Can CLEP Exams Save You Money?

‍Continuing your education after high school can be expensive, especially if you’re earning a degree. Fortunately, there are many ways to reduce your degrees with little to no additional time commitment. One way is by taking CLEP exams and then using your scores from those exams to earn college credit through your local university. By passing CLEP exams for specific courses, you can skip introductory classes and spend less time and money on your degree. If you hope to test out of introductory classes to save time and money on your college degree program, this article will introduce you to CLEP exams and explain how they can save you money.

What are CLEP Exams?

CLEP is an acronym that stands for College Level Examination Program. Students can take these standardized tests to earn college credit. You don’t have to be enrolled in college to take a CLEP exam; you only have to be a high school student with a valid ID. CLEP exams are used widely across the U.S., and they can help you save money on your college degree by allowing you to earn college credits for topics that you’ve already studied in high school. CLEP Exams cover topics from English and History to Math and Science.

How to Pass a CLEP Exam

Students who want to earn college credits through a CLEP Exam must first purchase CLEP Exam study materials for any topics they wish to earn credit for. Students then review the course material before taking the exam. If a student passes the exam, they can contact their college’s registrar’s office to register for the credits. Be forewarned: not all colleges accept CLEP exam credits; some will still require that you take their introductory-level courses on the topic. If you know where you will be attending college, it’s best to verify their policies before putting in time, effort, and money into a CLEP Exam. If your college does accept your scores, the credits will appear on your college transcript, and you’ll be one step closer to earning your degree.

How Much Money Can You Save with CLEP Exams?

The cost of each CLEP exam varies, but many are as low as a one-time fee of $85—thousands less than a typical college course. The exact amount that you save by taking the CLEP exam is going to depend on a few factors, including the cost of your degree, the cost of the CLEP exam, and how many credits you earn with the CLEP exam.

Drawbacks of CLEP Exams

Students might be tempted to take the CLEP Exam for every topic they’ve covered in high school, but it’s important to know that, if you eventually choose to transfer to a different school, CLEP Exam credits don’t transfer to every college, even within the same state. Moreover, CLEP credits don’t always count towards general education requirements, which usually require credits in English, the social sciences, and the natural sciences. You should check with your college to see what they require before deciding how many and which CLEP Exams you want to take.

Are CLEP Exams Worth It?

If you’re looking for ways to save money on your college degree, taking CLEP Exams is one of the most effective ways to start. You can use your CLEP Exam results to skip over introductory-level topics and earn college credits that you can apply towards your degree. However, it’s important to remember that not every college accepts CLEP credits, so check with your colleges of choice.

If you are interested in learning more about the college admissions process, or about college life in general, check out more of our blogs and resources here at HelloCollege. We believe that preparing for university shouldn’t be scary, and we are here to help guide you or your student through the process every step of the way.

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Rasha Myers

Rasha Myers

Rasha, an educator, and administrator with over a decade of experience, believes education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world. Passionate about developing future generations, she has devoted her life to seeing an increase in both the availability and quality of education. As they embark upon the college admissions process, Rasha strives to ensure that every student has access to the tools and resources they need to make the best financial and educational decisions. Born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. She earned a Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction and a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology from Tuskegee University.