Carol from Minnesota crunched the Homeschooling for College Credit numbers for her daughter. You won’t believe what she found. Continue reading “We just saved $96,780”
When ACE reviews a CLEP exam they always assign a date range for that review. At the ending date, the exam must be reviewed again or removed. The exam can be renewed and extended when there isn’t a significant change in content. Below you’ll find the full expiration and revision schedule for all CLEP exams. Continue reading “CLEP Expiration / Revision Dates”
I have to share my correspondence with one of our Minnesota members. She has graciously agreed to let me post it here:
“With CLEP and PSEO (dual enrollment), I just calculated we are saving $96,780 at the University of Northwestern St. Paul.
1/3 of that is in CLEP alone: 32 credit hours, which is about $30,260. Then, two years free through dual enrollment which is another $30,260 X 2 =$60,520.
We are saving far more money by CLEPping and dual enrollment than we could get in scholarships. -Carol Lang Frisk
She’s not exaggerating, I pulled the numbers to share with you.
It’s -seriously- phenomenal. Read on…
2017–18 Tuition & Fees
- Meal Plan……………………………………………$3,700
- Technology Fee……………………………………..$260
- Health Services Fee……………………………….$124
- Activity Fee……………………………………………..$150
- Personal Expenses** …………………………..$2,120
- Books & Supplies** ………………………………..$600
It’s worth noting that the green items with ** indicate variable expenses you can control to some degree. (Does anyone else think the college has under-estimated the cost of books?) So, to be fair, let’s round down to $40,000 per year- just the cost Carol’s family will be BILLED.
Without smart planning, Carol and her daughter may have wandered onto campus and signed up for a $160,000 degree! Thankfully, she’ll found a way to bring that cost down closer to $40,000.
Secondary savings and benefits gained by Carol’s plan:
In addition to reducing tuition cost, this family will cut items #2- #9 on the list by at least two years! She won’t have to pay the meal plans, health services fees, technology fees, etc. if she’s not there!
A scholarship, while saving cost, doesn’t save TIME. Injecting college credit in high school is extra work, but it is saving this student a full 2 years off the TIME it takes to finish her degree.
Graduating 2 years earlier than her peers puts her into her career 2 years earlier, thus accelerating her ability to earn a supporting salary.
If entering the workforce isn’t in the immediate future, she has time to travel, volunteer, serve, or attend graduate school while her peers finish their undergraduate degree.
If she does take out a student loan, she’ll begin repayment 2 years earlier than if she attended a full 4 years- which saves 2 years worth of interest.
The average in-state public college costs about $40,000 for 4 years- they’ve found a way to attend a private college for the same price.
Using CLEP exams allowed Carol to choose appropriate homeschool curriculum that aligned with their family values while earning college credit.
Using CLEP exams allowed Carol’s daughter to move quickly through subjects she easily understood, and spend more time on those that gave her trouble.
Using CLEP exams and dual enrollment allowed Carol’s family to make credit accumulation a “pay-as-you-go” situation, which is ultimately the most affordable option for many parents.
How much did they spend? What exams did she take?
Carol shared that her daughter earned 45 CLEP credits, but this college only awards credit for 32. Here’s her list, cost, and reward:
16 credits Spanish CLEP ($100) This college awards up to 16 credits for the Spanish CLEP exam but requires the student to pass a second college based test for verification. This will give her credit in Spanish I, II, III, and IV. (note: most colleges award up to 9 credits)
4 credits World Religions DSST ($100) DSST is nearly identical to CLEP.
4 credits College Composition CLEP ($100)
4 credits Western Civilization CLEP ($100)
1 credit Here’s to Your Health DSST ($100)
3 credit (CLEP) to be determined ($100)
TOTAL INVESTMENT: $600
Parents who inject CLEP exams into their homeschool by using it as a “final exam” don’t really have that much extra added cost- they’re buying curriculum anyway, so the risk is in paying for an exam. Currently, CLEP exams cost $80 but a testing center typically charges about $20 for proctoring services, so it’s safest to budget $100 per exam.
Since exams usually award 3-6 credits, the $100 investment is well worth the risk! You’d have to fail the CLEP exam 5 or 6 times before it’s more expensive than the college class.
Have you thought about using CLEP or DSST to help offset college costs for your teen? If so, what’s your strategy? Do you have tips for getting the biggest bang for your buck? Share them below!
Reader D.M. sent me this lovely note:
“Hi. I just wanted to share a story with you. I have struggled to get my almost 15yo daughter interested in taking CLEP exams. This has recently changed! She is now obsessed with preparing. What has changed? She started the Dave Ramsey financial curriculum and I forwarded the blog post you wrote about Carol Lang Frisk. She is now hoping to take and pass three exams this summer. I hope this inspiration continues!”
ACE is the third-party review organization that colleges use to decide if a class or exam is “worth” college credit or not. In other words, CLEP exams are worth college credit because they have undergone review by ACE.
When ACE reviews an exam, they always assign a date range for that review. At the ending date, the exam must be reviewed again or removed. The exam can be renewed and extended when there isn’t a significant change in content. As an example, we’ve watched the Biology exam renew since 2001. As such, we can feel confident that the exam has not changed that much since 2001 because the date simply keeps getting extended for another 3-year cycle. (indicating no change)
If an exam is revised, it must be assigned a new date range. For instance, United States History 1 has remained unchanged since 2001, but just received a new date range renewal “12/1/2018 – 11/30/2023” which tells us that the exam was revised this time. (indicating significant content change)
It’s an imperfect system, but one that we can use to watch what the College Board is doing behind the scenes. They don’t usually announce exam revisions, but we can figure it out if we watch the dates in the ACE database.
Some exam revisions are significant (when Social Science and History completely changed their content in 2016) or slight. We don’t know what is coming, but we can report what we learn as a group. This kind of feedback loop helps all parents help each other.
All date ranges and the history of date ranges are available by searching the ACE Database.
Currently, 33 exams are evaluated for college credit.
American Government 7/1/01- 11/30/18 –> REVISED EXAM 12/01/2018 -11/30/23
American Literature 3/1/15 – 12/31/22
Analyzing and Interpreting Literature 3/1/15-12/31/21
Biology 7/1/01- 12/31/21
Calculus 10/1/12 – 11/30/18 –> REVISED EXAM 12/01/2018 -11/30/23
Chemistry 7/1/01- 11/30/18 –> REVISED EXAM 12/1/2018 – 11/30/2023
College Algebra 1/1/07 – 12/31/20
College Composition (essay) 7/1/10 – 11/30/18 –> REVISED EXAM 12/1/2018 – 11/30/2023
College Modular (no essay) 3/1/15 – 11/30/ 18 –>REVISED EXAM 12/1/2018 – 11/30/2023
College Math 3/1/15 – 12/31/21
English Literature 3/1/15 – 11/30/18 –> REVISED EXAM 12/1/2018 – 11/30/2023
Financial Accounting 1/1/07 – 12/31/22
French Language 3/1/15 – 11/30/18–> REVISED EXAM 12/1/2018 – 11/30/2023
German Language 3/1/15 – 12/31/21
History of the United States I 7/1/01- 11/30/18 –> REVISED EXAM 12/1/2018 – 11/30/2023
History of the United States II 7/1/01- 11/30/18 –> REVISED 12/1/2018 – 11/30/2023
Human Growth and Development 11/1/06 – 11/30/18 –> REVISED 12/1/2018 – 11/30/2023
Humanities 3/1/15 – 11/30/18 –> REVISED 12/1/2018 – 11/30/2023
Information Systems 10/1/12 – 12/31/20
Intro. Educational Psychology 10/1/12 – 11/30/18 –> REVISED 12/1/2018 – 11/30/2023
Intro. Business Law 5/1/02 – 11/30/18 –> REVISED 12/1/2018 – 11/30/2023
Intro. Psychology 10/1/12 – 11/30/18 –> REVISED 12/1/2018 – 11/30/2023
Intro. Sociology 10/1/12 – 11/30/18 –> REVISED 12/1/2018 – 11/30/2023
Natural Sciences 7/1/01- 11/30/18 –> REVISED 12/1/2018 – 11/30/2023
Precalculus 10/1/12 – 12/31/20
Princ. of Macroeconomics 10/1/12 – 12/31/20
Princ. of Microeconomics 10/1/12 – 13/31/21
Princ. of Management 3/1/15 – 12/31/22
Princ. of Marketing 10/1/12 – 12/31/20
Social Science and History 3/1/16 – 12/31/23
Spanish Language 3/1/15 – 12/31/19
Western Civ. I 7/1/01- 12/31/19
Western Civ. II 7/1/01- 12/31/20
Before I ever started homeschooling my own teens for college credit, I wanted to know more about CLEP, and how it worked. The super-short version is that I took one exam “just to see” what it would be like….but I ended up testing out of an Associate’s Degree (60 credits) in 6 months! I didn’t need that degree; I worked as a chef and had my culinary credentials in place, but it was loads of fun and a little addictive once I got rolling. Continue reading “My Top 10 CLEP Prep Tips for PARENTS”