#10 Saylor Academy

#10 Saylor Academy
Limited Transfer

Official Website:  www.saylor.org

What:  501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that offers free and open online courses to anyone.

Who authorizes the college credit? Some of their courses have been evaluated by the American Council on Education or NCCRS as credit-eligible, while others are NOT worth college credit.  Be sure to look for ACE or NCCRS designation next to any course you want to take for college credit.  Note that ACE is is more widely accepted than NCCRS credit.

Understanding the limitations of ACE credit

Understanding the limitations of NCCRS credit

Who accepts the credit?  Saylor has a direct partnership with 21 partner colleges that have formal credit arrangements.  Not all of their partners accept all of their courses for credit. Furthermore, the course equivalency list may be one or more semesters old.

Confirm that your target college is still a parnter college before enrolling.

How it works:  You pay NOTHING to take these courses.  They are completely free to start and stop on demand.  Textbook passages are accessible through links in the class, so the program is completely free.  There is no graded homework, no attendance verification, and no teacher. It is self-directed learning.  The quizzes, exams, homework, and midterm exams are all open book.  You can take some or all of the units, and you are free to jump around.

When ready, you have the option to take a proctored final exam via webcam on your home computer or in person if you can find a local proctor (librarians often do this).  If you do not wish to pursue college credit, you simply stop the class at that time. Parents can award high school credit, but since Saylor doesn’t verify completion, the parent would need to make their own determination.  Since you technically don’t have to complete the class; you can go straight to the final exam.  As such, the exam alone determines whether or not you earn college credit in the course.

Proctoring:  For those who want a completely free experience, follow their criteria and find a local proctor (ex. librarian).  If you don’t mind paying for web-based proctoring, you can use the third-party proctor company called ProctorU to monitor you during your test.  Saylor has set up the relationship already, you’ll simply pay $25 and it will be arranged for you.

Note, to earn college credit, you must:

  1. Pass the proctored final exam with a score of 70% or better.  
  2.  Add the course onto your ACE transcript. (not applicable for NCCRS)

What is an ACE transcript?  Create an ACE account  Each of your homeschooled students needs their own ACE account with individual email addresses.   I’ve made a short Youtube Video to walk you through the process.  Save their login information, they’ll keep the same account for life.

What is an NCCRS transcript?  Unfortunately, NCCRS does not keep official transcripts.  As such, there is no official record outside of what Saylor Academy provides. If you’re pursuing NCCRS credit, you must have a college ready to receive your credit so you can send it immediately.

Courses:  Currently, Saylor Academy offers 33 courses for college credit.

Potential:  90 college credits for $0 if you use a local proctor.

Failed Exam Retake Policy (updated Nov 1, 2019):  Saylor Direct Credit final exams can be taken three times total within the current credit recommendation window. When the credit recommendation for a course renews, three more attempts will be available. Typically, a course is recommended for three years at a time.  (For example, if a course is recommended for credit from June 2019 through May 2022, you have up to three attempts on the credit exam during that time.)

Homeschooling for College Credit with Saylor Academy:   If you’d like to use Saylor as your homemade dual enrollment, I wrote a free 8-page high school plan to help you do that! Feel free to use, modify, or share.   Using Saylor in High School

Saylor Academy Course List (2019)

Note:  my list here, the ACE list, the NCCRS list, and the Saylor Academy list are all different – there are a lot of courses getting renewed information.  For those of you earning college credit using Saylor Academy FALL 2019, note the following special expiration dates

Current ACE evaluation expires on 11/30/2019

  • Introduction to CS II
  • Management Information Systems
  • Strategic Information Technology
  • Computer Communications and Networks
  • Software Engineering
  • Principles of Human Communication
  • Introduction to Political Science
  • Moral and Political Philosophy
  • Managerial Accounting

Current ACE evaluation expires on 12/31/2019

  • Principles of Macroeconomics
  • Principles of Microeconomics
  • Environmental Ethics, Justice, and World Views

As soon as the evaluations are finished, Saylor and ACE will publish a new list and I will update accordingly.  If you have any questions, you should use the ACE Database as the authority for credit acceptance since it will be MORE ACCURATE than what Saylor or I have on our lists. 

UPDATE from Jeff Davidson Executive Director at Saylor Academy:

Jeff Davidson (Saylor Academy)
Nov 16, 11:52 EST
Hello Jennifer! Yes, we plan to submit all for renewal but depending on ACE scheduling there may end up being a gap of coverage for some of these. But, we won’t know until we hear from ACE. I’m hoping they just give an extension to all while they review but no word on that yet. “

Course NCCRS ACE # Credits
BIO101: Introduction to Molecular and Cellular Biology SAYA-0019 3
BUS101: Introduction to Business SAYA-0020 3
BUS103: Introduction to Financial Accounting SAYA-0021 3
BUS105: Managerial Accounting SAYA-0009 3
BUS202: Principles of Finance SAYA-0022 3
BUS203: Principles of Marketing SAYA-0023 3
BUS204: Business Statistics 3
BUS205: Business Law SAYA-0024 3
BUS206: Management Information Systems SAYA-0013 3
BUS208: Principles of Management SAYA-0035 3
BUS209: Organizational Behavior SAYA-0034 3
BUS210: Corporate Communication SAYA-0027 3
BUS303: Strategic Information Technology SAYA-0014 3
CHEM101: General Chemistry I SAYA-0028 3
COMM001: Principles Of Human Communication SAYA-0010 3
CS101: Introduction to Computer Science I 3
CS102: Introduction to Computer Science II SAYA-0015 3
CS302: Software Engineering SAYA-0018 3
CS402: Computer Communications and Networks SAYA-0016 3
ECON101: Principles of Microeconomics SAYA-0005 3
ECON102: Principles of Macroeconomics SAYA-0006 3
ENVS203: Environmental Ethics, Justice & World Views SAYA-0004 3
MA001: College Algebra 3
MA005: Calculus I SAYA-0025 4
MA121: Introduction to Statistics SAYA-0032 3
PHIL103: Moral and Political Philosophy SAYA-0011 3
PHYS101: Introduction to Mechanics SAYA-0031 3
PHYS102: Introduction to Electromagnetism SAYA-0030 3
POLSC101: Introduction to Political Science SAYA-0012 3
POLSC201 Introduction to Western Political Thought SAYA-0033 3
POLSC221: Introduction to Comparative Politics SAYA-0029 3
PSYCH101: Introduction to Psychology SAYA-0007 2
SOC101: Introduction to Sociology SAYA-0008 1

This content is reprinted in part from Chapter 2 of Homeschooling for College Credit 2nd Edition.

You may also like:

Saylor Academy interviews Jennifer Cook-DeRosa (11/2018)

Understanding ACE Credit

Forms of ID when Homeschooling for College Credit


Sources of Free College Credits