How Can I Find Out which Colleges Grant Credits Based on CLEP Scores?

The CLEP (College Level Examination Program) is a program offered by the College Board that allows students to earn credit for college before actually enrolling. It’s similar to the advanced placement courses that some high schools offer, though you do not need to take classes ahead of time. This program is suitable for those who want to save on the cost of higher education because most exams cost less than classes do. You’ll want to contact each school ahead of time to see if the exams you took are worth anything and how you can transfer in those classes too.

Resource: Top 15 Online Colleges for Military and G.I. Bill 2015

Courses You Can Take

According to the official website for this examination program, you can take exams relating to more than 30 different topics. The exams are available in categories like composition and literature, business, world languages, history and social sciences and science and math. Exams can help you show that you have a good understanding of Spanish and other foreign languages, information systems, biology, American government and other topics. You can also use the website to find out where you can take these exams and to sign up to take one or more.

Why Use This Program?

The biggest reason to use this program is because it lets you save on the cost of your higher education. Attending a private university can cost more than $35,000 a year, and even attending a community college can cost a few thousand dollars a year. Schools base the cost of classes on the number of credits that you earn in those classes. Taking an exam is often less expensive than signing up for one of those classes, and you can even retake that exam if needed to score higher. Signing up for this program can also help you save time and reduce the amount of time that you spend working on your degree.

Accepting Credits

Before taking the CLEP, you need to find out if the school that you want to attend will accept the credits that you earned. Contacting the school directly is the best way to find an answer to your question. Talk with the Dean of Admissions or another person within the admissions department. You can also do a simple search on the school’s website or turn to the CB for help. The CB website includes a list of schools that will accept credits earned via these examinations, though you may find that some of that information is outdated.

Questions to Ask

Don’t assume that all credits transfer at the same rate. Many schools have entrance examinations and require that you take tests on a foreign language, math and other subjects to find out where you can start in those subjects and if you can skip introductory classes completely. Some schools may require that you still take entrance exams, even if you have credits from the program. When you ask about whether your exam credit will transfer, make sure that you also ask about how many you get and whether you’ll still need to take introductory courses.

There are a number of programs designed to help students earn credits before attending an institute of higher learning. The more work you do before enrolling, the fewer classes you need to take in that program. To find out if a college will accept a CLEP credit, you can check with the organization behind these exams or with the school itself.