Adult students in classroom

Learn necessary skills

Minnesota Adult Basic Education (ABE) is a statewide system that serves approximately 75,000 adults annually. There is no cost for ABE classes, which are offered in the following areas:

  • Adult Diploma
  • General Education Development (GED)
  • English as a Second Language (ESL or EL)
  • Family Literacy
  • Basic Skills Enhancement
  • Workplace Literacy
  • U.S. Citizenship/Civics

ABE students work on improving basic skills to help prepare them for future education, training or employment opportunities. ABE services are delivered through a network of all Minnesota school districts, as well as other partners including the correctional system and community-based organizations.

To be eligible for ABE, an individual must be:

  • age 17 or older and not enrolled in or required to be enrolled in any school in the K-12 system, 

And must meet one or both of the following criteria:

  • lacks a secondary (high school) credential
  • functions below the 12th grade level in any of the basic academic areas including reading, math, and ability to read, write and understand English.

Find your local Adult Basic Education Program to learn about courses offered and how to access services. 

older and younger students in a college classroom

General Education Development (GED)

In Minnesota, individuals who do not have a high school diploma may be able to earn a state of Minnesota GED® Diploma by passing the General Educational Development Test. The four parts of the GED test measure academic competencies similar to many of those required of a Minnesota high school graduate.

If you are 19 years of age and are not currently enrolled in high school, you are eligible to take the GED® in Minnesota. If you are 17 or 18 years old and are not currently enrolled in high school, you will need to apply for an age waiver before testing. You will need to bring a valid, current government-issued photo ID to the testing site. Find out more about GED requirements, how to prepare for the test and download an age waiver form and more on the GED page on the Minnesota Department of Education's website.