My Bachelor's Degree Cost Me $7,423

Boromir above and the culture around us tell us that debt is a natural part of going to school and that there's no way to get around it.  That's a lie.  It's very possible to get your education without having to owe money to "the system."  

My bachelor's degree cost me $7,423 and I was given $4,000 in scholarships.  That means that I only spent $3,423 out of pocket for my education.  And don't worry.  It's a perfectly good one too.  There's nothing cheap about out--it's only inexpensive.  After I graduated, I was accepted to work as a paid intern for a United State Senator for a semester and was accepted into Liberty University's English Master's program where I am now working as a Graduate Student Assistant teaching English 101 classes.  If you want to hear more, check out my CLEP story here.

Getting the Degree

Education has become a commodity that colleges and universities want to sell to us young people.  Of course, with the rise of the internet and the abundance of free libraries, we know that education is at our very fingertips.  We don't actually need to go to class.  

But unfortunately it seems that we still need the "degree sticker" to prove that we know what we're talking about when we apply for a job.  That's how we begin a career and make money.  

So, how do we get the degree?

Well, there are lots of ways to pay for college.  There's earning the money, there're scholarships, and there are loans.  

But beyond that, there's the College Level Examination Program or CLEP.  CLEP is offered by the College Board (the same people who run the SAT).  CLEP tests are usually 90 minutes long and have about 120 questions; you take them at special testing centers.  If you get about 50% of the answer correct on most of these tests, College Board and the American Council on Education recommend that all U.S. colleges grant you official credit. 

These tests range from American Literature to Western Civilization II to Social Sciences to Humanities to College Mathematics to Principles of Marketing.  There's something for everyone.

Once you pass, you apply your hard-earned credits to a school that will accept them and all of a sudden you've got college credit at your university or college!

College is going to be expensive but CLEP exams are a great way to make affording it possible.  Every one of them is a credit-by-exam test that can save you thousands of dollars and lots of time.  

In fact by using twenty-four CLEP and DSST (a similar program) tests, my bachelor of arts degree cost me under $7,500.  (I took many of my CLEP's during high school!)  

How many colleges accept CLEP exams?

Over 2,900 colleges in the U.S. accept some or all of these exams including Liberty University, the University of North Carolina, Rutgers, and more!  Chances are that yours does too.

But say you don't know which school you should go to.  We can help you out with that too.

Once you've got your tests figured out, we provide you with college reviews and college rankings all for free so that you can pick the very best colleges!  If you don't see your school there, let us know via our contact page or provide a review yourself in the form on the bottom of the college rankings page

For us, the best colleges are ones that are CLEP friendly, have good academics, charge reasonable prices, and provide you with a great experience and great opportunities for sports, extracurricular events, and other activities.  The best colleges are ones that empower you to be something great in the future and that don't squelch your financial options with huge tuition costs. 

With the rise of the internet has come the rise of online colleges and we've compiled a whole list of great accredited online colleges full of great online college courses!  Lots of online colleges accept CLEP tests, making them great options for you.  I went to Thomas Edison State College an online school and am so thankful that I was able to do so.

<Note that the portions of our site linked to above are currently under construction.  We're sorry for the inconvenience.  We still invite you to submit your reviews or requests for reviews of different colleges.>

DSST Exams

But CLEP is not the only way to test out of college credits.  Be sure to check out our DSST page too.  DSST tests are like CLEP tests but are usually more specific subject-wise and often return higher rewards as you complete your degree.  

DSST tests often can be worth junior and senior level college credits so that you might even be able to fill area-of-study credit requirements.  There are thirty-eight DSST's and while they are usually very specific they too contain a wide range of topics:  Money and Banking, Technical Writing, Ethics in America, Principles of Statistics, Astronomy, and more.

Home Scholars

If you're checking out this site and happen to be homeschooled, then we've prepared a page all about how to home school college for you.  Being homeschooled puts you in a unique position to be able to test out of major amounts of credit and to take those college courses online.  

I was homeschooled all the way from kindergarten to twelfth grade and am so thankful for that.  On our homeschooling college page I'm going to pass on what I can to the homeschooling generation that is coming after me.  

Good luck...

...and happy learning!  We hope that this site helps you to learn more about how to get that degree you really need.  When I was going through the process myself, I sure wished that there was a site around like this one.  So, I've taken all the things that I wished I'd known and am putting them here for you now.  Enjoy and I hope it helps you!

P.S. Be sure that you subscribe to the RSS Feed with the orange button on the above the navigation bar on the left-hand side of the page so that you can subscribe to the CollegeByCLEP Blog.  It'll keep you up to date on new pages, tips, info, and strategies for test taking and applying!  

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Welcome!  This is an active and interactive site dedicated to helping students to prepare for and afford college.  We're constantly adding resources, study guides, college bios, and lots of other stuff here at CollegeByCLEP.  

Check out my story about how by using CLEP exams, I was able to graduate from college with an accredited bachelor's degree for under $7,500!

CLEP and DSST Prep

For top-of-the-line and comprehensive test prep, check out our page about InstantCert.  When you sign up, don't forget to get $5 off your first month with this discount code:  48990.