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

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

The options tab below lists all the alternatives Madison College has to offer for earning your GED or HSED.

2015 Madison College High School Completion graduate testimonials

General Info

The two options for high school completion are the GED certificate and the HSED. 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. There are multiple ways to earn an HSED at Madison College - take a look at the options tab to learn more about them.

At Madison College we also provide our students with support services for the high school completion options. Our campuses are set up with Learning Centers that focus on helping build and improve skills to ensure success in any high school completion option. 

  • Although taking GED/HSED prep classes are not required, it is encouraged and has been proven to help students successfully pass their GED/HSED exams.
  • There is no set timeline for completion; some students pass all four exams in one month and others take a year or more to complete. Please see the GED/HSED testing webpage for more information on testing.
  • To attend the pre-test sessions and take the entrance exam for GED classes in Spanish, you must meet with a Madison College counselor. Make an appointment with the HEP program at (608) 259-2977.
  • Accomodations are available. Please contact Disability Resource Services for more information.

It can be hard to determine which option is best for each individual, so we recommend contacting us in the School of Academic Advancement at (608) 258-2440 to help you make the best decision for you.

Your first option at Madison College is to take and pass General Educational Development (GED) tests. You will then be issued a Certificate of General Educational Development. For more information on testing, please visit the Testing Center webpage.

Your second option is to complete a High School Equivalency Diploma (HSED). There are different ways to earn an HSED: 

  • Pass the GED tests and then complete the health, citizenship, and employability skills and career awareness counseling requirements
  • Complete our 1 year competency program through structured classes and independent learning, often referred to as our 509 program
  • Receive validation of your foreign degree or diploma
  • Document 22 high school or college credits, including:
    • 4 credits in English
    • 3 credits social studies, including government or civics
    • 2 credits math
    • 2 credits science
    • 0.5 credits in health
  • Finish 24 semester credits or 32 quarter credits at a university or technical college, including instruction in any area of study you didn't cover in high school
  • Partner with your high school, in accordance with Wisconsin Statue 118.15 (Compulsory Education). Please contact your high school for this partnership program option.

GED/HSED classes at MATC are offered at:

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

High School Equivalency Diploma Program (HEP) for Migrant Workers

For information (608)259-2977

What is HEP?

HEP Logo

HEP is an educational program enabling seasonal and/or migrant farm workers and their family members who did not complete high school to earn a GED.  HEP is an open entry/open exit class designed for adults to prepare for and pass the five GED exams.

How do you qualify?

  • Provide proof of temporary (seasonal) agricultural work from the applicant or a family member
  • Students must be 18.5 years or older
  • Must have a valid picture ID from the US or the applicant's native country
    • Drivers license
    • Consular ID
    • Passport
  • Students that qualify for the Migrant Education Program, Title 1
  • Students that qualify for WIA-167, National Program for Migrant Workers

What does it include?

  • Paid exam fees
  • Flexible class offerings in many communities
  • Biweekly allowance for attendance, including childcare and transportation
  • GED instruction in Spanish or English
  • Tutoring assistance
  • Educational and Career counseling
  • Invitations to events
  • Motivation to complete your diploma

Contact us:


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

A limited number of 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/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.