Success Stories

Reaching Your Goals … and Scoring Some Too

Modern States helps students of all ages and backgrounds shave time and money on their college education, and many use our philanthropy to speed up graduation by more than a year.

Our free online collection of college-level courses prepares students for the College Board’s College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) exams, and more than 2,900 colleges and universities accept passing CLEP scores as credit.

Kaylee Menjivar, a classic striker, is among our most prolific learners.

In soccer, the primary responsibility of the striker, or center-forward, is to score goals, and Menjivar’s self-described “very determined and driven” personality made her a perfect fit for the position, which she played throughout her youth.

Though concussions kept her from pursuing soccer competitively in college, they didn’t slow her striker mentality — or her brain power. At 20, She’s already achieved some big goals educationally, and she’s set plenty more.

In May, with help from Modern States, Menjivar graduated a year early from George Mason University, earning a bachelor’s degree in Health, Fitness, and Rec Resources with a concentration in Sport Management.

In October, Menjivar left for Barcelona — a European hotbed for soccer — to study for a master’s degree.

“I really want to work in soccer particularly, and soccer is huge in Europe, especially Spain,” Menjivar, who is from Richmond, Virginia, said in an interview. “Just to get my foot in the door and network is huge, so I felt like my best decision for me was to do grad school in Spain.”

Menjivar’s competitive attitude is something she attributes to her parents’ work ethic, and she’s even followed her dad’s footsteps in taking the CLEPs.

“I talked to my dad and he was like, ‘Oh yeah, I did CLEP exams in college. That’s how I got ahead in credits,’” Menjivar said of the program, which despite being relatively unknown, is now more than a half-century old. ”That’s what pushed me, and then I saw that George Mason accepted a lot of CLEP exams. So, I was like, I now want to graduate early if I can.”

And that she did. She already had some AP credits that transferred and took a few summer classes at a community college. She then earned 15 credits through CLEP after taking Modern States courses and reached her goal of graduating a full year early, while saving a lot of money.

“Just tuition and mandatory student fees would have been around $9,000,” she said.

And, of course, Modern States also gives students vouchers that cover the $89 CLEP test fees and reimburses students for any related test center proctoring fees.

Students take Modern States courses, which include college professor-led videos, practice questions, quizzes and sample CLEP exams, at whatever pace suits them best. And for Menjivar, that meant quickly.

Half Columbian and half Salvadorian, she was already fluent in Spanish, so she studied with Modern States for less than a week in early 2020 before taking and passing the Spanish Language CLEP to earn nine credits. She also sped through the Sociology course in late 2020 and Introduction to Educational Psychology exam in early 2021, passing the corresponding CLEPs on her first try.

Menjivar said her ability to hustle through school and graduate early surprised even her adviser, who didn’t know much about CLEP or Modern States.

“I put that initiative upon myself,” she said, and then offered advice to other driven learners.

“If anyone is thinking of doing it, just do it,” she said. “It’s the reason I was able to graduate early. I’m only 20 and I already have my bachelor’s degree, which is crazy.”

It doesn’t sound so crazy to our team at Modern States.

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