People without high school diplomas can receive an equivalent credential known as the General Educational Development (GED). Although each state establishes its own requirements for the GED test, common subjects include math, science, social studies, writing and reading. As with any business, starting a GED school involves research and planning.

Step 1

Decide whether you will register as a business or nonprofit entity. As a nonprofit, you might be eligible for state grants or subsidies. However, you could adjust your operations as needed if you form a for-profit business.

Step 2

Analyze your state’s program qualifications. For example, some places have a minimum age requirement that test-takers must be at least 16 or 18 years old. Since the GED is administered in other languages, consider whether you will offer GED prep classes in Spanish.

Step 3

Determine school fees. Carefully review your start-up costs and estimate a break-even point (revenues minus expenses equals zero). Be familiar with the number of students that a class requires (For example, to pay costs you may need at least three students who pay $150 to meet for 10 hours.) and the number of classes that can meet.

Step 4

Develop lesson strategies and student-teacher ratios (max five students per teacher). Obtain textbooks if your school will use traditional prep books. Purchase multiple computers if you will use custom software.

Step 5

Advertise about the school. You could post an ad in a newspaper or at local workforce commission offices. Highlight the advantages of earning a GED, such as career advancement opportunities and the ability to pursue higher education like an associate’s or bachelor’s degree.

Step 6

Track your competition, as many GED programs already exist. Distinguish yourself like by creating a study room for kids, scheduling convenient school classes or offering individual tutoring.


Help students register for the test, such as by informing your students about test fees and identification requirements. Develop promotions, such as discounted rates associated with student referrals.


Contact your state’s education agency to determine whether you can become an official GED testing location.

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