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

Higher GPA

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.

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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.

Underrepresented Students

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.

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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.

Underrepresented 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.

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