Simply put, Rechtschaffen tests you on what you learned in Yeshiva, and makes it ‘official’. You’ve heard of CLEP – the tests that let you skip courses by taking an exam demonstrating your knowledge. Rechtschaffen is doing the same thing for Yeshiva students.
Suppose you’ve spent the last three years at some hole-in-wall New Jersey Yeshiva, and learned extensive halacha, Chumash, and 6 full mesechtas. Suddenly you realize it might be a good idea, for parnassa reasons (or even dating reasons) to get yourself a real college degree. Unless you were in one of the major [accredited] Yeshivas (which we supposed you were not), you won’t be able to find a university willing to accept your credits, and you will have to start a four year degree from scratch.
Without Rechtshaffen: At least two universities are willing to recognize up to – but not more than 30 credits. So if you learned for three years, you’d be losing out, since you’d typically be entitled to more than 80 credits in that situation. Even if you learned four months in Yeshiva, (and theoretically would have earned less than 9 credits for your efforts) studying for and taking Rechtshaffen exams can quickly bump you up to 80+ credits.
To the Point: Rechtschaffen is the cheapest and potentially fastest path to a degree.
- There is no time minimum. You can get your degree in as much time as it takes you to take the exams.
- Cheaper than any other options out there.
- Rechtschaffen can transfer your credits to a number of universities including Excelsior and Thomas Edison State College.
- Rechtschaffen provides study books and testing centers in which to take their exams. Exams can also be taken online (for an added fee).
- To complete your degree, at any university, you will also need 9 credits in math and science (can be satisfied with CPR course) and 6 math credits – both CLEPable.
- Rechtschaffen has testing centers in Brooklyn and Yerushalayim and are adding more.
- Courses are in no particular order.
- Easy to understand breakdown HERE.
- The university you transfer to will also charge fees, totaling $3300 (for two courses, enrollment fee and graduation fee).
- Price of doing your degree exclusively with Rechtschaffen and Excelsior: About $9500
- Price of doing your degree with Rechtschaffen and Excelsior, but including 30 previous Yeshiva credits: About $8000
Rechtschaffen vs. Farleigh Dickinson University
The main difference between the two is cost. FDU will accept 72 Yeshiva credits and 18 from CLEPs and other sources, but the 10 courses they require you to take will cost more than $15,000 (tuition plus fees). If you take all your Yeshiva credits through Rechtschaffen (up to 102 credits), you’re cost won’t exceed $6000 – that’s a hefty difference.
In both situations of course, there are other costs as well. In all universities, there are enrollment fees and graduation fees, as well as smaller tacked on with every course (For a detailed breakdown, stay tuned for an upcoming article). But at the end of the day, going the Rechtschaffen route will save you near or more than $10,000.
The other notable difference is that Rechtschaffen involves more work. While going the FDU route knocks 72 credits off your degree requirements, and makes you take 10 courses you could get an A for while three-quarters asleep, Rechtschaffen requires you take an exam for each 3 credit course you are taking. However, the exams aren’t too difficult.
We firmly believe that as of right now (late 2012), Rechtschaffen is the best route for the Yeshiva student wishing to finish a degree. Please comment below, and if you do decide to pursue your degree through Rechtschaffen, mention this website.