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BEdA Handbook
Eligible BEdA Students

Requirements for Enrollment in Basic Education for Adults

Adults and out-of-school youth may not be denied participation in Basic Education for Adults (BEdA, ESL, GED® Prep, HSC, HSE, HS+) because they do not have state residency, do not have U.S. citizenship, or because they will not share their Social Security Numbers.

To participate in Adult Basic Education in Washington State, individuals:

  1. Must be at least 16 years old, and not enrolled or be required to be enrolled  in secondary school (including online options), and
  2. Who also: 
    • “Lack sufficient mastery of basic educational skills to enable the individuals to function effectively in society”; 
    • Do not have a high school diploma or GED® and “have not achieved an equivalent level of education;” or
    • Are “unable to speak, read, or write the English language.”

High School Release

State regulations require that certain students under 18 years of age obtain permission from their high school in order to participate in BEdA: “WAC 180-51-050 … (7) A student must first obtain a written release from their school district to enroll in a high school completion program under subsection (3) of this section if the student has not reached age eighteen or whose class has not graduated.”


There is no state or U.S. citizenship residency requirement for BEdA participation. Proof of residency of citizenship is not required to enroll in Basic Education for Adults classes.


People who are in this country on a student (F-1, M-1) visa are not allowed to participate in publicly (state and federal) funded adult education. 

People in this country as “nannies” or “au pairs” on a study exchange (J-1) visa are required to participate in college-level academic classes, not in BEdA. Homeland Security may have additional procedural rules regarding non-citizens.

Incarcerated Adults

Individuals incarcerated in a Washington State prison who meet the requirements of adult education and requirements in DOC policy are eligible to participate in BEdA programs offered at all correctional facilities.


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Last Modified: 10/8/19 4:43 PM

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