Cut College Costs with CLEP Exams

If you are looking for a new way to reduce your college costs, you have come to the right place. Today, I will review how you can “CLEP out” of college classes to save money.

What is CLEP?

The College Board administers the College-Level Examination Program (CLEP). Students can earn college credits by testing in subject area they already know. Anyone who has taken advanced level high school courses or has in-depth knowledge of a subject is a good candidate for CLEP exams.

The CLEP, a multiple-choice exam lasting 90-120 minutes, is offered at over 2,000 CLEP test centers. The cost is $89 per exam, plus a service fee charged by most test centers.

As of December 2019, over 2,900 colleges and universities in the US were offering college credits for CLEP.

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Which exams are offered through CLEP?

The CLEP programs offers thirty four (34) introductory-level college subject exams. You can register for any one of these CLEP exams and purchase study materials online.

The 34 exams fall under the following categories:

  • Composition and Literature
  • World Languages
  • History and Social Sciences
  • Science and Mathematics
  • Business

What are the Benefits of taking CLEP Exams?

Some of the benefits of taking CLEP exams include cost savings and shorter time to a degree.

Students can skip general introductory courses and move on to more advanced classes if they score well on the exam (please check each college’s CLEP policy). Taking less college courses towards your degree could reduce your overall college costs.

According to the College Board, a person “who earns 15 CLEP credits to apply toward a degree could save nearly $5,000 at the average public 4-year institution and more than $17,000 at the average private nonprofit institution.”

How do you receive College Credits?

You must send your CLEP scores to the college you plan to attend in order to qualify for college credits. Each CLEP exam could net you three or more college credits.

However, each college has their own policy of how many credits they will award for a specific CLEP exam score. To learn more about each college’s CLEP exam policy, please visit the College Board’s website.

To send your scores to colleges, free of charge, you must select the colleges when you register for the exam. In most cases (essays are an exception), your score will appear on the computer immediately following the exam. You will also get the option to cancel sending your score to colleges you previously selected if you are not happy with your score.

Keep in Mind

If you would like to save time and money in college, consider the CLEP exams. As a reminder though, check each college’s CLEP policy before you run off and register for these exams.

What steps are you taking to reduce your college costs? Share in the comments below.


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