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Freshman year for free… pay for only 3 years of college

11 Jul

College is expensive.  It can be a lot of work too and for many, they get stuck taking classes that just don’t interest them to meet their general education requirements.  IS there a way that you could either

  1.  only need 3 years of those high college bills
  2. go four years but with 20% less work each semester so you have time for a job, college theater, sports, or other interests.
  3. avoid many of those gen ed classes you are not interested in

The answer is yes!  Just follow this easy plan.  Depending on the type of student and opportunities available, you may need to pick and choose which options work best for you.

My first recommendation is that you, as a student, know what school you want and what major your looking to do.  This helps target the plan and makes it more successful.

Secondly, look at the school or schools on your list and see what credit is given for:

CLEP test, AP tests, and any other advanced credit options

Next, look at what courses are required at your school and see if the classes you plan to work on will be able to receive credit and at what score.  If you are considering dual enrollment, look to see if the classes you are taking will transfer.

Once you have all that information (mostly found on admissions page), you can look at your program of study and see how you can replace required classes with test or dual enrollment.

Lets do an example:  In  the Colleges of Engineering at NCSU, they  have a common first year for all COE majors. R. Wants computer science which is in the college of engineering.  He will need all those courses plus general education classes, some of which are specifically for his major, like Economics has to be taken as your social science.

To get a head start, he takes the Calculus CLEP test.  Passing this gives him 4 credits and allows him to sign up for dual enrollment and take Calc 2 at the community college.  He could have taken Calc AB and BC and then took the exam but he felt dividing it up into 2 different test situations was better, rather remember 2 full classes for one test.  He also needed As to get into the computer science major.  Additionally, he took AP computer science (not offered at his school but found it online) the year before and scored 4.  This will allow him to skip the first CSC class at NCSU.

Next, he notices NCSU required Calc based Physics 1, 2, Chemistry 1, and another science course beyond that.  So, although he chose to just take Honors Earth Science, he knew enough to take the AP Environmental Science test, scored a 4 and gets his “extra science ” class out of the way.  The AP Physics class offered in his school was not Calculus based, so he took it as an overview and then self-studied the Calc based Mechanics class, scoring a 4.  This gives him credit for Calc Physics  1 and its Lab.    He tried to do the AP Chem test but his score was not high enough, he needs an A (5) in order to meet requirements of the computer science major.

Now R. hates non – STEM classes, so it is in his best interest to get those done quickly and painlessly.  Therefore, he chose to get some things of his social science done with CLEP testing.  First he chose sociology.  This just requires you to memorize vocabulary and then be able to relate those words to an example.  It was a quick study of two weeks and his test was passed.

The other social science class required by engineering is Microeconomics.  R. Has been self studying for that test, although it has s harder since it isn’t just memorizing, you have to have a sense of the relationships between different parts of the supply and demand concepts.  Hopefully, the plan for s that R. will CLEP out of microeconomics as well.  You don’t get a grade, it is just pass /fail.  And a C is passing.  He gets to avoid all the homework and only has one test to focus on and if he doesn’t pass, he can also retake it again in two months or he will be well prepared for the actual class.

Finally, R. Has time in his high school schedule to take some additional classes.  If they were 3 credit class, it would be easier to schedule and he might make two but with 4 credit classes, it doesn’t leave you much else, so he usually take one 4 credit class plus two high school classes and if time, self studies other things.  For the coming year R. Will take Calc 3 and Physics 2.

Assuming he passes all, this is how it will look when he applies to and attends NCSU.

NCSU first year coursess

  1.  Calc 1. MET
  2. English 1
  3. Enginnering / computers 1
  4. Gen ed class – Sociology- MET
  5. Chemistry 1
  6. calc 2 – MET
  7. Physic 1 with lab – MET
  8.  Csc 116 – first computer class –  MET
  9. Microeconomics –  MET
  10. Basic Sxience elective  – MET

plus he will have Physics 2 and Calc 3 which are softmore classes met.

Total Credits:

Calc 1,2,3 — 12 credits

Physics 1, 2 — 8 credits

APES – basic science- 4

APCS – first csc class- 3

sociology – 3

Microeconomics – 3

————————-

Total: 33 credits

This will allow him either to graduate in three years or take 12 credits instead of 15-16 per semester.

A second example, C. had AP credit for English Composition, he didn’t want to do all the extra work required to take an AP class, so he self studied and got a 4.  He also took AP Computer Science and got a 3. He took APES and got a 4.  But he only has 3 AP tests.  He did take a lot of dual enrollment classes, he was going for a degree in simlation and game design and took two iintroductory classes in this but they did not transfer.  He did take both Calc 1 and Business Calculus.  He took Macroeconomics and two programming classes one in C ++ and the other in Java.  He had 29 credits to transfer.  He went in as a freshman but took 16 credits his first semester and tha numbers him to a second semester sophomore.  He was able to graduate in 3 year and save his family an entire tear of tuition, room, and board.  If C. Had known about CLEP tests, he would have tried coming in with more of his gen ed courses met.

Stdents can manage even more than one year but I think one year is good, it gives them options, doesn’t put them too far ahead of their peers, is doable during the four years that f high school without overloading the child to try and do a year of high school and college at the same time unless they are in an early college program that has them all in college classes full time by senior year.

Remember, if you don’t get a merit scholarship, taking a semester or a year from payments can offer similar financial advantages.

 

 

 

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