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Credit: Phillip C

College can be an expensive investment. With many students graduating with larger student loan balances, finding ways to reduce the cost is valuable to many people. One option for some students is CLEP exams.

These exams test your knowledge in several subjects ranging from accounting, English, History, and even foreign languages. These nationally recognized exams are overseen by College Boardand administered at local colleges. If you feel comfortable in a subject, you can take the exam, get credit for the classes, and pay only a fraction of the costs of taking the class on campus. A CLEP exam at my university is $80.

To show how much can be saved; I used the tuition prices of my university and compared it to ‘clepping’ 5 elementary courses (3 credits each). The totals don’t include room and board, which would increase savings even more.

CLEP In-State Out-State
 $400.00  $   3,264.00  $ 8,874.00

Here’s the amount of savings:

CLEP v In-State  $2,864.00
CLEP v Out of State  $8,474.00

I think this is a wonderful option for some people. I’ve taken exams through CLEP and it does save money. The only drawback is that you have to send a transcript of your scores if you decide to transfer schools. If you’re trying to reduce your college expenses, then this might be a viable option.

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