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  • DTP Success Team

Northern Arizona University Students: Save $25,300 in Tuition with DSST Exams

Updated: 4 days ago

Two students looking at the Northern Arizona University homepage.

Northern Arizona University

Are you a Northern Arizona University (NAU) student seeking ways to cut education costs?

With soaring tuition fees, textbook expenses, and other costs, finding affordable alternatives has never been more crucial.

One often disregarded option is to earn college credit through DSST exams.

Picture graduating from NAU with significantly reduced student loan burdens.

DSST exams, previously known as DANTES (Defense Activity for Nontraditional Education Support) Subject Standardized Tests, offer a standardized testing method that enables students to showcase their understanding of specific subjects and earn valuable college credits.

Northern Arizona University students can leverage the DSST credit-by-examination program to attain general education college credit without enrolling in conventional courses.

This comprehensive blog will explore the advantages students gain by utilizing DSST exams to earn credits toward an undergraduate degree at Northern Arizona University.


Why Take DSST Exams

Degree hat over hundred dollar bills.

Save Money And Graduate Faster

DSST exams test students’ comprehension of college-level subjects obtained inside and outside traditional classroom settings.

The DSST credit-by-examination program enables students to earn credit for a Northern Arizona University course by completing one final DSST exam instead of attending a semester-long class. 

Through the utilization of DSST exams, students enjoy the flexibility to study the subject matter independently and choose an exam date when they feel adequately prepared.

This adaptable approach allows students to demonstrate proficiency in specific general education subjects and eliminates the need for conventional classroom attendance, presenting an opportunity to save time and money. 

Ambitious students can leverage DSST exams to test out of elective courses, fulfill general education requirements, and accelerate progression into upper-division coursework.  

Undergraduate Tuition and Fees at Northern Arizona University

Student viewing Undergraduate Tuition and Fees at Northern Arizona University

Undergraduate Tuition

Northern Arizona University recognizes the significant financial commitment required for college attendance and supports the use of DSST exams to earn credits toward an undergraduate degree.

The overall cost of attending Northern Arizona University is influenced by factors such as residency, tuition, fees, course materials, living expenses, travel, and additional student-related costs.

The average annual cost of attending Northern Arizona University as an undergraduate student varies, ranging from $12,652 for in-state students to $28,900 for out-of-state students.


Northern Arizona University Online Tuition Versus DSST Exam Fees 

Student viewing Undergraduate Tuition and Fees at Northern Arizona University

Potential Savings

Most undergraduate general education classes are structured as three (3) semester-hour units. 

Let’s compare the approximate cost of a 3-semester-hour unit online class at Northern Arizona University to the cost of taking an equivalent 3-semester-hour unit DSST exam.


Three (3) Semester Unites Vs. DSST Exam Fees


Unit Type

Cost per Unit

Number of Units

Total Cost

Total Savings with DSST Exams

Northern Arizona University Tuition:

Online Undergraduate General Elective Class


$455.00 (1 unit)



DSST Exam Fees:



$100.00 (3 units)



Total Savings with DSST Exams



One Online Undergraduate General Elective Class at Northern Arizona University:

  • $455.00 (semester-hour) x 3 semester-hour units = $1,365.00 

One DSST exam awards credit for three (3) semester-hour units.

  • Regardless of residency status, a non-refundable $100.00 test fee is required to take the exam.

NAU 3 Credit Class: $1,365.00 

DSST 3 Credit Exam: $100.00

Students at Northern Arizona University will save $1,265.00 in tuition for one 3-semester-hour unit class by testing out with DSST exams.

Fifteen (15) Semester Units Vs. DSST Exam Fees

A full-time course load schedule for undergraduate students comprises 15 units (5 classes) per semester. 

Let's view the potential savings below.

Scroll through the table below.



Unit Cost (3)

# of Classes


DSST Exam Fees

Total Cost

Total DSST Savings

Northern Arizona University







DSST Exams







Total DSST Savings


Utilizing DSST exams, full-time students at Northern Arizona University can save over $6,325.00 in tuition costs per semester ($12,650 yearly).

Streamline Your Path to Graduation with Convenience and Efficiency

Northern Arizona University credit by exam policy.

Credit By Exam

Both current and potential Northern Arizona University students have several options for fulfilling general education requirements. 

Students may take elective courses at Northern Arizona University or a community college to transfer credits directly to the university.

These pathways are often time-consuming and may not be the most efficient choice for those looking to expedite their academic journey.

Instead, students can take DSST exams.

DSTT exams are the new community college.

DSST exams allow students to test out of introductory courses and earn college credit in weeks.


Unlike traditional semester-long classes, DSST exams cater to motivated individuals who prefer a more independent study approach. 

One of the critical advantages of DSST exams is their flexibility in terms of study schedules.

Students study at their preferred pace and take the exam on their own time when they feel sufficiently prepared. 

Highly driven Northern Arizona University students have the freedom to take DSST exams for elective credit while concurrently enrolled in other classes.

 Save up to $25,300 in tuition. Students have the potential to test out of up to 60 units, equivalent to two years' worth of general education and elective courses.

This creates an additional opportunity to strategically complete required courses in half the time and at a fraction of traditional tuition costs. 

High school and home-schooled students may jump-start earning college credits by taking DSST exams before entering college.

By passing elective DSST courses, prospective Northern Arizona students bypass traditional courses to earn credits to fulfill general education requirements.

This eliminates the need to attend community college or enroll in elective classes at Northern Arizona University.


Pro Tip: Before taking any DSST exam, contact your Northern Arizona University academic advisor to confirm and verify that the course credits apply to your degree program.

It is essential to consult with your academic advisor to ensure that you are not duplicating coursework and to clarify the alignment of DSST exams with your degree course.

Once you have obtained approval to proceed, explore our selection of online DSST examination preparation courses to initiate your studies.

You may also consider taking a complimentary practice test to familiarize yourself with the testing format.

Prospective Northern Arizona University students may streamline the process of completing general education classes by taking DSST exams before enrollment to significantly reduce the overall cost of obtaining a college degree.  

What Classes Can I Test Out Of?

Student viewing Northern Arizona University DSST Exams Articulation Guidelines

Northern Arizona University DSST Exams Articulation Guidelines

Students can earn college credit by completing a DSST exam, as outlined in the table below. 

Currently, Northern Arizona University only accepts the DSST exams specified in the table below based on the time of the exam.


DSST - Liberal Studies/ Diversity Designation Key


Aesthetic and Humanistic Inquiry


Science and Applied Science


Social and Political Worlds

DSST Course Exam

Liberal Studies/Diversity

Northern Arizona University Course Credit

DSST Course Credit

Elective credit

3 units


ARH 141 or ARH 142

3 units

Elective credit

3 units


CCJ 101

3 units

Elective credit

3 units

CTE Dept. Elective

3 units

Elective credit

3 units

Elective credit

3 units

Elective credit

3 units

HS 200

3 units

Elective credit

3 units

MGT 101

3 units


GSP 170 

3 units


GLG 101

3 units

CCJ 220

3 units

Elective credit

3 units

Elective credit

3 units

Elective credit

3 units

Elective credit

3 units

Elective credit

3 units


Maintain Your Grade Point Average (GPA)

Student viewing Northern Arizona's degrees and programs.

Pass or Fail

Northern Arizona University awards credit for DSST exams with passing scores of 400 points or higher for college credit.

Credit for exams is awarded and recorded as a “P” (Pass) grade.

Failing scores are not counted toward your GPA.


Pro Tips:

  • Ensure you pass your DSST exam on the first try to avoid waiting 30 days to retake it.

  • Confirm credit-by-exam policies with your academic counselor.


DSST exams typically contain 100 multiple-choice questions with four answer choices and an opportunity to score between 200 and 500 points.

To receive college credit, a test-taker must correctly answer approximately 58% to 62% of the exam questions to receive a passing score of 400 points or higher.

The lenient scoring criteria of DSST exams make them an extremely attractive choice for those comfortable with standardized testing.

If you fail an exam on the first attempt, you may retest every 30 days until you achieve a passing score without negatively affecting your GPA.

DSST Test Centers: How to Register For Your DSST Exam

Prometric test registration screen on a desktop monitor.

Taking Your Final Exam

Prometric Test Centers

You can easily schedule your DSST exam at any of Arizona's conveniently located Prometric test centers.

Take Your DSST Exam Online Remotely Through Prometric.

Schedule your DSST exam remotely from the comfort of your home and be monitored by a live proctor.


How Will Northern Arizona University Receive My Exam Scores?

Northern Arizona University student viewing school website.

Score Report Code

Each college or university that accepts DSST exams has a unique 4-digit Institutional Score Report Code that allows that institution to receive your scores for free.

You must enter your Institutional Score Report Code to ensure Northern Arizona University receives your passing score.

When you take your exam at a Prometric test center or online remotely, the registration process will not allow you to enter the Institutional Score Report Code.

Prometric should update this soon. In the meantime, there is a workaround.

The Institutional Score Report Code for Northern Arizona University is 9256

After completing your DSST exam, you must contact Prometric within three days and provide them with your Institutional Score Report Code: 9256

Prometric’s Contact Information: 

Phone: 1 (877)-471-9860

Your exam results will be forwarded to the University of Arizona once Prometric receives the Institutional Score Report Code.

For detailed instructions, please refer to the article:


Northern Arizona University Office of Admissions and New Student Enrollment

Student viewing Northern Arizona University admissions and new student enrollment requirements.

Student Enrollment

We highly recommend contacting your academic counselor for further information regarding transferring DSST credits to Northern Arizona University. 

If you are a new or prospective student of Northern Arizona University, here are helpful links to contact:


Northern Arizona University Flagstaff Mountain Campus (Main Campus)

1100 S Beaver Street

Flagstaff, AZ  86011

Phone: (928) 523-5511

Pro Tip:

If you are not a First-Year or Exploratory student, use the Northern Arizona University Advising directory to find your advising location.


How Do I Get Started with DSST Exams?

Desktop showing NAU degrees and programs.

Three Easy Steps

  • Consult with your academic advisor about what DSST exams you’re eligible to take.

  • Study for your DSST exam.

  • Schedule your final exam at a Prometric test center or take your exam online remotely.

Successfully pass your DSST exam, save money on tuition, and graduate sooner.



Desktop showing


DSST exams at Northern Arizona University offer an innovative and cost-effective solution for students seeking an expedited degree, reduced tuition expenses, and a maintained high GPA. 

By providing the flexibility to test out of general education courses, students can conveniently employ DSST exams to streamline their academic pathways.

The financial benefits and the convenience of self-paced study and testing make DSST exams attractive for students seeking an efficient and affordable route to graduation. 

Northern Arizona University embraces this credit-earning opportunity, so students are encouraged to confidently explore DSST exams for a faster, more economical, and academically successful collegiate experience.

DSST exams are a forward-thinking choice for students to optimize a strategic educational journey at Northern Arizona University.


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