Group-Specific Advising

Advising College Students

During orientation or initial advising session, encourage incoming students to take CLEP exams and advance their education path. Students who have received excellent scores on placement exams, SAT, SAT Subject Test or ACT and graduated with honors, can test their knowledge and advance out of introductory courses by taking a CLEP exam. Juniors and seniors may need to take a CLEP course to complete the credit requirements that they need to graduate. In addition, students who are thinking of dropping out or taking a semester off can be encouraged to stay enrolled by earning credit through CLEP exams.

Advising High School Students

CLEP is becoming a viable option for high school students to earn college credit prior to college enrollment.  In identifying students who may benefit from taking a CLEP exam, keep in mind subject areas where the student excels and there is not an AP exam.   Or perhaps a student missed the AP test and there’s a corresponding CLEP exam.  CLEP is an excellent option for students who are willing to study on their own and prove the knowledge gained. 

Advising Returning Students

Many returning students differ from younger students in their learning styles, schedules and pressures, such as work, child care and financial issues. They bring unique strengths to college with them — real-world experience, an ability to apply abstract concepts to specific tasks and situations, and often, a more focused and goal-oriented approach to their educations. They may be able to use their prior learning to earn college credit. CLEP exams are designed with adults in mind, as they help returning students

  • Save money
  • Save time
  • Focus on advanced course work
  • Accelerate their degrees

Review your college’s CLEP Policy, approval procedures and time frames for earning CLEP credit.

Find out about returning students' post-education plans and previous academic transcripts to assess which CLEP exam may be right for them.

Confirm that CLEP credit can be used toward requirements in the student's major area.

Advising Transfer Students

Depending on the transferring student's circumstances, CLEP examinations may be a good way to determine placement into advanced course work or to help the student map out her time at your school.

Review your college’s CLEP Policy, approval procedures and time frames for earning CLEP credit. Transferring students who have already accumulated a large number of college credits may be eligible to take CLEP exams, depending on your institutions’ standards.

Find out about adult students' post-education plans and previous academic transcripts to assess which CLEP exam may be right for them.

Confirm that CLEP credit can be used toward requirements in the student's major area. Find out if a student’s CLEP credits earned at another institution can be transferred to your institution.

Advising Military Service Members

Who's Eligible

DANTES funds CLEP exams (one attempt per title) for the following groups:

  • Military personnel (active duty, Reserve, National Guard): Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, U.S. Coast Guard, Army Reserve, Air Force Reserve, Marine Corps Reserve, Navy Reserve, Coast Guard Reserve, Army National Guard and Air National Guard
  • Spouses and civilian employees of: Air Force Reserve, Air National Guard, Army National Guard, Army Reserve and Coast Guard (active and reserve)
  • Department of Defense Acquisition personnel: Eligible only for the following computer-based exams: Principles of Macroeconomics, Principles of Microeconomics and Principles of Marketing

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Military Retest Policy

Eligible military candidates who take a CLEP exam can have the $80 exam fee funded by DANTES for the first attempt per title. If a candidate tests at an on-base or base-sponsored test center, they do not have to pay the test center administrative fee. Eligible military candidates should contact the test center of their choice to find out if they are responsible for payment of the test center's administrative fee.

If military candidates want to retake an exam previously funded by DANTES, they need to wait six months and pay the $80 exam fee in addition to the administrative fee required by the test center (unless the test center is on base or base-sponsored). DANTES does not pay the exam fee for a previously funded CLEP Exam.

Eligible veterans may receive reimbursement for CLEP exam and administration fees from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Read more about CLEP for veterans.

Active-duty military service members should consult their Education Officers or Navy College Office for specific information about their educational plans. Veterans should consult the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs website for more information about eligibility.

Check to see if your institution is a member of the Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges (SOC Consortium), which coordinates associate and bachelor's degrees in a variety of curriculum areas for the military. This organization can provide you and your students with specific information for service members.

Find out if the student has an SOC Student Agreement, which provides a comprehensive contract-for-degree, so that courses, tests and military experience that are part of a degree plan may be transferred to the student's home college. When all degree requirements set out in the degree plan are met, the home college (which in this case may be your institution) awards an associate's or bachelor's degree. Very often, military students have compiled a number of college credits from various sources, including CLEP in the SOC Student Agreement.

Ask your military students about any existing CLEP test scores and their preparation for CLEP.

Advising International Students

By earning a qualifying score in a CLEP exam, international students can demonstrate to colleges and universities in the United States that they have undergraduate-level knowledge in a specific subject of study. Through CLEP they can advance to more challenging courses.

CLEP exams are optional and not required for admission to U.S. colleges and universities. Therefore, information about CLEP is often not included in an institution's student recruitment information, and students have to ask about CLEP to get the information.

Passing a CLEP exam offers specific benefits for international students, including:

  • Earn credit for language skills: CLEP offers exams in three languages: Spanish, French, and German. Many international students are native speakers of or have advanced knowledge in these languages and could earn undergraduate credit and fulfill the world language requirements at the same time.
  • Earn credit for previous study: In some cases, credit that students have earned at an international college or university may not be transferable to a U.S. institution. CLEP exams can provide an alternate way for students to show that they have learned college-level material.
  • Save money on tuition: Higher education in the United States is costly, and international students have fewer opportunities for scholarships and financial aid than do U.S. citizens and residents. Shortening the time it takes to earn a degree means saving money on tuition and fees.