Sunday, July 12, 2009

Earn 4 year Bachelor Degree quickly, easily, and for CHEAP - about $5000 or even as low as $3615 (for NJians)

Oh, and did I mention without sitting through a single class.

Yeah, you're figuring it's another one of those hoaxes. Well, it's not. I am not selling anything here or offering anything here. All I'm doing is giving you the information that you need to get that degree you need/want. And, believe it or not, I have no gain in this. I just want to help out. I know it's a rarity these days, but here I am.

Here goes:

Many people are having a hard time getting a job because they have no Bachelor's degree. Some people are getting passed over for promotions because there's a degree requirement. What are you to do? You don't want to spend $15,000 getting your degree. Also, you don't have time to sit in class or the patience to do the same. Hmm..... is there another alternative? Yes there is and I'll show you how to do it.

First of all, the breakdown that will follow below is for someone that has no previous college credits. Zero. If you have some, you will have an easier , shorter and cheaper time getting your degree.

To get this degree, you have to be ready to learn enough on many topics to get a passing mark on an exam on that topic. We're talking CLEP exams. You may have heard of it before. All it is is a multiple choice exam (usually 100 questions) that covers one topic. The cost is $72 per exam plus you'll pay a proctor fee, which ranges from $20 to $35 depending where you take it. There's a bunch of info available online, if you just use the good old google.

Here's a tip. There's a site called InstantCert.com. For a minimal price you become a member. This gives you access to practice multiple choice questions on a huge variety of CLEP/Dantes exams. From past experience, I have found that using InstantCert will sufficiently prepare you to pass the CLEP exams. I would strongly advise checking it out if you're gonna this route.

Another part of the trick here is to get 25 free electives through FEMA.gov. They offer small courses online for free. Each short course has an open-book final made up of 25-50 multiple choice questions. For each course you pass, subject to limitations, you'll get one college credit. These courses take very little time and will give you 24 of the 120 credits you'll need for the degree.

Here's the whole story. Thomas Edison State College, which is a fully accredited college in New Jersey, will let you earn a degree even if you don't take a single course with them. If you fulfill all the requirements for a degree wherever however, they'll let you transfer in the credits and earn the degree. You must, however, enroll in the college, which is half the cost of this degree.

The breakdown of the costs are as follows:

Application fee $75 - this pays for your evaluation which evaluated your previous studies/transcripts

Annual enrollment fee (which your only gonna do for one year obviously) - $2520

Annual Technology fee - $103

Graduation fee (which is gonna be pretty much right away) - $247

So far that's a total of $2945

Now comes the fun. You are going to take 21 exams, each giving you 3 or 6 credits. for a total of 96 credits. The other 24 credits will be through FEMA. If you estimate the cost of each exam at $100 (it may be a bit less for you), that's another $2100

That brings you to a total of $5045 (See the end of the article to see how it may be way cheaper for you.)

PLEASE NOTE: DISCLAIMER: I have not verified all this information with Thomas Edison State College. If you go this route, you may want to apply, get an evaluation, and make sure this is going to work. I just know that I tested out of 15 courses for my degree, and don't see why this shouldn't work for you.

Below, I have broken down the requirements for the Bachelor's Degree in Liberal Studies at Thomas Edison State College, and how you'll fulfill those requirements by exam.

A. English Composition (6 credits)

  • CLEP English Composition with Essay (6 credits)
B. Humanities (12 credits)
  • CLEP American Literature (6 credits)
  • CLEP Humanities - General (6 credits)

C. Social Sciences (12 credits)

  • CLEP Social Sciences and History General (6 credits)
  • CLEP American Government (3 credits)
  • CLEP Human Growth and Development (3 credits)
D. Natural Sciences and Mathematics (12 credits)
  • CLEP College Mathematics General (6 credits)
  • CLEP Natural Sciences - General (6 credits)

E. General Education Electives (18 credits)
  • CLEP Chemistry (6 credits)
  • CLEP Biology (6 credits)
  • CLEP English Literature (6 credits)

F. Liberal Studies (33 credits)
(Only 2 courses can be at the 100 level)
(Must be at least two areas)
  • CLEP Analyzing and Interpreting Literature (6 credits)
  • CLEP Introduction to Educational Psychology (3 credits)
  • Dantes Introduction to Computing (3 credits)
  • Dantes Ethics in America (3 credits)
  • Dantes Environment and Humanity: The Race to Save the Plant (3 credits)
  • Dantes Lifespan Developmental Psychology (3 credits)
  • Dantes Organizational Behavior (3 credits)
  • Dantes Drug and Alcohol Abuse
  • Dantes Technical Writing Dantes Human/Cultural Geography

G. Free Electives (27 credits)

  • Dantes Foundations of Education (3 credits)
  • Free FEMA online courses - 24 courses - 1 credit each course (24 credits)


Total credits: 120 credits

Total number of CLEP/Dantes exams: 21 exams

Please note: There are many more CLEP and Dantes exams available that will do the job as well. You should check out all the exams, see which would be easier for you etc. I have, however, used all the 6 credit exams in the calculations (see below for an exception).

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Now in the title I wrote "or for as low as $3615". How do I explain that.It's actually quite simple. If you live in New Jersey, as I do, then instead of paying $2520 for enrollment, you pay only $1390. That takes $1130 off the costs, bring it down to $3915.

Now if you know Spanish well, or French or German, there is a CLEP exam worth 12 credits that will replace one of the 3 credit exams I counted. This will take $300 off the costs (3 exams less), bringing the cost down to $3615

Please leave comments and suggestions if you have any.

6 comments:

Justin said...

Solid advice there. For those who don't live in NJ, I'd also recommend Excelsior College out of New York. Much like Thomas Edison, they'll also allow you to completely test out of a Liberal Arts degree, and you can test out of 99% of a business degree as well. They are also regionally accredited like Thomas Edison. The cost will also be about the same for non-NJ residents. The plan for my first Excelsior degree was very similar to the one you laid out.

Regarding the CLEP exams themselves. I heartily second your recommendation of InstantCert. It's an awesome resource for those of us who enjoy testing. I've also been working on a free resource site for the last few weeks - Free-Clep-Prep.com that has free study guides for quite a few of the CLEP exams. I should be working on the Biology CLEP study guide now, but I can only take Biology in small doses so I took a break to surf the Internet.

Nice article and thanks for sharing. I've bookmarked the site so that's one more towards your 30K mark as well ;)

Take it easy,

-Justin

jrause said...

Do you want to know why this time-hungry, money-thirsty Bachelor's degree is so important and well-respected to the point where its become a necessary gateway (or barrier, as you would say) to more important and better respected jobs?

Its because, those onerous financial and personal requirements demonstrate a person's capacity for dedication and resolve for commitment in an indisputable fashion.

Sure, it will never be an indicator of someone's skill and ability, but it sure as hell shows they are able to tough things out and get the job done in a way that "instant certifications" obtained "quick cheap and inexpensive" never, ever will.

Its about responsibility... trust. I can trust a Bachelors graduate to keep working even things get really hard. and I certainly can't trust anyone that thinks they can take sneak by using the easy road.

Also, after a B.A. you can write like this. And not like that... but, anyways, the personal fulfillment a degree brings is the subject of a much longer essay that will likely never be written..

-- JR

jrause said...

I feel bad, I like your writing and I think you have a really interesting ideas, and the last thing I would want to do is to discourage you or cut you down.
I totally missed the point I wanted to make about how valuable school is when you do it for yourself, and yourself alone.

jrause said...

I should also mention how worthless school is when we treat it as a mere means to and end.

Miss Take said...

jrause, you make some great points. Education as a means to an end is not an education. I tend to agree with that. But.....

I have been in contact with someone who is at her job for the past 20 years. She is currently up for promotion, but a Bachelor's degree is required for the next level. Now in her case, they know she's responsible, a hard worker, smart, etc. They still need her to have a bachelor's degree. Why? In her case I advised her to take the easiest route out.

Another person wanted to become a CPA. He needed a bachelor's degree to be able to become licensed. He was not interested in the education. It was just something in the way. I advised him to take the easy route out.

So we're both right. When you want the education, become educated. When you want to have a degree, get it.

The Newbie Hacker

Justin said...

I've always been amused at the argument that one has to suffer in order to prove they are worthy of a degree. In my mind, a CLEP exam or DSST is no different than an IT Certification test. If you have the knowledge, you will pass. Isn't that the idea of a college course as well?

Many students leave a four year university with $30,000+ in student loans, and no immediate job prospects. That kind of debt to income ratio scares the hell out of me.

There are many benefits of a traditional college education, but there are disadvantages as well. Many colleges today are more interested in making money than getting a student into the job market with the knowledge they need.

For a grown adult who already possesses most of the knowledge needed for a college degree, the CLEP and DSST tests provide a valuable alternative to what equates to a very expensive time-sink.

It's not a popular viewpoint with traditional college graduates (or professors), but the idea is starting to catch on.

-Justin

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