Finish an Online Degree Via Credit by Exam

Online students can earn college credit for previous work, military experience.

Testing out of college courses takes discipline and independence, experts say.

[Explore job search tips for online students.]

Becky Takeda-Tinker, president of Colorado State University—Global Campus, says her school had disappointing results when it allowed students to test out of higher-level classes. Students who took a formal, online course outperformed their counterparts who tested out of class, she says.

The experiment left Tinker and other university leaders concerned about how the testing model would prepare students for the workplace. These days, the school only offers a limited number of beginner courses through which students can earn credit by exam.

"We were very excited that this could lower the cost of education," she says. "But it wasn't as simple as we originally thought."

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