Hacking your degree – Get your degree faster & cheaper than everSubmitted by teknetz on Sun, 05/25/2014 - 20:53
Finding myself out of work recently, I’ve been pondering going back to school to further my education. After looking into all the options, and schools, I’m completely amazed at the time and cost involved in doing so. For a Bachelors of Finance degree, using just my local colleges in the area (there are many) would cost me upward of around $25,000 just in tuition, and that’s on the low end. It would also take around 2+ years to finish. Being 35 years old, with a family to support, taking two years out of my life on someone else’s schedule just wasn’t going to cut it.
I started to do some digging, and what I’ve found is nothing short of amazing. I’ve discovered that through a few specific websites, I can not only take(for free) the exact courses I would need to finish such a degree, but can also schedule, test out of, and get college credit for these courses as I go along, and pay only for the exams(about $80 each). Doing it this way, turns that $25k into around $3k-$5k depending on the degree you’re seeking.
So I have set out on a plan, I am going to start studying on my own time, and take the tests when I feel I have learned enough to pass them. Also, the site offering the free courses provides free practice tests as well. If you have ever wanted to “go back to school” or further your education, but didn’t have the time or money to do so, this is by far the best way to do it. Below I will show you the resources I’m currently using and offer some insights into each one.
First, head on over to Thomas Edison State College website, and browse their degree programs. They are one of the few colleges that will allow you to transfer the full amount of credits required for your degree. Decide what courses you want to take and look over the necessary course work.
Next, you will want to head over to saylor.org and sign up for an e-portfolio. This will allow you to begin taking the integrated courses for your degree. You’ll notice that when you log in, there is an area specifically for Thomas Edison State College, along with all the courses needed for each degree. You can go through these on your own time, as fast or as slowly as you want to. When you feel you’ve learned the subject material enough, you can take a practice test on saylor.
If you do ok on the practice test, you can test out through a few different organizations. The first one is CLEP(College Level Exam Progrm) and the next is DANTES, designed originally for military, but now open to civilians as well, and last but not least, TECEP, Thomas Edison State College Examination Program. Just do some searching and register for and take your test. Once you successfully pass the test, you earn college credit.
Note that you do NOT need to enroll in Thomas Edison state college until you have all the credits you need to graduate. Once you do, enroll, transfer your credits over from the testing providers, and graduate.
I thought this was a really quick, cheap and easy way to earn a degree and wanted to share it with you. I hope this helps someone out there.