Bye, Philosophy! Earn College Credit from What You Know
College Hacks is an ongoing series written by Micheal Lewis, Campus Admissions Manager for Columbia College of Missouri's Evening Campus.
While it's always a smart move to earn a college degree, it's dumb to waste time and money doing it. Follow my tips and you can finish ANY degree in less time and with less debt than almost everyone you know. Considering college but already anxious about taking classes on subjects you could probably teach? Don't be. You can skip the class and get college credit as a reward for your expertise.
How does one trade know-how for college credit? One way is to simply take an exam that measures your knowledge of a particular subject and if you pass, the credit is yours. There are two major testing companies that offer test credit exams: Prometric (DSST) and Collegeboard (CLEP). They offer assessments in a wide variety of subjects and the price is a fraction of the cost of your typical college course. While there are other companies offering similar products, I recommend both DSST and CLEP due to a greater acceptance by colleges and universities. However, each school accepts exam credit differently, so be sure to check it out before you try to test it out.
But wait, there's more! Some colleges will offer credit based on workplace training and life experiences. Have you served in the military? Are you a corrections officer or work in law enforcement? Are you a pilot? Do you have a real estate license? If you answered yes to any of those, you can get college credit for all of that! In fact, one college in particular that provides a vast amount of college credit opportunities is Columbia College of Missouri. Click the link to check out all of their nontraditional credit options.
I wouldn't be the coolest Admissions Manager ever if I didn't tell you about the risks involved. One drawback to testing out of classes is that you may miss important information and concepts. This is definitely a problem if you test out of a class that is a foundational course for others in your major. For example, doing well in Accounting II can be challenging if you barely understand Accounting I. Be sure to tell your advisor or admissions professional about your interest in nontraditional credit and they can help you weigh your options. After all, saving time and money is nice, but doing what's in your best interest is better.
Next time, it's all about the money. We'll dive into paying for college and what you can do to grab free money for college that most people throw away.