How the GI Bill created a market for the GED

Nancy Marshall-Genzer Jun 23, 2014
HTML EMBED:
COPY

How the GI Bill created a market for the GED

Nancy Marshall-Genzer Jun 23, 2014
HTML EMBED:
COPY

The GI Bill turned 70 this week. Among the benefits provided, the bill enabled returning WWII veterans to go to college.  

Those without high school diplomas turned to the General Educational Development Testing Service, still known as the GED. 

When he signed the GI Bill on June 22, 1944,  FDR created a huge new market for the private company behind the GED test, which had been created a few years earlier. 

Of course, in those days, the test was mainly taken by returning troops who didn’t have a high school diploma. More recently, the demographic interested in taking the test has changed a great deal.

“So now we’ve got the GED heavily weighted toward the prison population,” says Lois Quinn, a research scientist at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee’s Employment and Training Institute. “So the prisons become the greatest customer for the test.”

Quinn also says more teenagers are taking the test after dropping out of high school. 

Recently, the GED’s value has been put into question.

“To the extent that there are more people with a high school diploma, then that would put people with a GED at a disadvantage,” says Chris Swanson, vice president of Editorial Projects in Education, which publishes Education Week.

In fact, the military now prefers recruits with a high school diploma over those with a GED. 

 

 

 

We’re here to help you navigate this changed world and economy.

Our mission at Marketplace is to raise the economic intelligence of the country. It’s a tough task, but it’s never been more important.

In the past year, we’ve seen record unemployment, stimulus bills, and reddit users influencing the stock market. Marketplace helps you understand it all, will fact-based, approachable, and unbiased reporting.

Generous support from listeners and readers is what powers our nonprofit news—and your donation today will help provide this essential service. For just $5/month, you can sustain independent journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed.