Pass the test, Skip the course

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - William Carino has always been careful with his money. He takes advantage of Pell grants that help fund his political science degree. He started college at John Tyler then transferred to VCU.

"I barely scraped by the past two semesters. It was really rough," he said.

One John Tyler English course transferred as a 200 level class. William still needed the 111 class that comes before it.

"I've done a lot of writing on my own and I've always done well in English..I knew what they going to teach me," William said.

He took a College Level Examination Program exam called a CLEP test offered by the College Board. If you get a passing score, you'll get credit for the entire course.

"Maybe they decided not to take an AP exam or they didn't take an AP class but they're a history wiz. They could potentially go and take a history exam and earn college credit," said Michal Coffey, Director of the Campus Learning Center.

The test costs $80 with a $20 administrative fee. The VCU test site offers about 20 CLEP tests covering subjects like business, psychology, sociology and composition.

"You can earn anywhere from three and actually fourteen credits at VCU because the foreign language tests are worth four classes," Coffey said.

William invested an extra 10 bucks on a practice exam to make sure he could pass.

"Which would save me an entire semester saved me, I calculated it to be $957," said William.

Not to mention the money he saved not buying textbooks. William is that much closer to reaching his goal of a college degree.

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