How Colleges Benefit From CLEP
CLEP exams give students a head start toward their degrees, resulting in better academic outcomes across the board.
CLEP Students Are More Likely to Graduate
Passing a CLEP exam correlates to a 5.5% increase in degree completion. This effect is notably strong for student groups who traditionally struggle to graduate:
- Students at two-year colleges
- Students in the military
- Students age 25 or older
- First-generation college-going students
- Underrepresented students
CLEP Students Perform Better Academically
CLEP students have significantly higher GPAs than non-CLEP students, when controlling for demographics and prior achievement.
Better Course Performance
Students who earn credit through CLEP perform as well or better in subsequent courses as their peers who took the introductory course.
Higher Retention Rates
Students Who Attend 4-Year Colleges
High school CLEP test takers who score 50 or higher and matriculate to a four-year college have higher retention and graduation rates than students without early credit.
Students Who Transfer From 2- to 4-Year Colleges
High school CLEP test takers who score 50 or higher and begin at a two-year college have higher transfer rates to a four-year college, higher graduation rates, and higher rates of bachelor's degree completion.
Among first-generation college-going students and underrepresented students, those earning a CLEP score of 50 or higher have considerably higher graduation and retention rates at colleges as well as higher transfer rates from two- to four-year colleges.
Boost Degree Completion
In addition to improved completion rates, on average, students who take prior learning assessments such as CLEP earn their degrees faster.
Shorter Time to Degree
Adult students who earned 12 or more college credits through prior learning assessments (PLA) like CLEP saved 9–14 months earning their degrees, compared to non-PLA students.
Among Hispanic students, PLA increased the likelihood of degree completion by 24%, compared to students who didn't take PLA.
Significant Cost Savings
An adult student who earns 15 CLEP credits to apply toward a degree could save nearly $5,000 at the average public four-year institution and more than $17,000 at the average private nonprofit institution.
CLEP Placement Validity Study Research Brief
Validating college course placement decisions based on CLEP exam scores.
High School CLEP Test Taking and College Outcomes
Compares college outcomes of CLEP students and students without early college credit.
College Outcomes for High School CLEP Test Takers and Dual Enrollment (DE) Students
Compares college outcomes of CLEP students, dual enrollment students, and students without early college credit.
CLEP and Completion Study Research Brief
Shows the causal impact on college graduation of earning credit through CLEP.