Graduate Early and Save Money by Testing Out of Community College Classes

Learn about how you can save thousands in tuition costs by testing out of community college classes.
Are you taking unnecessary classes at your community college? You may be able to skip certain prerequisite courses by simply taking placement tests and earning passing AP test scores. If you can qualify for just 20 hours of course credit through your testing, you stand to save an average of $3,000 in tuition costs. In addition, by testing out of these courses, you not only save money, but can graduate or transfer early and enter into the job market more expeditiously. 
 
How to Test out of College Classes
 
The purpose of placement tests is to determine whether or not a student has mastered the particular subject matter. While testing options will vary at each community college, all students should be able to take placement tests that will earn you course credits. For example, at Warren Community College in Michigan, students can "Accelerate their graduation from college by taking exams including Advanced Placement exams, the College Level Examination Placement tests or the Warren County Community College Institutional Credit by Exam tests." Through these exams, students can earn 30 to 45 hours of course credit - without having to actually sit in class!
 
Students attending Warren Community College can take the College Level Examination Placement (CLEP) or can earn credits through alternative exams:
  • CLEP - You can earn credit for college courses by taking CLEP exams, which are proctored by the College Board. Upon evaluation of the test scores, college officials can evaluate whether or not a student's CLEP performance is worthy of college credit.
  • Institutional Exams - In addition to the CLEP exam(s), Warren students can "challenge" for credit in any course. Without needing to enroll in the course itself, students can simply take the institutional exam for the course. Should the student pass the exam, they will be awarded with a passing mark on their transcript and obtain the appropriate credits.
Students attending Middlesex Community College, located in Bedford, Massachusetts, can also take advantage of testing opportunities on campus. At Middlesex, students can take specific exams outlined for their major. For example, if you are pursuing their Biotechnology degree, then you can take placement exams to opt out of their Algebra 2 and English Composition requirements.
 
Earning College Credit with AP Coursework
 
In addition to on-campus testing opportunities, students can earn college credit while they are still in high school. Students who successfully pass their AP exams can apply their AP work towards college credit. To obtain these credits, you need submit a request through the Educational Testing Service to directly send your AP exam scores to your community college.
 
Currently, the College Board has approved AP exam opportunities for more than 30 subject areas, including:
  • Art History
  • Calculus
  • English literature and language
  • Chemistry
  • Computer science
  • Economics
  • Environmental science
  • European, World and US history
  • US Government
  • Biology
  • Physics
  • Music theory
  • Physics
  • Psychology
  • Statistics
  • Studio art
  • Languages, including Chinese, Japanese, Italian, French, German, Latin, and Spanish
To find out if you are eligible for college placement testing options or AP college credit, make an appointment with your community college advisor. You may be able to save thousands of tuition dollars and dozens of in-class hours!

Will You Graduate From Community College? Factors that Influence Success
Will You Graduate From Community College? Factors that Influence Success
Retaining Students through Innovation
Retaining Students through Innovation
comments powered by Disqus
Recent Articles
4 Indispensable Tips for Surviving Your 1st Semester of Community College
4 Indispensable Tips for Surviving Your 1st Semester of Community College
This summer will be wrapping up before we know of it, and your first semester at community college is rapidly approaching. Are you ready for it?
Simple Mistakes Cost Community College Students Millions
Are you receiving the full financial aid you should? The process of applying for financial aid can be both time-consuming and confusing, especially for first-time college students. Learn about common errors to avoid in order to maximize your financial aid opportunities.
Students Stuck for Four Years to Earn an Associate?s Degree
A recent report revealed that many California community college students take twice as long to get an associate’s degree as is normally required. While community college is less expensive than attending a four-year institution, students who drag out their degree programs lose much of that savings in additional tuition, fees, textbooks, and lost wages. In this article, we examine the reasons why some students take so long to graduate.

Get Your Degree!

Find schools and get information on the program that’s right for you.

Powered by Campus Explorer

Student Issues / Attending College

GRADUATION

Graduation rates, policies, and caps - oh my! This section covers all topics related to community college graduations. How does state spending impact graduation rates? Who are the oldest community college graduates? What initiatives are in place to stem the rate of dropouts? Find the answers to these questions and more.