The Impact of Prior Learning Assessments on College Completion and Financial Outcomes
61 Pages Posted: 17 Mar 2017 Last revised: 4 Feb 2019
Date Written: February 1, 2019
This paper estimates the impact of the College Level Examination Program (CLEP), an exam that offers credit for student competency in a content area in lieu of completing a course. Using a regression discontinuity design, we find that passing a CLEP exam leads to a 5.5 percent increase in degree completion and 1.6 percent increase in estimated income. The college completion results are notably strong for students who traditionally struggle to graduate and are often hard to track in education data, including two-year and for-profit enrollees and students in the military, students older than 24, underrepresented minorities, and homeschoolers.
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