School of Academic Advancement

211 North Carroll Street 
Madison WI 53703

CALL: (608) 258-2440

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GED/HSED Information

The state of Wisconsin offers multiple options to complete your high school equivalency and Madison College's General Education Development (GED) and High School Equivalency Diploma (HSED) programs can help adult learners earn either equivalency. Whether you are working for a GED or HSED to maintain your current job, get a new job that requires a high school diploma or to enter college to continue your education, the School of Academic Advancement at Madison College can help you get started.

To earn a GED or HSED in Wisconsin, you must meet certain criteria:

  • 18 1/2 or older
  • Wisconsin resident
  • Not currently enrolled in a high school
  • Do not have a high school diploma

Please see the options below that Madison College offers for earning your GED or HSED. If you need help deciding which is the best option for you, please contact us in the School of Academic Advancement at (608) 258-2440.


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2017 GED/HSED Graduation

  • General Information

    There are several ways to earn your high school equivalency through Madison College. The GED option requires passing four tests in language arts, math, science, and social studies, and is accepted by most employers, technical colleges and community colleges. Some employers, universities and branches of the military, however require an HSED or high school diploma. 


    • Madison-Downtown
    • Madison-Commercial Ave.
    • Madison-South
    • Reedsburg
    • Portage
    • Fort Atkinson
    • Watertown

    Accommodations are available. Please contact Disability Resource Services for more information. 

  • Cost

    GED and HSED classes are offered tuition-free to Wisconsin residents but may require the purchase of a textbook or other materials. Our campuses have learning centers that provide GED/HSED students with individualized Pre-GED or GED/HSED instruction as extra support for structured classes or as an independent learning option.

    The cost for obtaining your GED is $135, which includes four GED exams ($30 per test) and a diploma fee ($15). The HSED testing option has an additional cost for the health and civics exams ($5 each). Retest fees may also be applicable if a passing score is not obtained the first time the test is taken. For the GED, fees are paid by voucher, credit or debit card when making your testing appointment online at

    GED vouchers are available if the payment of the test fees would present a substantial financial hardship. Financial hardships are determined by an application process and verified by the Testing Office. If you have questions about whether you would meet the criteria and qualify for financial assistance, please call the Madison College Testing Center at (608)246-5220.

  • GED Academy

    The GED Academy course is free of charge and will prepare students to finish the GED and prepare for all of the official 4 GED exams and new civics exam in one semester. All students will receive intensive and career advising and help transitioning to college.

    Students will study in the areas of Reasoning through:

    • Language Arts
    • Mathematics
    • Science
    • Social Studies
    • Civics

    In addition, students will be able to:

    • Access GED AZTEC software that will help you study from home
    • Access official GED practice tests so you know when you are ready to pass the official exams
    • Learn other skills, tips, and strategies to be successful on the GED Exam

    Students who have an attendance rate of 75 percent or higher will receive vouchers that will pay for the entire cost of the GED exams (value of $135). GED Academy courses are offered in the morning and evening, at the Commercial Avenue campus as well as the Madison College-South campus.

    All students interested in the GED/HSED programs at Madison College MUST attend a Pre-Test session to get started. Registration is required.

  • 5.09 HSED

    The 5.09 HSED is a competency-based program that is designed to prepare students with the knowledge and skills necessary to earn a High School Equivalency Diploma. Students complete coursework in eight subjects: Reading, Writing, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, Civics, Health, and Employability skills. This program is designed for students to finish in one year. In order to finish in one year, students must study a minimum of 15 hours/week. The 5.09 HSED course is offered at the following campuses:

    • Downtown Campus
    • Madison College-South
    • Fort Atkinson
    • Portage
    • Reedsburg
    • Watertown

    The courses in the 5.09 HSED program are offered free of tuition. The only costs for students in the program is the books and materials as well as the $15 diploma fee. 

    All students interested in the GED/HSED programs at Madison College MUST attend a Pre-Test session to get started. Registration is required.

  • HEP Program

    The High School Equivalency Program (HEP) is an educational program targeted to help migrant and seasonal farm workers and their immediate family members earn a GED/HSED. HEP classes are offered in English and Spanish.

    What does HEP provide?

    • Flexible class offerings in many communities
    • Paid exam fees (English/Spanish)
    • GED instruction in English or Spanish
    • Stipends to cover the cost of transportation
    • Tutoring assistance
    • Resources to explore better job opportunities
    • Educational and career counseling
    • Basic Computer Skills
    • Invitations to cultural and academic related events
    • Motivation to complete your diploma

    Contact us:

  • GED/HSED Transcripts and Diplomas

    To order a GED/HSED Transcript and Credential earned in Wisconsin, you may order your transcript through the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction by completing their DPI form.

    Employers, colleges and universities that need to verify that a candidate has a GED or HSED from Wisconsin can receive this information directly from DPI.

    If your transcript is needed for Madison College admissions and you tested at any of the Madison College campuses, please contact the Testing Center at Madison College for verification at (608) 246-5220, option 2.

  • Spanish GED Program

    Latino Academy logo

    In collaboration with the Latino Academy of Workforce Development, Madison College offers classes taught in the Spanish Language to help students prepare for the GED exams. Classes are held at the Latino Academy of Workforce Development at 1917 Lakepoint Dr, Madison, WI 53713. 

    Latino Academy provides wrap around support services such as:

    • Career counseling
    • Case management
    • Child care provided on-site. 

    Students study the Five GED subject areas:

    1. Reasoning through Language Arts
    2. Mathematics
    3. Science
    4. Social Studies
    5. Civics

    Students complete the exams in the Spanish language. 

  • Compulsory Education Program

    The Compulsory Attendance Law (Wisconsin Statute 118.15) allows 17 to 18 year old students to modify their high school curriculum with the written approval of their parents/guardians and the school board, and enroll in a program leading to a High School Equivalency Diploma (HSED) given to them by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. A contract will be done between Madison College, the school district and the student along with their parent/guardian if student is not 18.

    • Class meets Monday – Friday from 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
    • Students must attend 15 hours per week.
    • Student is eligible to finish their HSED at the end of the semester in which they turn 18 years of age or when their class graduates.
    • Test fees are $135 and is the responsibility of the school district to pay.

    Please contact Leah Wiseman at (608) 258-2435  or if you have further questions

  • Other High School Completion Programs and Options

    Wisconsin offers other options for adults to complete their high school equivalency. Madison College offers guidance and counseling for adults to ensure they choose the option that is best for them. Learn more about Wisconsin’s GED/HSED options

    For questions about which options might be best for you, please contact the School of Academic Advancement at 608-258-2440.