Does anyone have any experience with Jay Cross and DIY Degree?

Discussion in 'CLEP, DANTES, and Other Exams for Credit' started by bantell, Feb 23, 2015.

  1. bantell

    bantell New Member

    Hi Everyone,
    Recently I discovered different paths to finishing my degree. I currently have 45 credits from my college days. I am looking to finish with a business degree as quickly and as inexpensively as possible. I ran across this website. The fee is $297 to have Jay to put together a plan of action for you to do this in accordance with your goals. Between which schools accept which CLEPS and other testing methods I am confused. This seems like this may be a worthwhile path and may end up saving time and money. I have no problem paying someone if they are truly providing value. So if anyone has any experience with this let me know. The money could also be used to take 4 exams so I want to proceed wisely. I appreciate your consideration.
  2. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    If your goal is to take heavy advantage of CLEP tests and similar credit-by-examination programs, you don't need some guru, you can just ask the admissions people at the three colleges that specialize in this sort of thing: Charter Oak State College in Connecticut, Thomas Edison State College in New Jersey, and Excelsior College in New York.
  3. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    I think what Steve means to say is that we'll do it for $250.

    Seriously though, there are three schools that are going to maximize your credits. It sounds like they are the best options for your goal of the quickest, most inexpensive degree. Heck, the front page of this website includes a pretty comprehensive summary of how Steve Levicoff earned a B.A. in Liberal Studies from Thomas Edison State College.
  4. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    Jay Cross is doing this with the Big 3 schools. Honestly, the Big 3 will only help you so much even if you are enrolled. They aren't going to tell you about the Kaplan PLA course, FEMA, TEEX, NFA, Saylor, ALEKS, etc. They will only give you information on those options if you ask them. In order to ask them, you have to know these options exist. Most of their students are not testing out of more than 50% of their degrees, so they mostly only give information on CLEP, DSST, Uexcel, and sometimes TECEP.

    Several members of this forum are also members of another forum that specializes in testing out of degrees. They will help you plan your degree for free. I can guarantee you that they are more up to date and know more about the various credit earning options than Jay Cross. He even admitted on the other forum that he didn't know certain things that could save people a lot of money. I'm not saying this is true of Jay Cross, but some similar businesses have admitted to getting their information from that free forum or sending their clients to that forum. CollegePlus has sent several of its customers after charging them $2,000-$4,000.
  5. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    Here are the TESC test out (and alternative sources of credit) plans I've made for free.

    Sanantone's BSBA General Management - Degree Forum Wiki
    Sanantone's BA in Psychology - Degree Forum Wiki
    Sanantone's BA in Social Science - Degree Forum Wiki
    Sanantone's BA in Natural Sciences and Mathematics - Degree Forum Wiki
    Sanantone's BA in Humanities - Degree Forum Wiki
    Sanantone's BA in History - Degree Forum Wiki
    Sanantone's BSBA in Computer Information Systems - Degree Forum Wiki
    Sanantone's BSBA in Human Resources Management - Degree Forum Wiki
    Sanantone's BSBA in Accounting - Degree Forum Wiki
    Sanantone's BSBA in Marketing - Degree Forum Wiki
    Sanantone's General Education Options - Degree Forum Wiki
    Sanantone's BA in Communications - Degree Forum Wiki
    Sanantone's BA in Criminal Justice - Degree Forum Wiki
    Sanantone's BA in Liberal Studies - Degree Forum Wiki
    Sanantone's BA in Biology - Degree Forum Wiki
    Free Sources of Credit - Degree Forum Wiki

    Just as a warning, Steve Levicoff's article is out of date and is not nearly enough to help you test out of a degree. That's not a criticism; it's just the truth. is also way out of date. If I were to really be honest, most of the members here are not current in their knowledge of the Big 3. Again, that's not a criticism. This forum mostly focuses on accreditation and finding distance education programs. The other forum is almost entirely focused on testing out at the Big 3 and finding competency-based programs.
  6. Steve Levicoff

    Steve Levicoff Well-Known Member

    Well . . . the nerve!

    But sanantone is absolutely correct. I haven’t looked at Lawrie’s BAin4Weeks for years, so I don’t know how relevant it is today. But my article is waaaaaaaay out of date, I would imagine, since TESC has tightened its PLA (prior learning assessment, the newer term for portfolio credit) over the years.

    As for Jay Cross and DIY, I wouldn’t bother. He does an impressive riff, but ultimately he’s one guy with one degree that happens to be from Excelsior (a reputable school). But in the world of research, we’re taught to use primary source materials whenever possible, and Jay is a secondary source. Who has a product to sell. And he sells it quite well. But how comprehensive, and how personalized to individual buyers, is it? I have no idea.

    In the transportation industry, there is a company whose regulatory resources ar used by every major trucking field in the country. But most of their materials consist of information you can for free from various regulatory data bases. What the companies are paying for is the compilation of these free materials. Which can be a valuable service – you pay people for information they have that you don’t have. And that’s a legitimate service.

    The lack of value in Jay’s “product” is that he is teaching “stuff” based on how he did it. And there are other ways to do it. Jay basically did testing, I did a combination of portfolio and testing.

    One other caution: the original poster used the overdone phrase, “As quickly and as inexpensively as possible.” Be careful of what you wish for, and remember that you get what you pay for. The goal should be to find the methods and the program that work best, period. And remember to pay close attention to the distribution requirement in various subject areas in a degree program so you don’t do unnecessary extra work.

    My recommendation? Get a copy of John Bear’s guide and read it well – that’s how I started. And read the hell out of the posts on this forum. I guarantee that some of the people who have already responded to you are more expert than Jay Cross. But if they ever quote me on that, I’ll categorically deny it as a vicious rumor.

    Two other pieces of advice: (1) Never trust anyone who calls himself an entrepreneur, and (2) Never buy anything from another driver in a truck stop. Everyone seems to want to sell something - avoid them like the proverbial plague.

    I have spoken. :wave::wave:
  7. cookderosa

    cookderosa Resident Chef

    You're confused (which makes you gullible) but that can be fixed in a month. Slow down. Look at Sanantone's links and visit the "other forum" everyone keeps talking about. She's right, that forum is more directed at undergraduate testing out, over here it's more about distance learning and grad school. You'll find tons of overlap in the membership, but the other forum has a lot of info in their archives that is already written. Spending a month learning, which you CAN DO, will save you thousands of dollars and you'll be setting your own path in no time.

    The argument isn't that someone is ripping you off, the argument is that you don't know what you're about to buy, which means you shouldn't buy anything IMO from him or anyone.

    CLEP Forum - CLEP Study - CLEP Testing - Study Guide and Strategies
  8. lloway21

    lloway21 New Member

    Hi all,

    I know this thread is a few months old but I'm new here and interested in earning a BA in psychology in this manner. Can someone help me figure this all out and or point me in the direction of the forum that everyone keep referring to. Any help would be greatly appreciated. :) Thanks guys! Happy I stumbled across this forum.
  9. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    It was the the link in the post right above yours, but for good measure:
  10. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator

    I went back to visit Lawrie's site a couple of years ago and even I could tell it was out of date. I haven't recommended that site for a long time. As for the Big 3, speaking for myself, I've never been wired into those programs. They work well for many and I'm glad that sanantone acts as our resident expert on that subject.
  11. TonyM

    TonyM Member

    Everything you need is free and neatly packaged.

    My advice is to read Excelsior's guide to earning credit by examination along with the Excelsior College Catalog for business or whichever program you're interested in. You should be able to get an idea of which exams you have a shot at passing and which ones you don't. Make a list of those exams and see how they fit into whichever course of study you're planning to take.

    You don't need to pay for a special guide to pass any of them. Both DANTES and CLEP give away free guides to their exams with recommended texts. Start with whatever is easiest for you. Take it one step at a time and be your own guide. It can be a really rewarding process.
  12. Helala

    Helala New Member

    Interested in CIS major via test out

    So glad I found this forum and the other, I'd rather not pay Jay Cross for information that is readily available online.

    Thanks much Sanantone for your guides to testing out. I noticed the CIS one says "prior to July 2015" --- do you know what the changes are post July 2015?
  13. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    The CIS area of specialization is the same, but there were changes to the business core. Since all of the BSBA degrees at TESC have the same business core, you can look at my BSBA in General Management plan for post-July 2015 on the wiki.
  14. Helala

    Helala New Member

    Wow. Thanks for such a quick response!

    I've been doing a lot of research the last few days on whether to do Excelsior or TESC; at first I was leaning towards Excelsior b/c it seemed that they allowed you to transfer in a larger % of credits, but now it seems that TESC may be a better option for me.

    If I understand this correctly, I should take all the gen-ed CLEP exams listed on the Wikia, then apply to TESC and test out of the remaining via TECEP for the remainign that are not offered by CLEP. Am I on the right track here?
  15. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    You don't need to take any TECEPs to complete the degree. I just listed most of the available options so people can pick and choose. If you want to take advantage of the Per Credit Tuition Plan, then you should incorporate 24 credits worth of TECEPs into your plan.

    Excelsior, TESC, and COSC are all almost the same when it comes to the percentage of transfer credits accepted. Excelsior and COSC require a capstone that has to be taken with them for all of their bachelor's degrees. COSC also requires a cornerstone that has to be taken with them. Everything else can be transferred in. TESC requires a capstone that has to be taken with them for most of their bachelor's degrees, but the BSBA degrees are different. The capstone for those is Strategic Management/Business Policy. You can test out of it with a TECEP or CSU Global CBE; take the ACE-approved course from Penn Foster; or take an equivalent course at any regionally accredited, 4-year school. So, with the BSBA degrees at TESC, you can transfer in 100% of the credits.

    Also, make sure you take a look at the post-July 2015 gen ed requirements for TESC.
  16. omnitheory

    omnitheory New Member

    By any chance would you have a TESC plan for an English BA?
  17. Jesse1138

    Jesse1138 New Member

    Hi everyone I am new but it looks like this post is pretty old, but it keeps coming uo in my search. Forgive me if there is some other part of this forum that would answer this in 2020 and not 2015 when this was posted. First does there exist a comprehensive testing credit maximizer by school anywhere?
    What other forum are you talking about in this specific post? Thanks not sure this forum is even going anymore, but if it is THANK YOU!
  18. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Rumors of our death have been greatly exaggerated. :) We're still going -- and so are they. This wondrous site you speak of -- the link has been given in posts 7 and 9 above. Here it is for one more time -

    And yes- they are really good at what they do. They are experts. Testing, alternate sources of credit, best value in Community College credits, everything about Big 3 ,,, the whole nine, on educational frugality. It's their specialty.
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2020
    Maniac Craniac likes this.
  19. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Some of the forum members are so good that I've heard of people trying to steal ideas from them so they can charge others money for the free info - or plagiarize it and publish a book, etc. I think those who run the outfit watch for that pretty carefully, these days ... and I don't blame them. They're smart.

    It's like open-source software. Free to use but you can't sell it.
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2020
    Maniac Craniac likes this.
  20. Jesse1138

    Jesse1138 New Member

    Thank you for the reply but could someone answer the 2nd part of my question? I don't want to duplicate some comprehensive spreadsheet if one already exists ? Is there exist a comprehensive testing credit maximizer by school anywhere? As in a spread sheet someone has already created showing which schools offer what and how many credits they offer each?
    Thanks again,

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