At True North Homeschool Academy, we are all about launching our kid successfully as young adults. Ideally, we like this launch to be with little to no debt, and in a way that equips them to succeed vocationally, as well as in life. One of the ways we are doing this is by providing CLEP prep classes.
What is CLEP?
CLEP is College level Exam Program. There are over 33 exams available that are accepted by 2900 colleges and universities in the following areas:
- Literature & Composition
- World Languages
- History & Social Science
- Science & Mathematics
By taking a CLEP test, you can save “Hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars.” CLEP exams have been in existence for over 50 years and had over 1800 test centers. This program allows students to demonstrate mastery in college-level material and earn college credit through testing. There is no minimum age at which your kids can start taking CLEP exams and your test scores will “bank” for up to ten years!
Not every college accepts every CLEP exam, and if you know where your high school student plans to attend college, you can check with their admissions counselor or website. If it’s not stated on the website, and you are assured by someone on staff or faculty that the CLEP exam will be accepted for credit, get that in writing. In my state, the state college system will take up to 10 CLEP exams toward a degree, but it varies by major and school.
If you are interested in taking some CLEPs as upper-level high school courses, I would suggest starting with some basic general education requirements: College Algebra, English Comp I and II, Environmental or Natural Science, Psychology or World Religions or Government. Taking just 5 Clep exams totals 15 College Credits (and can go on a High School Transcript for one credit as well and can be counted for a higher weight, which affects the G.P.A.) which is an entire semester’s worth of college. Considering that even inexpensive school cost around $20,000 a year, half of that is significant savings!
If you are looking to earn you Associates degree or even entire undergraduate degree through Clepping, Dual Enrollment, and other less conventional methods, be sure to check out the “Big Three”; Thomas Edison State College, Excelsior State College, and Charter Oak State College. All of these consider life experiences, extensive CLEP exams, and dual enrollment creidts towards an Associate of Arts or a Bachelor’s Degree.
We have a friend who got their entire undergraduate degree in two years through Clepping and then went on to Medical School. Of course, he had terrific MCAT scores and references along with his degree, but it is doable to take an unconventionally earned Bachelor’s degree and go on to a competitive graduate program.
True North Homeschools Academy is committed to utilizing the freedom and unique opportunities we have as homeschoolers to bring classes to you that prepare your students to take CLEP exam.
This fall, for instance, we have an amazing group of young adults (10th-12th graders) meeting weekly for 90 minutes to study Psychology. This class has been challenging and thought-provoking, required a boatload of homework, reading, studying and learning vocabulary, provided great discussions and some good laughs and readied participants to take the CLEP exam at the end of the semester.
This class is offered for one semester (just like a college class would be) and uses Zoom and Moodle (also, like many college classes) and counts for 1 High School Credit. If the CLEP exam is taken and passed 3 College Credits under the General Education requirement of Social Science will be earned. Not only are our students receiving college credit for pennies on the dollar but they are avoiding the social indoctrination that is so prevalent on College campuses, especially in the area of Social Sciences.
Why pay for these classes when our kids can study and take a CLEP test on their own?
For the simple reason, that upper-level classes are challenging, and difficult things are often more exciting and enjoyable when done with others (Ecc 4:9), the teacher brings their experience and expertise to bear, and the kids have incentive to keep going even when the going gets tough!
If CLEP tests are not something you’ve considered before, I hope you take a look at them. We’d love to partner with you to guide your student through some fun and challenging High School classes that also prepare your students well for CLEP exams!