Sophia Norcott, now a graduate from Southern New Hampshire University, has managed to earn her bachelor’s degree in less than two years–without accruing any debt. How is this possible? As an adult learner, Norcott coupled credit for prior learning with her company’s tuition reimbursement benefits, and was named the American Council on Education’s Student of the Year.
Norcott accrued credit for prior learning through CLEP exams, which are exams administered by the College Board that can be taken at thousands of colleges and other testing centers. CLEP exams are accepted as various forms of college credit at over 3,000 colleges and universities. These exams test your knowledge of a college course, and if you pass, you no longer need to take the course to earn credit. Each CLEP exam that a student passes can save the student over $900.
While this is an amazing opportunity for students to save time and money, many college students are not aware of this method of earning credits. By utilizing the knowledge Norcott attained working as a creative media manager at an engineering firm to pass CLEP exams, as well as utilizing tuition reimbursement, Norcott paid $0 out of pocket for her degree.
“The fact that I could do that made me very passionate about making these opportunities available for people that don’t know they exist,” she said. “I saw it as kind of an opportunity to highlight accessibility in education.”
Norcott created a website, CLEPStep.com, to help students understand the CLEP process and study independently. Peterson’s CLEP Practice Tests Plus+ is recommended as one of her favorite CLEP study resources. Peterson’s offers practice tests for 31 CLEP exams, as well as 28 DSST exams, another method for earning credit for prior learning. Check out Peterson’s online DSST and CLEP products, as well as our newly released Peterson’s DSST & CLEP Mobile Prep App to start earning credit today.