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Earn College Credits through Examination

Consider getting a head start on your education through testing.

If you are interested in returning to school but are worried about the cost or the time involved in obtaining your education, consider programs that allow you to receive credit for knowledge. Many colleges let you earn part of your college credit by taking exams you can prepare for and take on your own time, whether you’re just starting in school or taking credits to complete your degree.

The Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support, or DANTES, funds most or all of the costs of programs and testing for eligible military spouses. You could save hundreds or even thousands of dollars toward your degree by taking advantage of this program.

You can apply your knowledge and earn college credit at more than 3,800 participating colleges and universities through the College Level Examination Program, or CLEP, or the DSST program. Study the available materials and take an exam. If you pass the exam, you’ll receive college credit for your efforts.

College Level Examination Program – CLEP

The College Level Examination Program is a group of standard tests created by the College Board that tests college-level knowledge in 33 subject areas. More than 2,900 colleges and universities accept CLEP credit, and you can take the tests at more than 1,800 testing centers.

Peterson's CLEP Prep is a free resource for military spouses. Access online or printable learning tests and receive a baseline evaluation of your understanding of specific subject areas of the CLEP examination.

Benefits of the CLEP include earning three or more credits for each CLEP exam you pass, allowing you to study at home before testing for credit, providing flexibility to your degree program and possibly allowing you to graduate on time, which is often difficult due to permanent change of station moves, deployments and more.

DANTES Subject Standardized Test – DSST

The Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support program, or DANTES, has established the DSST program, which gives students the chance to earn college-level credits through a series of exams. The DSST program website provides the following:

The DSST program is recognized nationally and allows you to gain college credit for knowledge you’ve gained outside the classroom. The DSST program offers more than 30 exams in college subject areas including math, applied technology, social sciences, business and more. More than 1,900 colleges and universities recognize the DSST program and award college credit when you pass exams.

Learn more about how DANTES helps service members and spouses pursue their educational goals. Take Peterson’s online practice exams, offered for free to military members and their families.

Save money and time by pursuing college credits through examination by using all available resources as you pursue your educational goals. For questions and more information or if you are interested in additional resources, contact a career coach at 800-342-9647.

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