desks school stock classroom

Advocate file photo of school desks.

It was great to see your newspaper's recent article on Louisiana leading the nation in the number of College Level Examination Program exams taken by students for free college credit. As the founder and CEO of the Modern States Education Alliance, a charity dedicated to making a college education more affordable and accessible for everyone, I believe other states should follow Louisiana’s lead.

CLEP exams are offered in 32 different college subjects, have been in existence for over 50 years, and are accepted for credit by over 2,900 colleges and universities — including LSU, University of New Orleans and Loyola University. Each CLEP exam passed can equate to one less course needed to graduate because many colleges accept the CLEP score like a transfer credit. Passing eight CLEPs, for example, can often give students the ability to enter a college with one year of course work done, and just three years to go; “freshman year for free” and a tremendous savings in time and money.

HIgh school students earning college credit up 51 percent

The Modern States philanthropy has helped this college affordability cause by hiring some of the nation’s best professors from the most respected universities, and creating a state-of-the-art, online college course in every CLEP subject. The courses are all available free of charge at, just like a digital public library of CLEP and college, and anyone of any age and background can use them. Louisiana schools, such as Thomas Jefferson High School in Gretna, are now using courses, and so is the U.S. military. Over 150,000 students have signed on to since we launched about two years ago.

Louisiana is right to be at the forefront of using CLEP exams to help its students make college more affordable. Your newspaper was right to highlight Louisiana’s success.

Steve Klinsky

founder and CEO,

New York