64 Missoulians Get Diplomas After Completing HiSET - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

64 Missoulians Get Diplomas After Completing HiSET

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Friday was a big night for 64 Missoula graduates who walked the stage, after completing Montana's new High School Equivalency Test, or HiSET.

"It feels awesome. This is a day I thought would honestly never come," said graduate, Frederick Hansen.

These students didn't complete high school, but now they're the first in Missoula to complete HiSET.

"They have comeback, they've studied hard, and taken a seven hour test and passed," said Monique Fortmann, the Director of Missoula County Public School's Adult Education Division.

After the fee for the GED exam nearly doubled, Montana adopted HiSET, making it the first state in the nation to offer the test.

"What people are finding out, is if they want to support their family and get a career, that a high school diploma is that next step on the ladder," Fortmann said.

Fortmann said the passing rate is 92% for the new exam.

"The passing rate we had with the GED was anywhere from 78 to 82%," Fortmann said.

This gave students like Frederick Hansen a second chance.

"I had been working on my GED since I was 18, but then when I had kids, it really slowed things down," Hansen said.

Many of the graduates said without a test, like the HiSET, they didn't think going to college was possible.

"Now I want to go to the University of Tennessee," Hansen said.

"My next plan would be to go to the Missoula College, and go to Spokane after that for their ultra tech program," said another grad.

Now they feel ready to achieve their dreams.

HiSET is offered at different locations around the state. Those who have taken part of the GED exam, can combine those scores with the HiSET, if they take the test by this December.