Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support
DANTES is the U.S. Department of Defense program that oversees DoD voluntary education for all U.S. military personnel. It pays for both CLEP exams and DSST tests (see section below) for military service members.
- The DANTES mission is to support the off-duty, voluntary education programs of the Department of Defense and to conduct special projects and development activities in support of education-related functions of the Department.
- Source: DANTES website
The primary reference to DANTES among the Big 3 students is the slightly incorrect use of the acronym "DANTES" to refer to the DANTES Subject Standardized Tests (DSST). DANTES is the program that oversees testing for credit for military service members; DSSTs are the actual tests.
DSSTs are available for anyone to take -- you do not need to be in the military to take a DSST exam. DSST tests are accepted by the Big 3 just as CLEP tests are, and are worth 3 semester hours per test. Each DSST has a recommended passing score; it is up to the individual school to determine the actual minimum passing score acceptable for credit.
DSST exams generally cost about $85 + proctoring fees. Military personnel are eligible to get their first attempt at the test for free.