Clep Exams Could Reduce State Spending On Higher Education

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The College Level Exam Program, commonly known as CLEP, offers students a chance to take a single CLEP exam that gives them course credit at the college level. If the CLEP program became widely used by a significant number of students, it could conceivably reduce the number of college classes that are necessary for colleges and universities to offer. If colleges are able to offer fewer classes, the states that fund the colleges will need to spend less on education.

Students Will Need Fewer Resources

Students who take advantage of the 34 CLEP exams could reduce the number of college classes they need to take on campus by as much as two semesters. Since CLEP is accepted as legitimate college credit, students who pass a CLEP test will not need to attend that course while they are at college. That means that the students will spend less time actually attending school. The college will experience reductions in housing costs, dining costs, and all of the other incidental expenses that are part of offering a college education.

Colleges Could Offer Fewer Classes

If CLEP became widely used by the majority of students, there would be an opportunity for colleges to offer fewer general education classes. The college, and the state that funds the college, would be able to reduce the number of paid professors on staff. The CLEP program could create a substantial savings for the college, state, and student who takes advantage of it. A CLEP exam proves that the student has gained the necessary understanding of a subject, but it does not require the same level of investment that a full time class requires.

General Education Spending Could Go Down

The CLEP exams that are most popular take the place of general education requirements at many colleges and universities. Subjects like history and literature are offered through the CLEP program. If students take the time to learn these subjects on their own and then take the CLEP test to prove their proficiency, a college or university could justify reducing the number of general education classes that they offer. The financial benefit to the learning institution as well as the state and federal government from a reduction in classes could be felt by everyone involved. Tuition costs may be reduced, extra college fees may not be necessary, and states could use the savings in other areas.

Colleges Can Concentrate on Specialized Programs

When a student fulfills his or her general education requirements through the CLEP program, there is more time available to spend focusing on the classes that have a direct impact on his or her degree. Likewise, if a college doesn't have to provide as much time and money for general education programs it can focus more on offering specialized classes that students need for their degree programs. CLEP can remove the distraction of broadly based classwork so that students and colleges have an opportunity to focus their attention on more practical courses. The CLEP program benefits everyone involved.
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