Today I’m going to break down my entire degree cost. I’m earning my bachelor’s degree using alternative methods like CLEP tests and online courses. For more information, read my post “Testing Out of College”. Now, let’s get right into it!
- ALEKS courses. I took 4 course with ALEKS, including College Algebra, Intermediate Algebra, Introduction to Statistics, and Precalculus, at a cost of $20 a month. Unfortunately, I took my time and I paid for 4 months instead of doing it in less time. Still, not bad for 12 credits! Total cost: $80
- CLEP tests. With CLEPs, there are 2 costs. The cost of the test that you purchase from College Board, which is $80. Then there is the administration cost, or the price you pay to take the test. Cost for this varies for every testing location, but I paid $50. I took 5 CLEP tests- Humanities, Analyzing and Interpreting Literature, American Literature, American Government, and College Composition for a total cost of $600. Also, I used instantcert.com to study for these tests and ended up using them for 5 months at a cost of $20 a month. Total cost: $700
- Community college courses. I took 11 courses through my local community college: Biology, Latin American History, Introduction to Marketing, Entrepreneurship, Sociology, Introduction to Theater, Microeconomics, Macroeconomics, Public Speaking, Intro to Computing, and Art Appreciation. Since I qualified for financial aid, not only did I not have to pay for these courses, I was given $360 per course. Other costs accrued: $60 (3 parking passes) and $370 (textbooks). Total: +$3,530
- Free online courses. I took 2 courses that were offered for free. One was all about assessing prior learning, and the other was an ethics course. These totaled 5 credits. Total cost: $0
Area of Study
- Straighterline. I took 6 courses with Straighterline- Accounting 1, Accounting 2, Managerial Accounting, Financial Accounting, Business Law, and Business Communications. With Straighterline, you pay $100 a month subscription fee, and the cost of the course (which can range from $50-$90). I finished all 6 courses in one month. Total cost: $464
- Study.com. You can take two courses a month at a cost of $200 per month. You can choose to pay $70 to take a third course in the same month if you want to really pack the courses in and save some money. Unfortunately, I squandered my time and although I could have finished two courses in one month, I had to pay for 2 months. Learn from my mistakes! I took Principles of Management and Human Resource Management. I’m also planning on taking 3 more courses with them (Principles of Finance, International Management, Advertising) and this time I’m going to try my hardest to get them all done in one month. Also, before I choose to hand over the $200 a month, I tried out their $50 a month option that gives you access to the study materials, but not the exams. I did this to see if I would like the format. Total cost: $720
- TECEP. I will need to take my capstone, Strategic Management, through Thomas Edison, the college I am graduating from. Fortunately, it’s available as a test through them for a lower cost and the cost for the test is only $114. They’re also requiring that I take a 1-credit cornerstone course through them, the cost for this course is $300. Total cost: $414
- Sophia Learning. Each course costs $329, but I was very fortunate and got my Project Management course done when they were doing a free promotion. For my next course, Visual Communications, I was awarded a scholarship, so that was free as well. Total cost: $0
Application fee at Thomas Edison State University was $75, an official transcript from CLEP will cost $20, and the graduation fee at TESU is $323. The doozy is that I will have to pay a $2000 residency waiver. This is how they get money out of people who aren’t taking many courses with them and are transferring in a large portion of their credits from other sources. When you consider how inexpensive all of my credits were, this is a manageable fee.
So I’m just as curious as you are- what is the total cost for my degree? Drum roll, please… $4,796! Applying my financial aid brings the total down to $1,266. Not bad. Not bad at all.