SEATTLE, Jan. 8, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Everest College announced today that select campuses in the Seattle-Tacoma metropolitan area will offer Everest GED® Advantage, a GED® test preparation and credential completion program that is free and open to the public. Anyone interested in enrolling in the programs located at the Everest campuses in Seattle, Tacoma, Bremerton and Everett should contact Everest toll-free at 1-888-201-6547. According to the GED Testing Service®, 40 million adults in the United States lack a high school diploma or GED® test credential. In Washington, only 70% of students finish high school, ranking the state 37 th in the nation for graduation rates. Adults without a high school diploma face tremendous obstacles to achieving their economic potential. On average, their unemployment rates are higher and their wages lower than those with a GED® credential or high school diploma. Their access to postsecondary education and training, a requirement for many jobs in today's competitive economy, is also severely restricted. Everest has the knowledge and experience—the classrooms, curriculum and instructors—to help adult learners obtain this critical credential. "We're proud to offer our community a program that opens the doors of educational and economic opportunity to nontraditional students," said Meredyth Given, regional vice president for Everest College. "I applaud Everest for recognizing and responding to this challenge. We have a monumental task of moving 40 million adults into jobs with salaries capable of supporting their families," said Randy Trask, president of GED® Testing Service. "This program could be a model for educational institutions and community organizations across the nation." Adults wishing to obtain a GED® test credential face many challenges, including waitlists for state-sponsored adult education programs in nearly all states and other financial hurdles. Everest GED® Advantage eliminates obstacles by providing free GED® preparation, a free Official GED® Practice Test, and by covering all testing costs for adults who successfully complete the program.