Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The Meat and the Gravy of College Credit for Less

 Simply put, gaining college credit for what you already know seems a great idea.  Since over 2,500 colleges allow you to do this, then it is certainly worth considering: a method of gaining credit for stuff you can learn at home before you go to college, or if you are like me, have some college under your belt but need more credits in order to get the degree.

 Since 1900, the College Board has assisted students entering college through testing.  They have instituted a service that allows students to take tests in particular subjects and then gain credit or skip the class at over 2,500 colleges.  The College Level Examination Program, also known as CLEP®, (which are registered trademarks of the College Board) allows students, for a fee (currently $77), to take a test at a designated center.  Over 1,500 testing centers exist in the United States and military installations across the globe.  These centers charge a small fee, usually $20, to administer the test.

 The College Board has a site, which in my opinion is very difficult to navigate, to find the information about tests and what you need to know.  They publish a book that costs around $25 but the information I have here will cost you nothing initially and if you do buy my book (It’s being written once I’m not typing on this blog), it won’t cost more than $5 because I want you to join me in reducing your collegecosts by up to 25%, depending on which college you go to.

 My personal goal is to gain my degree for less than $7,000.  We'll see what happens and I’ll keep you posted as we go along.

If you find yourself with a broad knowledge of the world and set yourself up for a test, it’s possible to get 3 credits for scoring 50 marks on the test.  One Airman I know gained 30 credits this way without studying! (Go USAF!) Well he’s unusual.  There’s no way I could do that, so I’m putting together study guides for myself.  I plan, step by step, to get this degree for under $7,000.

 I also want to recommend a service that most people use for four weeks before each exam to ensure they have the depth of knowledge they need.  It costs $20 per month, which means that it’s possible to do your study and gain college credit for about $150.  That includes $77 for the College Board, $20 for the testing center, $5 or less for my book, and the rest for a textbook or two either used or via a service I’m negotiating with at the moment.

That means $150 for at least 3 credits and a savings of almost $800 by you doing the work yourself.  In the first option I’ll be providing in my book, multiple links and study tips allow you gain the information for free or at least for less than $5.  That along with a subscription to my friends at InstantCert page for around $20 per month. (Yes, they pay me occasionally! That’s how I keep my Domino’s Pizza place busy.... I wish!)

 You'll see their link on the blog page at some point.  It is also possible to do everything yourself as I’m doing but it does take a large amount of research, which is what I’ve been doing the last twelve months.  So put your effort in getting those credits rolling in with some free advice from myself and InstantCert .  Tomorrow I’ll explain how the test works, what score you’ll need to pass, and how some colleges will award credit.

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