The Plan:

Alright, we have talked about ACE, we covered “The Big Three,” and the considerable benefits of utilizing college equivalency exams. How can you apply that information in a meaningful way? To get you started, I provided the plan I followed while working on my second degree at Excelsior College. Please don’t take any of this information for granted. While most of it is accurate and will work great, it is a few years old, and I had completed many of the requirements before starting the program. It is best to make a phone call and get verification from the school if you have questions before you spend any time or money.

I constructed this for someone who has zero college credit hours and I didn’t consider any benefits that might be available through work, grants, tuition reimbursement, or scholarships. For example, at the time of this writing, an active duty military member can take CLEP and DSST exams for free at their installation’s education office. In their case, the cost of this degree plan is even cheaper. Someone following this plan can expect to finish a Bachelor’s of Business in General Business from Excelsior College while taking only two traditional college courses online. I’ve provided study resources that can be used to prepare for the exams and satisfy the course requirements. Some of the resources I’ve listed I haven’t yet covered on the blog, but I will be adding them as time permits. I wanted to provide this information now so you can get an idea of how to break up the problem satisfying degree requirements.

Exam to fill Degree Requirements


Study Source

Exam Cost

Course/Exam Scheduling & Info

Excelsior College Examination (ECE) ENGx111 English Composition
(Fulfills the requirements for associate and bachelor degrees)
ECE Can use Excelsior, Instantcert, or SpeedyPrep to prepare $460
Principles of macroeconomics CLEP SpeedyPrep $80
Principles of microeconomics CLEP SpeedyPrep $80
Natural Sciences CLEP $80
Precalculus / Algebra with Trigonometry ALEKS Online Course ALEKS N/A Online self-paced virtual course
Statistics ALEKS Online Course ALEKS N/A Online self-paced virtual course
Information Literacy 8 wk Online Course Excelsior College Course $240 Note: Must complete within first 13 credits after enrolling

Additional Arts & Sciences electives (39 Credits)

Social Sciences/History (9 Credits)
Introductory psychology CLEP SpeedyPrep $80
Introductory sociology CLEP SpeedyPrep $80
Western Civilization I CLEP SpeedyPrep $80
Western Civilization II CLEP SpeedyPrep $80
History of the United States I CLEP SpeedyPrep $80
History of the United States II CLEP SpeedyPrep $80
American Government CLEP SpeedyPrep $80
Human Growth and Development CLEP SpeedyPrep $80
Introduction to Educational Psychology CLEP Instantcert $80
Humanities (9 Credits)
Humanities CLEP SpeedyPrep $80
Ethics in America DSST Instantcert $80
Art of the Western World DSST Instantcert $80
The Civil War and Reconstruction DSST Instantcert $80

Business Component (39 Credits – 18 UL)

Introductory Business Law CLEP SpeedyPrep $80
Principles of Marketing CLEP SpeedyPrep $80
Principles of Management CLEP SpeedyPrep $80
Financial Accounting CLEP Instantcert $80
Human Resource Management ECE Instantcert $95
Labor Relations ECE Instantcert $95
Organizational Behavior ECE Instantcert $95
Principles of Finance DSST Instantcert $80
Money and Banking DSST Instantcert $80
Business Ethics and Society DSST Instantcert $80
Introduction to Computing DSST Instantcert $80
Personal Finance DSST Instantcert $80
Introduction to Business DSST Instantcert $80
Management Information Systems DSST Instantcert $80

Applied Professional or Free Electives (14 Credits)

A History of the Vietnam War DSST Instantcert $80
An Introduction to the Modern Middle East DSST Instantcert $80
Introduction to World Religions DSST Instantcert $80
Rise and Fall of the Soviet Union DSST Instantcert $80
Western Europe since 1945 DSST Instantcert $80


BUS511 – Strategy and Policy (Course) 8 wk Online Course Excelsior College Course $1,470 Search for BUS511

Admin Fees

$1,660 Add $495 for every year you don’t complete your degree.

Estimated Course & Testing fees

$5,055 Added $40 for a subscription to ALEKS to complete the Math requirement.

Study costs

$360 Assuming 36 exams @ 4 exams per month with a subscription to both and for 9 months.


$7,075 Assuming total dedication to 4 exams per month and no failures. Expecting to graduation in just over 1 year including both required courses from Excelsior.


STEP 5: Step-By-Step Bachelor’s in Business Degree from Excelsior College

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