College Level Examination Program (CLEP) is a set of exams made and conducted by the College Board. The main goal of these exams is to evaluate the knowledge of students in 36 different subjects. If they pass any of the exams, the will earn college credits so that they won’t have to enroll in that particular course in college.
There are several uses for CLEP:
- The most obvious use is to reduce the time spent in college. The more subjects you pass in this program, the more credits you earn. The more credits you earn, the lesser the number of classes you need to take. You can then spend your time for other classes. Think of it this way, once you pass a CLEP exam, that’s one less load off your back. Of course, the direct result to this is saving several dollars by not having to enroll in a few classes.
- Dual Credit Accumulation. This is crucial. CLEP credits can be counted in your high school requirements as well as in college.
- Eliminate basic subjects so that students can focus more on the major subjects of their chosen courses in college. Taking basic classes can be annoying and can be a chore. After you’ve passed that CLEP exam, you won’t need to take it, thus giving you more time to focus on more course oriented classes.
- Gives you a sense of accomplishment. Passing CLEP exams can give you the right push that you need to be headed into the right direction education wise. These exams can help you build on your basics as you go to college.
Before you take your CLEP exams though, make sure to consult the college you plan to attend to. Make sure that they accept CLEP credits. Otherwise, all your hard work will be for nothing.
Many students who are interested in credit by examination can take the DSST, or the DANTES Subject Standardized Tests. The DANTES (Defense Activity for Nontraditional Education Support) program by the U.S. Department of Defense is the program that provides the resources for DSST. One of DANTES main objective is to make college more affordable and less time consuming for active duty and veteran military members. Through DANTES, the DSST is started to offer support for service members who were working towards earning their degrees. That is why there is a DANTES credit by examination.
The DANTES credit by examination is a program that gives you the opportunity to demonstrate college-level achievement through a program of exams in undergraduate college courses. The examinations for DSST include 38 subjects which are similar to end-of-course test offered by colleges and universities. This will allow you to earn credits required for a college degree if passed.
There are a lot of positive reasons why you should take credit-by-examinations. One, it saves you money because an average college course can cost over $100 per credit, whereas the DANTES credit by examination is free for service members and only over $40 for civilian student per exam. You also don’t have to be enrolled in college to take the exams which is also one way for you to save up.
Taking the examination also saves you time and helps you skip ahead. An average college course takes three or more months to complete while you could spend less than a month preparing for each test depending on your stored knowledge. And by passing the examinations, you will not have to sit through a boring college course.
Moreover, taking the exams offers you flexibility. Since you are not required to take a college course, you can set your own pace and choose your own study materials.
Members of the National Guard are qualified to get Higher education tuition assistance (TA) for educational purposes, such as up to 100 percent coverage for college programs taken during off-duty time. The National Guard provides guardsmen several programs to support their education and learning goals such as up to 100% TA for college programs taken during off-duty time. According to location, members may get state funded rewards for education and learning based on individual state guidelines and eligibility (i.e. TA, waivers, exceptions, education loan repayment, DANTES Credit By Examination). The following is a brief summary of National Guard tuition advantages for each service.
- State College tuition assistance – While some states don’t provide TA transaction, many have additional tuition rewards with varied quantities of funds available. To find out what advantages are offered in your state, visit the Air National Guard ANG Benefits web site.
- Go Army Ed (Activated Guard and Reserve) – If triggered, you will be qualified to get Military Higher education tuition assistance for Active Duty and Activated Reserve/Guard. The program provides 100% tuition and fees up to $250 per Term Credit Time and $166 for each Quarter Credit Time, with an annual cap of $4,500.
- Air National Guard (ANG) – The ANG provides to its members access to all DANTES credit-by-examination programs, Community College of the Air Forces Associate Degree programs, FTA for online applications and state education and learning advantages.
- State college tuition assistance – The same as the ARNG, not all states provide transaction of TA for ANG, although many provide extra rewards in varying quantities.
- Air Force College tuition assistance (Activated Guard and Reserve) – If triggered, you will become qualified for Air Force TA for Active Duty and Activated Reserve/Guard. The same hats apply as described above under Go Army Ed TA.