One way to cut back the expense of a college education, while cutting back the time away from home and work to a minimum, is to take advantage of the growing number of credit-by-examination options available today.
In issue #30 of Practical Homeschooling, we told you about the benefits of taking Advanced Placement courses while in high school. Advanced Placement, or AP, is a well-known way to get college credit for work completed in high school. Currently, 29 AP exams are available, typically in areas covered in courses designed for the more advanced high-school student.
The most accessible other credit-by-examination options are CLEP, Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support (DANTES), Regents College Examinations, and Graduate Record Examination (GRE). We will be looking at them one by one in this and future issues of Practical Homeschooling, so watch this space!
Let's Pass Out!
The College Level Examination Program (CLEP) has not to date received as much attention in high-school circles as the AP. Originally designed for adults who wanted to "pass out of" courses that covered material they had learned through independent study or work experience, the 34 CLEP exams are less rigorous than the AP's. Subjects covered are typical of what you'll find first- and second-year courses at most "general" colleges, including a suite of business subject exams not found in the AP's.
Recently, AP and CLEP have partnered to promote their complete test lineup to high schools. This means that it will become increasingly common (and ever more widely accepted) for high schoolers to earn CLEP credit. Typically, colleges have served as CLEP test centers, but The College Board (who own both the AP and CLEP exams) is working hard to encourage high schools to also sign up as CLEP test centers. This is all good news for homeschoolers, as it means the tests are becoming more accessible.
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