Free Tests For College Credit In Minnesota

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The state of Minnesota is offering a unique program for high school students: free college credits are being given to those who take (and pass) certain state-approved tests. Unfortunately, the response from high school students has been disappointing as the program is being underutilized. With more than $5 million earmarked by the state through 2009 to cover the tests, only $43,000 has been spent so far.

Save Thousands On Tuition Costs 

Minnesota’s “Get Ready, Get Credit” program is unique in that it is the only state to pay the test fees to help students get college credit. Although still responsible for administrative fees of $15 to $25 per test, Minnesotans are passing up the opportunity to receive free college credit and the opportunity to save thousands of dollars in tuition costs.

Lack of Publicity Hurts

Part of the problem with the program is that it hasn’t been receiving the publicity necessary to catch the attention of students. Some are saying that the college-level exam program is being passed by in favor of more popular choices for college credit, including Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate. Additionally, many guidance counselors and teachers just aren’t that familiar with the state-paid exams. As a result, the state is planning to publicize the program and is hoping more students take the tests this Spring.

Students May Take Up To Six Exams

Students are allowed to take as many as six of the tests which include Algebra, Spanish, and U.S. History. Credits are accepted by member schools of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system however the University of Minnesota — Twin Cities is only accepting a handful of the 34 exams that students may take, as their admittance requirements are stricter than the state system.

For more information about Minnesota’s CLEP program, please visit the state’s Department of Education for details. Please visit the following links for aid charts and planning tools to help you prepare for college.

Source: Department of Education, State of Minnesota

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