In a world where one college credit can cost $300 or more, I earned 30 college credits for $376. Pssst … It’s completely legit.

Many colleges and universities in the United States accept ACE-certified courses for transfer credits. The most well-known of these is the College Level Examination Program (CLEP) by the College Board. Personally, I have done nine CLEP exams (eight of which were FREE) that helped me earn my Associate’s degree … but that’s a story for another blog post. Today, I want to tell you how I took 10 college courses for only $12.53 per credit.

In 2022, I started preparing to earn credits to complete my Bachelor’s degree. At first, I began taking more CLEP exams such as Introduction to Sociology and Principles of Management. But CLEP exams can be tedious to prep for, and the online proctoring experience isn’t always a pleasant one. Additionally, there are only so many topic exams that you can take via CLEP. Courses like Project Management, Business Communication, and Philosophy aren’t available.

However, these topics and many more are available with Sophia Learning. One great benefit of taking college courses with Sophia Learning is that all the exams (referred to as Milestones at are open book. So throughout every exam that I took, I was able to simultaneously access the online textbook. Sophia, in fact, makes it super easy for you. The exam screen is split in two, one section with the multiple choice question and the other section with the navigatable textbook. When taking an exam there is no live proctor. There is no video feed at all! Sophia uses a system where you do a typing pattern analysis the ensure that you are indeed yourself before you take an exam. This was a major plus for me as I could take tests while in my pajamas and lying on my bed.

Sophia Learning operates on a monthly subscription basis. I paid $99 dollars a month (my first month was discounted by $20) and completed as many courses as I was able to. In total, I was subscribed to Sophia for four months and completed 10 transferable college courses (30 ACE-recommended college credits). Because of my busy schedule, I only averaged about 3 courses a month, but I have known of other students who have done 5+ in one month.

So when comparing CLEP and Sophia Learning, I definitely prefer Sophia. However, each one has its own advantages and disadvantages. CLEP, while more cumbersome, is more widely accepted at universities and colleges than Sophia. Sophia has more topic courses than CLEP, so if you need courses in the field of Computer Science, Communications, or the Humanities, Sophia is more likely to suit your needs.

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