Save Time and Money With Excelsior College’s Credit-By-Exam Program

Sep 9, 2019 by

Higher education is expensive. Almost 70% of students have to take out loans to pay for schooling, and the average person graduates with almost $30,000 in debt. That’s just the students: Another 14% of students have parents who also take out loans.

Can you find a way to avoid this expensive cycle and get the education and certifications you need while staying out of crushing debt? You can, and you can save both time and money through Excelsior College’s program to give you credit by exam.

How do college credits work?

Every school gives students a certain amount of credit for every course they take. These credits are measured in hours — usually between one and five — and the number of hours you get in credit typically reflects the number of hours you spent in that class in one week. For example, a course that earns you three credits usually meets three times a week for an hour each time.

Why is credit important?

Credit hours are important for two reasons. First, they’re one way of determining when you have enough knowledge and experience to be qualified for a degree or certification. Most schools require about 60 credit hours for an associate degree and twice that for a bachelor’s degree.

The second reason credit hours are important is that schools use them to calculate your grade point average, or GPA. The total grade points you earned get divided by the number of credit hours you took, and voilà: you have a GPA.

What’s the catch?

Naturally, most schools want you to take all, or at least most, of your courses from them. They want you paying them for your courses rather than paying another school. At the same time, if a school is going to give you a degree, they also have to be sure you have the quality training you need to justify the degree.

For these reasons, many colleges are picky about accepting credit hours from any other institution. Some colleges won’t take credit hours at all, some will take only a certain number each semester, and some will only give you partial credit for hours you earn elsewhere.

What does it mean for you?

In the end, schools that won’t readily give you credit for courses you’ve taken or real knowledge you’ve acquired are a waste of your time and money. Every credit hour you already have that you can’t apply towards your degree is another you have to earn and pay for. Excelsior College has a way for you to get out of this cycle.

What is credit by exam?

The UExcel exam program at Excelsior College is designed to get you every credit you deserve. If you have enough knowledge on the subject to pass an exam, or if you’ve already taken a college-level exam to pass an AP course or earn a professional certification, for instance, Excelsior College will make sure you get credit for it.

How does it work?

Your first step is to choose the exam you want to take. Career counselors and academic advisers can help you choose the exams that maximize your current knowledge and experience, in subjects as varied as anatomy and physiology, college writing, labor relations, or physics.

You sign up, receive study material, prepare yourself for the exam, and then take it. When you pass, you earn the same number of credits as if you’d taken the whole course at Excelsior College.

How does it save you time and money?

Because you’re choosing courses you’re already familiar with, you save time by simply refreshing your knowledge through a study guide rather than taking a whole course over multiple weeks. The exams themselves are extremely affordable, and each one saves you hundreds of dollars over the cost of taking a whole course.

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