Lately, I have been just fascinated at the concept of CLEP’ing for college credit. If you are not familiar with this term or idea, you are missing out on a wonderful opportunity to help your child earn college credit or obtain an entire degree without leaving your home.
I was first introduced to the idea of CLEP(College Level Examination Program) by CLEP’ing homeschool mom,Tricia McQuarrie who runs a wonderful Clep Homeschool Yahoo group. She also has a book all about the subject that I purchased and read from cover to cover. It really educated me on the idea of CLEP and how I can use this method to help my child get ahead on college by taking time to help my child through the CLEP process.
CLEP is a test that your student can take that if passed allows them to gain college credit. Similar to the AP exam, CLEP allows you to gain college credit by passing a simple test on various subjects. Comprehensive information concerning subjects available for CLEP and schools that will accept the credits can be found on the College Board website. You must be careful when using CLEPs as a method to gain a significant amount of college credits because many Universities will not accept the credits, however, most if not all, Community Colleges will accept CLEP credits. Therefore, you need to formulate a plan whereby, you attend community college for a time to have your CLEP credits transcripted so that they will transfer to ANY institution. Many homeschoolers choose to go through Thomas Edison State, Excelsior, or Charter Oak in order to gain transcripted CLEP credits via online college enrollment. There are really so many opportunities available! There are many homeschoolers who manage to gain enough CLEP credits for an entire AA degree! Amazing!
If you are homeschooling a high schooler and would like to save money on higher education, CLEP is definitely worth the research. A typical CLEP test costs approximately $80 which will gain you anywhere from 3 to 6 credits, while a typical 3-credit college class could cost as much as $450! not to mention transportation and material costs! The savings opportunity is obvious! Even if your child ends up not being able to use those CLEP credits, many homeschool students have been able to prove a readiness for college work based on their CLEP performance. They treated passing clep scores like Honor classes! What a great way to let a college know that your student has mastered high school coursework!
The ever popular CollegePlus! utilizes a combination of CLEP and other coaching methods in order to help homeschool students get a big head start on higher education, however I have to say that there is nothing they do that you couldn’t do yourself, if you summon up a bit of moxy. However, it may be just the boost you need if you’re having a bit of trouble making sense of all of the available options. Most importantly, don’t let those high school years get away from you… start now helping your student to earn college credit while still in high school!