Online Degrees and CLEP and DSST Exam Prep Discussion
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Degree for free - jshzglr - 11-04-2017

Please let me know what my best course of action would be.


I'm active duty military, and will be until I retire in 2034. I don't plan on working past this point but who knows.

I have 34 credits from a previous college and 9 credits on my JST. (I can upload these transcripts if it helps.)

I plan on getting a degree in business. I'm thinking either entrepreneurship or finance. (My military rate is Storekeeper.)

My goal is to not pay a dime out of pocket and to get my bachelors degree as fast as possible. (Can I use financial assistance in conjunction with TA?)

I guess what my question really boils down to is do any of you know what all military tuition assistance covers? I'm assuming there's a max on how many CLEPS and other "outside credits" are covered annually. And also is there a specific college that I should look into?


Thank you for any and all help.


RE: Degree for free - Life Long Learning - 11-04-2017

(11-04-2017, 06:05 PM)jshzglr Wrote: Please let me know what my best course of action would be.


I'm active duty military, and will be until I retire in 2034. I don't plan on working past this point but who knows.

I have 34 credits from a previous college and 9 credits on my JST. (I can upload these transcripts if it helps.)

I plan on getting a degree in business. I'm thinking either entrepreneurship or finance. (My military rate is Storekeeper.)

My goal is to not pay a dime out of pocket and to get my bachelors degree as fast as possible. (Can I use financial assistance in conjunction with TA?)

I guess what my question really boils down to is do any of you know what all military tuition assistance covers? I'm assuming there's a max on how many CLEPS and other "outside credits" are covered annually. And also is there a specific college that I should look into?


Thank you for any and all help.


Rules change all the time.  The Army once paid for as many CLEP, DSST and ECE exams as I wanted.  Take as many as you can and do not stop.  You never know which ones might help.  I used TA and it was at 100% at the time.   Save your Post 9/11 GI Bill for when you retire.

BTW, look into Vincennes University.  They only require 6 SH from them for an AS degree.  Univ of Alaska only required 3 SH for an AS degree.


RE: Degree for free - dfrecore - 11-05-2017

You can take as many CLEP & DSST exams as you want for free. But they will only pay for your first try, so if you fail any, the next time is on your own dime.

For a TESU BSBA in General Management, those 2 exams would cover the entire Gen Ed, Free Electives, 8 out of 12 core courses, and 4 out of 6 AOS. If you took 7 TECEP exams at $117 each (in place of some of the CLEP/DSST exams), it would satisfy residency requirements. Then, your final course, the TESU online capstone would be $750 (active duty military tuition), so your cost for the entire degree would be $1,569.

You could save your GI Bill for later, or an MBA or something else. Or give it to your kids?


RE: Degree for free - jshzglr - 11-05-2017

(11-05-2017, 01:49 AM)dfrecore Wrote: You can take as many CLEP & DSST exams as you want for free.  But they will only pay for your first try, so if you fail any, the next time is on your own dime.

For a TESU BSBA in General Management, those 2 exams would cover the entire Gen Ed, Free Electives, 8 out of 12 core courses, and 4 out of 6 AOS.  If you took 7 TECEP exams at $117 each (in place of some of the CLEP/DSST exams), it would satisfy residency requirements.  Then, your final course, the TESU online capstone would be $750 (active duty military tuition), so your cost for the entire degree would be $1,569.

You could save your GI Bill for later, or an MBA or something else.  Or give it to your kids?

Thanks for the reply, and ya definitely planning on saving the GI for future kids.

So I'm guessing the TECEP exams aren't covered by the military. If this is true would it make sense for me to find a more "prestigious" college and simply transfer in as many CLEPS and DSST's as possible. It sounds like maybe this isn't the best route for somebody in the military and trying to minimizing expenses as much as possible.


RE: Degree for free - Life Long Learning - 11-05-2017

DOD has never paid for TECEP exams. TECEP is new compared to CLEP, DSST, ECE (UExcel) exams. More "prestigious" colleges rarely accept more than 30 SH of CLEP and DSST vs. the Big 3 that accept 117/120. That's what makes them the Big 3.


RE: Degree for free - dfrecore - 11-05-2017

(11-05-2017, 10:25 AM)jshzglr Wrote: So I'm guessing the TECEP exams aren't covered by the military. If this is true would it make sense for me to find a more "prestigious" college and simply transfer in as many CLEPS and DSST's as possible. It sounds like maybe this isn't the best route for somebody in the military and trying to minimizing expenses as much as possible.

I'm not sure how you think getting an entire degree for $1500 is expensive???  That's about the craziest thing I think I've ever heard.  You will NOT be able to find anything cheaper, ever.

Obviously, if you can have the military pay for the entire degree, then your out of pocket costs will be nothing.  But that would be a major waste when you have this amazing opportunity to get a degree this way, for this cheap.  You could save up $100/mo for 8 months, pay $117/mo for 7 months (for TECEP's), and be ready to take the capstone completely paid for in less than a year (assuming that you've taken and passed all of the CLEP/DSST exams that you need for the degree).

Stretch it out longer if you can't come up with that amount each month, I guess.  Take a TECEP every other month, save $50/mo towards the capstone. Whatever you need to do.


RE: Degree for free - jshzglr - 11-05-2017

(11-05-2017, 01:34 PM)dfrecore Wrote:
(11-05-2017, 10:25 AM)jshzglr Wrote: So I'm guessing the TECEP exams aren't covered by the military. If this is true would it make sense for me to find a more "prestigious" college and simply transfer in as many CLEPS and DSST's as possible. It sounds like maybe this isn't the best route for somebody in the military and trying to minimizing expenses as much as possible.

I'm not sure how you think getting an entire degree for $1500 is expensive???  That's about the craziest thing I think I've ever heard.  You will NOT be able to find anything cheaper, ever.

Obviously, if you can have the military pay for the entire degree, then your out of pocket costs will be nothing.  But that would be a major waste when you have this amazing opportunity to get a degree this way, for this cheap.  You could save up $100/mo for 8 months, pay $117/mo for 7 months (for TECEP's), and be ready to take the capstone completely paid for in less than a year (assuming that you've taken and passed all of the CLEP/DSST exams that you need for the degree).

Stretch it out longer if you can't come up with that amount each month, I guess.  Take a TECEP every other month, save $50/mo towards the capstone. Whatever you need to do.

I never said it was expensive. I have plenty of money, I just don’t like spending it when I don’t have to. I’m simply trying to find the fastest way to achieve my bachelors without spending any money. It sounds like going through one of the big 3 is still the best choice. It just might take me slightly longer than if I paid out of pocket for the extra exams. Any recommendations between TESU and EC?


RE: Degree for free - Life Long Learning - 11-05-2017

It depends on your background on which of the Big 3 is best for YOU. They are all different. Depends on what degree you want also.

Generally and historically, EC has been way better for military and Veterans (40% of their enrollment). That being said TESU has some unique degrees. COSC is an option for some but is very small. I applied to all three and EC was the better one for me. You should also apply to all three to see. Tons of barracks attorney's located here but only the real colleges' review will be your real answer.


RE: Degree for free - dfrecore - 11-05-2017

(11-05-2017, 02:21 PM)jshzglr Wrote:
(11-05-2017, 01:34 PM)dfrecore Wrote:
(11-05-2017, 10:25 AM)jshzglr Wrote: So I'm guessing the TECEP exams aren't covered by the military. If this is true would it make sense for me to find a more "prestigious" college and simply transfer in as many CLEPS and DSST's as possible. It sounds like maybe this isn't the best route for somebody in the military and trying to minimizing expenses as much as possible.

I'm not sure how you think getting an entire degree for $1500 is expensive???  That's about the craziest thing I think I've ever heard.  You will NOT be able to find anything cheaper, ever.

Obviously, if you can have the military pay for the entire degree, then your out of pocket costs will be nothing.  But that would be a major waste when you have this amazing opportunity to get a degree this way, for this cheap.  You could save up $100/mo for 8 months, pay $117/mo for 7 months (for TECEP's), and be ready to take the capstone completely paid for in less than a year (assuming that you've taken and passed all of the CLEP/DSST exams that you need for the degree).

Stretch it out longer if you can't come up with that amount each month, I guess.  Take a TECEP every other month, save $50/mo towards the capstone. Whatever you need to do.

I never said it was expensive. I have plenty of money, I just don’t like spending it when I don’t have to. I’m simply trying to find the fastest way to achieve my bachelors without spending any money. It sounds like going through one of the big 3 is still the best choice. It just might take me slightly longer than if I paid out of pocket for the extra exams. Any recommendations between TESU and EC?

Sorry, when you said "minimizing expenses", I thought that meant you thought it was expensive.


RE: Degree for free - sanantone - 11-05-2017

(11-05-2017, 11:52 AM)Life Long Learning Wrote: DOD has never paid for TECEP exams. TECEP is new compared to CLEP, DSST, ECE (UExcel) exams. More "prestigious" colleges rarely accept more than 30 SH of CLEP and DSST vs. the Big 3 that accept 117/120. That's what makes them the Big 3.

Are you sure that TA won't cover TECEPs?