act.

GED financial aid programs by state

Each state has its own financial aid programs for GED. To find out about the various financial aid programs in your state, visit State Contacts.

Going back to school is a huge step and although there aren’t many options for those pursuing a GED certificate, you got this! The first step is taking the GED test here. If you need a little extra help, you can find study materials on

Whether you’re finishing high school or you have plans to go back to college, getting your GED could be a huge help.

How to File FAFSA®