Graduate a Year Early (Or More!) With CLEP

In today’s economy, attending school can prohibitively expensive. College is not only costly, but time consuming as well. Even with a full-time schedule, education will require four years of commitment for a Bachelor’s degree, lowering one’s earning potential during that time. However, there is a way to both shorten time in school and still earn the same degree, and for less money.

CLEP, or the College-Level Examination Program, allows students to earn credits outside of the classroom. Depending on the exam and the school in question, a single good CLEP score can earn a student 3 to 12 credits. With 33 different CLEP exams available on subjects ranging from the social sciences, to business, to mathematics, there is a test for any student. CLEP test credit can help lighten a class load or make way for a higher level credit. At less than $80 per test, taking a CLEP exam is hundreds, even thousands of dollars cheaper than earning the same credits through regular classes.

In general, most students who pursue CLEP only take one or two tests, earning a few credits. This is helpful for saving a few hundred dollars or skipping over basic or introductory classes, but not for shortening graduation time. Most college degrees require 120 credits, with 30 credits earned per year. By taking only one or two CLEP exams, a CLEP student may only slightly lighten their class load or eliminate a semester. When money is tight and time is imperative, this may not be enough.

What most students do not know is that many colleges will accept up to 30 CLEP credits for graduation, equaling a year’s worth of credits and shaving an entire year off of college time and tuition! That is thousands of dollars saved and an extra year to pursue a job in one’s own field. Some colleges may accept even more credits – for example, Penn State accepts up to 60 CLEP credits, and some online and distance universities will accept up to 90 CLEP credits! CLEP can help cut time in college by more than half. Less time spent in the classroom means more time pursuing a job in any chosen field, making for money saved and money earned.

Over 2,900 colleges accept CLEP scores, and there are no restrictions on age, experience, or education level. With the opportunity to take over 30 CLEP exams, pursuing enough tests for 30 to 90 credits is relatively easy. Earning a good score on a CLEP exam requires dedication and knowledge, but is within reach for everyone. Some students take a CLEP test on a subject they have already studied; others pursue work from tutoring and independent study. By pursuing independent study and tutoring programs, CLEP students can learn the material they enjoy at their own pace and on their own schedule, and earn credit for one test versus a whole semester in classes. The CLEP program makes learning easier for the self-motivated, and earning a degree a much quicker and less expensive process!

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