Welcome to the Degree Forum Wiki
This website contains information on accelerating your Bachelor's degree completion through transferring credits and testing out of a Bachelor's degree through "The Big 3 Schools" which are fully accredited colleges. You can complete your Bachelor's degree for around $5,000-$10,000 starting from scratch and do it in as little as a few months!
The Big 3 schools are tailored for anyone seeking a degree for career or personal enhancement – whether they are in their teens or even their 60s! Don't worry, these aren't diploma mills – two of them are state schools, and the third was formerly a state college of New York.
Also, tests can be taken by students at virtually any age, so parents, you can get your kids started! In fact, there are quite a few high school students on DegreeForum.net who are planning to complete a Bachelor's degree by the time they graduate high school!
Can You Really Test Out of a Degree?
In a word – YES! (Technically.) It is entirely possible to get a fully-accredited Bachelor's degree from a state school by testing out of most classes! Many people have gone down this route before and blazed the trail for you. One DegreeForum.net user reported earning 89 credits in one month using various test-out options! And many of these are acceptable as transfer credit at many regionally-accredited schools, though schools other than The Big 3 generally have restrictions on the amount of credit you can transfer in. The Big Three require that you take 6-7 credits with them directly (referred to as the capstone and the cornerstone).
The entire method of testing out of a degree gained ground in the 2000s thanks to pioneers like BAin4Weeks.com and 123CollegeDegree.com (defunct). While the information and processes of these pioneers are largely outdated, the basic principles have been expanded on and a similar route is still available today.
However, purely test-out is not the only option available. The Big 3 have generous transfer policies, allowing you to transfer in all but 6-7 credit hours out of 120 credits needed to complete a Bachelor's degree. They were originally designed specifically for the adult career learner who may have credits from a variety of sources (community colleges, universities, industry certifications, etc) but never completed a "traditional" degree; fortunately, it is being widely adopted by all age groups i.e. anyone and everyone. This website and DegreeForum.net can show you methods for quickly, easily, and cheaply getting credits to obtain you a regionally-accredited Bachelor's degree.
Regionally Accredited College Degrees
Charter Oak State College and Thomas Edison State University are public colleges and Excelsior College is a private, non-profit college. All of the Big 3 are regionally-accredited and regional accreditation is considered the gold standard of institutional accreditation. You can earn all 120 credits by some combination of the following: taking classes at these schools, taking classes at other schools, taking classes from alternative sources, or passing class-equivalence tests.
If you doubt the legitimacy of such a degree, note that forum user Ryoder was interviewed by the New York Times as part of an article about the future of alternative education and went on to enroll in a Ph.D.
Note: While each of the Big 3 currently offer the possibility of earning "portfolio" credit – a means to document and prove your actual knowledge equal to college level outcomes in particular courses – many students who have walked this path before have had unsatisfactory experiences See also Prior Learning Assessment - PLA credit for what you know for more on this topic. For the same cost of a "portfolio" – around $450 and 3 months, with no guarantee you will actually get any credit – you can take 3 CLEP tests and receive 9-18 credits! (30 if you passed 3 general subject tests and aced a foreign language test). There are even better/cheaper options available in Sources of Credit.
List of Topics
See all topics here: All Pages.
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Choosing The Right College or University
- The Big 3
- Basic Approach - Online Education Guide
- Common Acronyms and Terms
- Common Misconceptions
- Sources of Credit
- Free Sources of Credit
- ACE Recommendations for Exams and Coursework. Important to know.
- NCCRS Recommendations for Exams and Coursework. Not as popular as ACE, but great for Excelsior, TESU, & AGMU!
- Other Schools
- Graduate Studies
- Study Guides
- Compiled List of Courses and Corresponding Tests
- BAin4weeks.com – Details how one student got his Bachelor's degree in a month. One of the pioneers in testing out of a degree. The concept is still valid for historical purposes, but the plans are several years out of date. In general, you can no longer use a GRE subject exam to obtain a degree in the same way that this student did.
- DegreeForum.net – A forum for discussing how to test out of a degree, and other related topics.
- Free-Clep-Prep.com – Gives some very good advice, sample tests, and invaluable information about the different exams available.