30 Ways to Earn College Credit in High School

Each year we review hundreds of college credit options.  This list ranks those options by how likely they are to transfer when your teen goes to college. Click on each option for more information and insight.

Excellent Transferability

Excellent transferability means that nearly every regionally accredited
college in the country will accept these sources of credit at
schools where transfer credit is allowed. Assume that the provider is
regionally accredited or equivalent. In some instances, state laws and
articulation agreements guarantee transfer of these credits. Pursue
credit in this category with confidence.

College-Based Dual Enrollment

Arizona State University’s Universal Learner Program

Out-of-State Dual Enrollment List (2021)

Summer School

Winter Break, Minimesters, Accelerated Terms

Outlier (legitimate credit laundering)

TEL Learning (legitimate credit laundering)

Good Transferability

Good transferability means at least 1,500 regionally accredited
colleges accept this credit regularly and are familiar with this
resource. You can generally find a specific college’s acceptance policy
for credit in this category on their website or catalog. Credit in
this category can be pursued with confidence, though limits usually

Advanced Placement Exam (AP)

College Level Exam Program (CLEP)


Limited Transferability: ACE CREDIT  

Limited transferability means fewer than 200 regionally accredited
colleges accept this credit regularly. Colleges may be unfamiliar
with this resource, and credit in this category may require a special
review from the college before a decision can be made. Pursue credit
in this category if credit-earning isn’t the only priority, if the price is
free or very low, or if you’ve researched ahead of time with certainty
that your target college does accept this credit.

Before earning ACE credit: Understand ACE Credit 

ALEKS Corporation—McGraw Hill (ACE)

National Fire Academy (ACE)

Saylor Academy (ACE & NCCRS)

Sophia (ACE)

Straighterline (ACE)

Study.com (ACE)

Texas Engineering Extension Service—TEEX (ACE)

Workplace Training (ACE)

GED Exam (ACE)

The Institutes for Statistics Education (ACE)

Limited to Improbable Transferability: NCCRS Credit

Improbable transfer means it is unlikely that any regionally accredited
college will award credit for this option. Credit in this category
should not be assumed. Award high school credit instead.

Before earning NCCRS credit: Understand NCCRS Credit

Coopersmith Career Consulting (NCCRS)

Davar Academy (NCCRS)

OnlineDegree.com (NCCRS)  **restricted – must be 18+ and have finished high school**

Transferability Varies / Special Transfer

Special transfer means that the business formally entered an agreement
with one or more colleges to guarantee transfer credit. The special
transfer is unique because inside of a special transfer agreement, pursue
credit in this type of agreement with confidence. That same credit, outside
of a special transfer agreement is not guaranteed and will almost
always default into the limited or improbable transfer category.

Foreign Language Exams – Advanced Placement, CLEP, ACTFL, NYU-FLP

Prior Learning Assessments (PLA)

edX & Coursera MOOC

Christian MOOC—Hillsdale College

UExcel Exams—Excelsior College Exams

TECEP Exams – Thomas Edison Credit by Exam Program

CSM Learn – Quantitative Literacy Math Course