An unfortunate change about how the Government of Alberta funds the the province's GED program had the potential to leave some Albertans behind.

The new change restricts the number of people who qualify for free GED courses and exams.

Dana Davidson, Site Manager of Drumheller Community Learning Society said all students previously received everything they needed to get their GED for free.

"Basically, your exam fee is covered, your instruction hours are covered, your books and your calculators. All that stuff would be covered for you, for that class."

Now, only certain students will qualify to get those materials at no cost.

"Before, we were able to take anyone who was 18 years old and has been out of school for a year," explained Davidson. "But now, there's an application where you have to be approved. They have now put in an income threshold and if you meet that income threshold, then you can get accepted into the program."

This doesn't mean people who earn more than the income threshold are unable to take the GED courses and exams, it just means that they now have to pay. Because the courses are offered via teleconference, Davidson said Drumheller was able to keep the costs low for students.

"If you don't qualify, we're still able to offer you a seat in the class. It would cost you $100 and also an extra $200 to pay for the exam fee. So, for $300, you could get into the class and still get your GED."

She added that between 80 and 100 people sign up for the GED course each session and that she runs three sessions a year. Although the October course is full, registration is already open for January.

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