For a couple of years now I have asked my brother to contribute here on TeensGotCents. He got through college in an amazing way and I really wanted you all to hear his story. It took me a while to convince him but here it is, his first article on the site! If you want to learn how to finish college quickly while saving a TON of money you should check out College Plus!
My first video game system was a Nintendo 64. My dad got it for me when I was pretty young. Many childhood hours were spent (read: wasted) on Yoshi’s Island, Mario Kart, Mario Party, Mario Whatever. We’ve come a long way from blowing dust out of cartridges. One of my favorite memories of the video games in the early 2000’s was the cheat codes. These were simple codes that you could look up online (when your mom wasn’t on the phone) that you could enter to create shortcuts or special features that deviated from the normal game and make some changes that were a lot of fun.
My crowning cheat code discovery? College Plus.
(Disclaimer, I’m not getting paid for this article. Although, if College Plus paid me in retrospect, I certainly wouldn’t say no.)
College Plus is a program that assists students with an alternative route to getting a college degree. As a member of a generation that’s bogged down in student loan debt, I’m proud to say that I’m completely debt free – thanks largely to College Plus. This program allowed me to finish a four year college degree in two, at the age of 18.
My Experience with College Plus
When I was 16 years old, I enrolled in the program. I was assigned a mentor who walked me through the process. Basically, from my Sophomore to Junior years of high school, I completed 90 college credits by taking CLEP tests. CLEP tests are essentially the final exam of college level courses. They’re basically a pass-fail test, and if you pass them you get the credit for the class they represented. I took classes like Psychology 101, Biology 101, Algebra, etc. Since I was already taking classes similar to that in high school, there was a lot of redundancy which made the process very straight forward. My mentor was able to give me some direction on study guides, test center locations, and most importantly, which tests I needed to take.
After several months of test taking, I enrolled at a school called Thomas Edison State College (officially Thomas Edison State University now). I’ve never set foot on my alma matter’s campus. I took my final 30 credits in online courses for my bachelor’s degree in Communications. Those classes were straightforward, inexpensive, and an opportunity to actually delve into my field of study.
Fast forward a year, and I had graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications from Thomas Edison State University and high school on the same day (which is a lot like being born on Christmas… you’d think you get double the presents, but you don’t). I only spent approximately $13,000 on my degree.
For those of you who rightfully are a little wary of this incredible alternative to college, consider these facts:
– My degree is from a fully accredited college
– Many Employers don’t really care where you went to school, as long as you went to school
– More and more young people are getting buried under student loan debt
Who Is College Plus For?
I’d encourage anyone in high school who’s looking at colleges to consider College Plus. There are a few downsides though that I would be remiss to not mention. First, when you graduate from college at a young age, it’s INCREDIBLY hard to find a job that you’re technically qualified for simply because of you might still be a teenager. Also, if you’re into the college life (never my thing), then College Plus really isn’t for you. Also, if you’re not focused and self-motivated, you’ll never make it through the CLEP process (although you might need to reconsider if college is even right for you).
Traditional college is oftentimes a joke. It’s a systemic method of keeping you in debt (I’ll limit my conspiracy theories for the time being). Why spend tens of thousands of dollars on a degree that doesn’t even guarantee you a job that will allow you to pay off your student loans? Seriously, if that’s ever crossed your mind, check out College Plus.
Save that money!
(Eva’s big brother)
If you have any specific questions about CollegePlus and how it worked so well for Price just leave a comment and we will get back with you asap. Thanks so much!