Gov. Mark Dayton announced on Thursday that General Educational Development (GED) testing will be free for as many as 2,000 Minnesotans through July.
A federal grant will allow those who don't have a high school diploma to take the test – which usually costs $120 – at no cost, according to a news release.
The Dayton administration says having a high school diploma or GED increases the income people earn by 37.5 percent, or by about $10,000 dollars.
"This program will help reduce economic disparities in Minnesota, racially and geographically," Dayton says.
Minnesota has been investing $125,000 each year to reduce the cost of taking the test for some Minnesotans. The Federal Workforce Investment Act adds $100,000 more in funding, making it free for several months.
The governor's proposed supplemental budget would use $120,000 to keep the test free into 2017.
Officials tell the Duluth News Tribune that Minnesota's economy would also benefit from residents with GEDs making more money.