College Fast and Cheap Down and Easy

Joe's College Guide.Today's College World.Ah, the college years. Sex. Liquor. The occasional lecture hall.

A bohemian paradise of education, right? All fun and learning until you get the bill in the mail, for an average of $15,000 per year in today's college world, plus books, living expenses, and even(in most states), taxes."That's fine, Joe, my parents pay for it all!" Go suck a camel's nut. No, seriously, stop reading.

This guide ain't for you. You piss Joe off.Still here? Fine.

The less privileged among us recognize college as the gateway to something we REALLY want: Money. After all, anybody with MONEY can get all the sex and liquor they can handle. Education is coin, plain and simple.

You've got to keep your priorities straight. When a guy (or gal) has been living with a 3/4 empty gas tank long enough, he (or she) really understands the value of a dime, and if you want to make piles of them, a college degree is your must-have ticket.So how do you think you can do it, smart guy? Got straight As and think you've got a financial plan to bootstrap yourself into the ivy league? Yeah, right."Well, Joe, what about getting scholarships?" Glad you asked. Scholarships. Sure, if you can figure out where to apply.

Or you could PAY someone to research scholarships for you - plenty of services do this for a fee. You could also drive to Kansas, find a farm, and feed your money to a jackass.Unfortunately, scholarships also require you to meet qualifications, such as having an exemplary record full of glowing commendations by your peers and civil leaders. Being "a minority" (apparently this means everybody except white males) usually helps. The local "Brotherhood of the Duckbilled Platypus Lodge" might kick you a few hundred bucks, too -- which could cover your share of the rent for a month .

maybe."Okay, Joe, but I can also get a grant!" Yeah, if you're poor enough the government might chuck you a few thousand dollars per year. Try going to school on THAT and it'll pay for your college in, oh, about 20 years. Good luck feeding yourself in the meantime.Not that scholarships and grants are a bad thing, every crumpled fiver will help you enormously when you visit the local Albertson's for a big case of discount ramen noodles, but in today's world of $40-$70,000 colleges, we need something else. What we need are new roads to follow -- college paths for the rest of us.

The Non-Traditional Routes: Fast and Cheap.Fastest way to a degree? Testing. Testing. And more testing, until you are a crowned champion of the multiple choice quiz. Added benefit of testing your way to all or part of a degree? That's easy: money.

A $60 proctored exam is cheaper than a $525 3-semester hour (credit) course.if, that is, the test were only worth 3 credits. Most are worth more, and the true kings of the college-credit tests are worth a whopping 30 credits each! These two tests are the GRE general equivalency exams and are quite a bit to swallow at any one time.Here are the tests accepted most anywhere:.

CLEP -- College Level Examination Program, probably the most standard batch of tests. Taking the general areas alone will knock 30 credits off your degree. Great place to start. Miss a few test areas, miss a few credits.

You still come out ahead.GRE -- Graduate Record Examinations, come in two flavors, the massive general equivalency tests and the smaller subject area tests. Take the easy subject area tests and watch the credits fall off your degree.

You only need to get about 60% of the questions right to pass.DANTES -- Military folks are already familiar with these tests. The DANTES' DSSTs (DANTES Subject Standardized Tests) are to college credits what a weed-wacker is to a field of fluffy dandelions.

Have fun.You can take these tests at any proctored testing center, found in any populated area. Check your phone book.

If you've got a community college in town or in the NEXT town, try there. Got squat? In completely 'rural' areas most schools will allow a priest, military officer, notary public, or other "responsible" individual to proctor a written version of the exam. It's kind of like the honor system. Play nice.Need to know what tests to take? Keep reading.

Cheap college: Think DETC (http://www.detc.org/) approved schools. Many of these schools have extremely cheap credits (on order of $50 bucks a credit). Check 'em out and fill in the gaps in your education.

One good key is to look for schools approved for VA (veteran's) benefits -- these "discount" schools are often a cut above the rest. Caveat: Buy beware! Many school's DETC credits cannot be transferred to another institution. Do your homework first and give your "finishing school" a call to make sure they'll accept you and your discount education.Players You Should Know.

The biggest supporters of the fast and cheap methods are the finishing schools - the places that actually issue your degree. Once you've scrapped together all the credits you can from every place you can think of, these are the schools to take them to and cash them in (no residency requirements or pesky entry tests here, folks). Collectively, they're known as The Big Three: Thomas Edison college in Jersey, Excelsior (formerly Regents) college of New York, and Charter Oak of Connecticut. Not sure which tests to take? Start with the general education requirements (usually around 55 credits) that are standard to all degrees. Your degree will tell you what you need.For example, take a basic list of requirements for a BA from Thomas Edison College (http://www.

tesc.edu/prospective/undergraduate/degree/ba.php) and find tests which fulfill them, such as the Humanities CLEP, DSST Art of the Western World, and DSST An Introduction to the Modern Middle East for the 12 required humanities credits. Three afternoons, $180, and $1920 or more saved -- not even counting the saved time.For other requirements, see the B.A.

Major Area of study PDF files (ie. the economics PDF for a major in economics from T. Edison) that will tell you exactly what courses you need to test out of for your degree. All schools provide similar degree requirement lists. Pick your winner.

The Scams.Don't Get Burned.There's a whole industry out there waiting to cater to the guy/gal who thinks an accredited degree is out of reach, and two main types of customers -- those who pay somebody else to do it, and those who do it themselves. We have a word for the first group: Suckers. Here's the word for the second: Con-artists.The suckers do searches online for fake degrees and usually end up someplace like Rochville, Belford or Almeda browsing fees.

Note that these places do not come right out and say they're selling fake degrees. What they're selling is "alternatively accredited" degrees -- ie, degrees accredited by some institution (such as the IAOUU, UCOEA, or the AOAEx) that is by no means approved of by the United States' (or anybody else's) government, or even degrees that are simply "life-experience" degrees. WTF is that? If an employer cared more about your "life-experience" than a piece of paper, people wouldn't need to go out and fake one in the first place.Keep away from anyplace that isn't properly accredited. All they want is your money, and all you'll get is a piece of paper worth LESS than the ink it's printed on.

The Military Option: Nuke 'em All Join the military for four years. Get the GI Bill. Get your college degree. Just like your author. Smooth like Joe, baby.

All the best!.



By: Joe Jasper

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