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What’s The Cheapest/Best Way To Get 150 Credits Online For the CPA?

Ed. note: Want to the be a recipient of Adrienne's verbal flogging? Email us your plight at [email protected]

Hi GC,

I recently passed the CPA exam. Woohoo! Go me! Haha. However I jumped off the college bandwagon rather quickly, with only 122 college credits to my name. That being said, I am looking for the cheapest online classes I can find (i.e. women’s studies and history 101). I’m not interested in an MBA and am only taking additional college classes since I was dealt the unfortunate hand of having been born in NJ where they require 150 college credits to attain the CPA license. Where can I find those cheap online classes!

I believe we have discussed this previously but since the asker was so nice, polite and respectful of the English language (and I'm pretty much out of material and too lazy to go find something else), we'll entertain the question.

First, congrats on passing. Second, why the hell didn't you think of this when you were still in school? Just kidding. Third, why the hell have you stayed in New Jersey? That one was a serious question.

Anyway, have you considered community college? The units are usually dirt cheap and most schools should have online options as well. You'll want to check with the Board in NJ to make sure they recognize any institutions you are looking at but as long as classes aren't run by a sketchy guy with a combover out of his rapist van parked behind the abortion clinic, I'm sure you'll be fine. You can also try a work-study type deal which will give you credits for doing what you're doing anyway (working), if in fact you are working and not just sitting around in your mom's basement working on your ripped abs and spray tan.

Now, I hear LSU come up a lot when 120-ers (or 122-ers, in your case) are talking about grabbing a few extra units to meet the requirement for licensure, so that's something to check out. Check out this Another 71 forum thread that confirms LSU is pretty much the cheapest online option out there.

If that doesn't pan out, you could also take the shady route and try to launder some credits through a real school. Take this fellow NJ candidate, for example. He or she had the bright idea to take the free online FEMA emergency management classes and then apply them to community college for credit (at $76 a pop). It is unknown if this has ever actually worked for anyone and I'd be reckless if I suggested you did so without triple checking with both the state board in NJ and your target school before wasting a weekend studying FEMA disaster readiness plans but hey, you never know.

There's also CLEP but again, that's kind of shady (the whole point of 150 units is not to find the cheapest, easiest classes available and get your damn license already but to become a well-rounded, knowledgeable entry level CPA). Assuming you have graduated already (sure you have, how else would you have passed the CPA exam?), you will still have to enroll in some school to have the CLEP credits "laundered" through a real educational institution. See what I mean? Shady.

I stand by my usual recommendation of community college. The units are relatively cheap and you should have the time now that you aren't worrying about the CPA exam, plus you might end up hooking up with a hot but slightly dysfunctional Women's Studies major with a nosering.

Remember, this might be the last time you ever learn anything in your miserable little life (I kid) so take advantage of it by filling your plate with courses that will at least exercise that number-crunching little brain of yours, not just ones that are the easiest to get through in the shortest amount of time for the least amount of money.

Good luck!