Test Your Way to a Cheaper Degree

Test Your Way to a Cheaper Degree
Beth Dumbauld

Today’s post is the sixth in a series of practical tips on how to save money on college.

Today’s saving money on college tip is:

Take Exams and Test Your Way to a Cheaper Degree

Taking exams and tests to place out of courses is a powerfully simple strategy for you to advance rapidly and save money on your degree.

"With a test for credit, you still need to study. But when you’re ready, you can take a single exam, and if you score well, you can earn college credit."

You’re probably familiar with some credit-by-examinations already, like AP tests or CLEP exams. But there are additional options you may not have heard of that can help you test your way to a cheaper degree. For example, at StraighterLine, we offer more than 30 credit-bearing tests, as well as credit assessment options like Prior Learning Assesments (PLA). You can also take non-credit bearing tests like the Collegiate Learning Assessment (CLA+) or the ETS ISkills Assessment and ETS Proficiency Profile to help validate your skills to employers and advance your career.

With a test for credit, you still need to study. But when you’re ready, you can take a single exam. If you score well, you can earn college credit. If that credit transfers, you can avoid taking that course wherever you choose to pursue your degree.

Here's an overview of two of the more popular types of credit bearing tests, Excelsior College Exams (ECE) and the PLA:

  • Excelsior College Exams have been around for more than 40 years. And unlike CLEP and DSST tests, your ECE score comes from a regionally accredited college & StraighterLine partner, Excelsior College. StraighterLine offers more than 30 Excelsior College Exams in subjects ranging from Abnormal Psychology to Business Law to Introduction to Philosophy.
  • Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) offers a way to earn credit for what you already know. A PLA lets you translate the knowledge you've gained in the real world through jobs, civic and military engagement, volunteering, independent study, and even hobbies into college credit.

Today’s scholarship highlight is:

scholarship_Excelsior_123014Save up to 52% on your degree with the Excelsior College Partner Scholarship & StraighterLine.

Excelsior College is one of the participating StraighterLine Partner Colleges that offer a scholarship exclusively for StraighterLine transfer students.

Here’s how it works:

  • Complete just 4 StraighterLine courses to be eligible for an Excelsior College Partner Scholarship.
  • Take the maximum number of courses at StraighterLine that fit into your degree program and save up to 52% on your degree from Excelsior College.

It’s easy to qualify. There are no essays, lengthy applications or deadlines. All you need to do is complete four StraighterLine courses and transfer them to Excelsior College. Your discount will be applied to the participating college’s tuition when you enroll.

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