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Thread: When to CLEP

  1. #1
    autoequip is offline Minor Noble
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    Default When to CLEP

    I have a question about timing of CLEP exams. My son just graduated HS this past spring and is taking some time off before going to college. After finishing my degree by testing (today if I passed) out of my last few courses I am encouraging him to START his college career with testing. I know a few things about it.

    1. Many Universities won't accept general CLEP exams.
    2. Almost all require 30hrs resident
    3. IT'S WAY CHEAPER TO TEST THAN TAKE A CLASS

    My biggest questions are about timing. Should he wait 'till he actually enrolls? Is there an "expiration date" on tests? Any constructive advice will be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    cannoda is offline Senior Squire
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    The best $400 bucks I ever spent was for my HS Senior daughter to take any and every CLEP exam that she thought she had a chance to pass.

    The result - 28 semester hours saving me roughly $13,000 in tuition.

    Her benefit? She was officially a sophomore one week after freshman orientation and was able to park and drive on campus.

  3. #3
    blueyzz28 is offline Knight / Dame
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    Actually, I think most colleges accept CLEP exams so that should not be a big problem. Your son can take the CLEP exams and CLEP keeps the records, so you do not need to wait until you son enrolls. You can simply have CLEP send transcripts to the college and they will award the appropriate credit. I know that most "traditional colleges", will accept CLEP or AP exams upto a specified limit, such as 30 or 36 credits.

    I live in Virginia, perhaps some of you are familiar with the gentemen who enrolled at the University of Virginia and graduated in one year!! He is now in medical school. He transfered in, I believe, 70 credits that were CLEP and AP exams.

    The big advantage to you is the savings!! The advantage to your child is saved time! Traditional courses are fine but having to accumulate 120 credits by going to class for four years, 16 weeks each class...that is not for me. Your son may like it though, there are many kids that love the college experience and the freedom from mom and dad, and thus want to remain in college forever...LOL.

  4. #4
    Kiwi Lover is offline Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by cinderly
    Different universities have different policies on accepting CLEPs. Some, like my former institution, claim they won't accept any tests taken without prior departmental approval. Others, like the Big 3, allow you to transfer in an seemingly unlimited number of tests. Does your son know which schools he's likely to want to attend? An increasing number of colleges and universities are making their catalogs and other policy documents available online.
    Hi autoequip,

    Before I discovered Excelsior, I was previously enrolled with Regis University, who only allowed you to test out of a limited number of courses to get the credits. So I agree with cinderly that it would be good to know which college he plans on attending so he can review what their testing policy is. It would be a shame to have him take a bunch of exams that he can't apply towards his degree.

    Just my two cents'!

    JoAnne
    BS - General Business - June 2007
    Excelsior College

  5. #5
    autoequip is offline Minor Noble
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    Thanks for all the input. He is still up in the air on where he will be finishing up at (took me 20yrs ) so I think we will look at the schools that are the strictest and start from there. I didn't even think about him just taking the tests and then transferring them when he enrolls. He is working on a list of courses. I am sure he will be on here himself pretty soon.

    Thanks to all.

  6. #6
    joel66 is offline Knight / Dame
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    My son is currently a sophomore in college. I figured I would try to get my degree before he does.

    As for having your son CLEP after high school, make sure you check out the college he is going to attend. I know in community college where I'm getting some of my courses completed, as well as my son's University, they only allow general clep (excluding composition) and not any of the subject CLEP exams.

    The other thing you want to decide is what degree he plans to pursue. I'm trying to mix both courses from my local school in addition to CLEP/DSST. Reason being, when I contacted McGeorge School of Law with interest of possible admissions to law school, I asked them about the criteria when offering scholarships. Here is his partial response:

    "...Allyson passed along your question about CLEP courses. Candidly, I think the Admissions Committee would prefer to see actual course work done. However, we do not have a limit of classes you can test out of so long as you secure your degree from an accredited school."

    I also called the Dean of Admissions for further clarification because I want to CLEP on 10 exams and asked if that was too much. He said that was fine and if an applicant is over 30 years of age, they don't put too much weight on college, but want to make sure you still have a good GPA. They would take my 16 years of work experience and LSAT into account then what courses I completed in college. On the other hand, if my son applied and has limited work experience, they will review his transcripts and if he does everything online and CLEP, they will have reservations, as they don't know how he would fit in with other students in a class room environment.

    As for my son, he is going to pursue his MArch degree and in California, it's very competitive to get into those programs. They mentioned CLEP general is okay, but no guarantees because his transcripts and test scores would be compared to others for both scholarships and acceptance.

    Sorry about the long response, but you want to make sure you cover all basis and find out what direction your child plans to take. If he plans to get into a profession that requires a graduate degree, you will want to do your home work and asked a bunch of "what if" questions with the dean of the school he plans to pursue. If I didn't do my homework on my son's MArch degree, he would have been really upset because they have a completely different path on general courses and what is accepted compared to other programs in the same school.

    Joe

  7. #7
    sgloer is offline Administrator
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    A lot more colleges grants credit for CLEP exams than you might think!

    Whatever colleges you might be considering, do a search for them at the following link:
    College Search - Find colleges and universities by major, location, type, more.

    If you view the profile for a college, there's a link for SAT, AP, and CLEP tests for that college. It'll show you which CLEP tests they accept and what their score cutoffs are.

    Of course, you should double-check with your college counselor before trying to complete any degree requirements through CLEP.
    --
    Steve, Webmaster

  8. #8
    cookderosa's Avatar
    cookderosa is offline Emperor / Empress
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    1) Use the CLEP policy of the ending institution. If your son plans to attend community college college and transfer somewhere- use the policy of the "somewhere" college.

    2) CLEP now. There is one local private college here that only takes CLEP in transfer, not as an enrolled student. Plus, CLEP sometimes lets you jump over placement testing.

    3) In my opinion (clearing throat) don't let him CLEP out of subjects in his prospective major. He is going to need strong basic steady skills and networks in that department/field. If he wants to study biology for a field, take the biology class and not the biology CLEP. Instead, CLEP literature or something in an entirely different area like humanities. I reserve the exception to this of taking the AP exam (which in this case he may have already missed the registration deadline- they only test in the spring, you could call his high school since credit is usually awarded for AP tests).

    4) Not knowing anything about your child or the college he is considering- I would say that generally this works for most:
    -don't take English Comp w/essay or Freshman Comp w/essay
    -take College Math if he intends to major in a humanities area (translation- he may never have to take a math class in college or the stupid placement exams)
    -CLEP something that will be an elective

    If he earns 3 credits, 12 credits, or ends up addicted and enrolled at Excelsior it really is his path to walk- show him how it saves BIG time and BIG money, give him the link to this web site, and step away.
    Jennifer
    Homeschooling for College Credit (Book)
    Homeschooling for College Credit (Facebook Fan Page)

    MS Nutrition, 2014 Canisius College, Buffalo, NY
    BA Social Science, 2008 Thomas Edison State College, Trenton, NJ
    AA General Studies, 2008 Thomas Edison State College, Trenton, NJ
    AOS Culinary Arts, 1990 Culinary Institute of America, Hyde Park, NY

  9. #9
    chromo is offline Senior Squire
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    I don't think anyone addressed the "expiration date" question? CollegeBoard will keep your scores on file for 20 years. When you need them, you just pay a single fee of $20 per copy that contains ALL of the CLEPs you have taken in the past 20 years. No worries there!
    Chris
    120 credits, 3.60 GPA, B.S. General Business, Excelsior College to be conferred 6/20/08

    CLEP Accounting-71, Humanities-70, Marketing-78, Macro-70, Sociology-66, HG&D-72, Management-77, American Gov't-63, Business Law-73, Edu Psych-67, Biology-71; DSST MIS-66, Statistics-78, Principles of Finance-66, Money & Banking-65, Health-65, Business Law II-69, Environment-68, HRM-70; ECE Ethics-A, Org Behavior-B, Info Lit-P, Labor Relations-C, Ops Mgt-A, Business Strategy-B

  10. #10
    cookderosa's Avatar
    cookderosa is offline Emperor / Empress
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    Quote Originally Posted by chromo
    I don't think anyone addressed the "expiration date" question? CollegeBoard will keep your scores on file for 20 years. When you need them, you just pay a single fee of $20 per copy that contains ALL of the CLEPs you have taken in the past 20 years. No worries there!

    Chris makes an excellent point- and I don't know anyone who thought algebra was easier 15 years later!! Test now!
    Jennifer
    Homeschooling for College Credit (Book)
    Homeschooling for College Credit (Facebook Fan Page)

    MS Nutrition, 2014 Canisius College, Buffalo, NY
    BA Social Science, 2008 Thomas Edison State College, Trenton, NJ
    AA General Studies, 2008 Thomas Edison State College, Trenton, NJ
    AOS Culinary Arts, 1990 Culinary Institute of America, Hyde Park, NY

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