This strategy won’t be a money saver if you find out that your child’s college doesn’t accept exam scores in exchange for credit. High school students who want to go the college credit path should check their prospective schools’ policies and talk to the admissions office about their plans to apply exam credit toward their degrees. This could also impact their decision of which school to go to, realizing that one school could be much more affordable should they accept the exams for credit.
If your child is heading to college or already there, you may be able to (surprisingly) save by negotiating college tuition, check out this article: 5 Steps to Negotiate College Tuition and Save Thousands of Dollars
IS THERE A DOWNSIDE?
With everything AP, IB and CLEP exams can do for your child, it is important to note that there can be some drawbacks for taking part.
For example, AP classes are more challenging than regular courses. If your student struggles here (but would have excelled in the high school-level class), it could damage their GPA or add stress to their lives. This means your child should take AP classes in subjects where they have some confidence, and might not want to take too many at a time.
Additionally, for all of these options, if your child doesn’t pass the exam, they don’t get college credit, and they don’t get a refund on the exam fee (if they paid one). So, your student should only pay for a test if they are reasonably sure they can get a qualifying score. Otherwise, they might want to study more before hopping into the exam.
Usually, the benefits outweigh the potential drawbacks, making AP, IB and CLEP exams an excellent option for students looking to save money on their college tuition.