Saylor Academy

Saylor Academy
Limited Transfer

Official Website:

Learn about college credit through Saylor

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.

Who accepts the credit?  Saylor has a direct partnership with over 30 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 partner 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. Saylor Academy uses Smarter Proctoring, which only costs $5. NOTE that they previously used Proctor U which cost $25 per exam and may not have fully switched their website for all exams. See Saylor’s message to one of our HS4CC parents:

Gustavo Barrera (Saylor Academy)

Sep 15, 2021, 11:24 EDTHi,

We are in the process of switching to the Smarter Proctoring Service. However, both options are still available depending on the courses you’ve enrolled in.

The links below will provide more detailed information: 

Proctoring for Pilot Exams – Credit & Degree – Discussion Forums | Saylor Academy

Kind Regards, Gustavo

Parents can award high school credit, without regard to taking/passing the final exam, to earn college credit you must pass the proctored exam. 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.

Note, to earn college credit, you must:

  1. Pass the proctored final exam with a score of 70% or better.  
  2.  Transfer the credit to a college that accepts ACE credit.

Courses:  Currently, Saylor Academy offers over 30 courses for college credit.

Potential:  >90 college credits

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.)

Current course list

If you’d like to use Saylor for your high school curriculum (with college credit), the following pdf outlines how to do that.

Saylor Academy Courses (2020)

CourseNCCRSACE #Credits
ARTH101: Art AppreciationSAYA-00363
BIO101: Introduction to Molecular and Cellular Biology SAYA-00193
BUS101: Introduction to Business SAYA-00203
BUS103: Introduction to Financial Accounting SAYA-00213
BUS105: Managerial Accounting SAYA-00093
BUS202: Principles of Finance SAYA-00223
BUS203: Principles of MarketingSAYA-00233
BUS204: Business Statistics 3
BUS205: Business LawSAYA-00243
BUS206: Management Information Systems SAYA-00133
BUS208: Principles of ManagementSAYA-00353
BUS209: Organizational Behavior SAYA-00343
BUS210: Corporate CommunicationSAYA-00273
BUS303: Strategic Information Technology SAYA-00143
CHEM101: General Chemistry I SAYA-00283
College SuccessSAYA-00401
COMM001: Principles Of Human Communication SAYA-00103
CS101: Introduction to Computer Science ISAYA-00173
CS102: Introduction to Computer Science II SAYA-00153
CS107: C++ Programming3
CS302: Software Engineering SAYA-00183
CS402: Computer Communications and Networks SAYA-00163
ECON101: Principles of Microeconomics SAYA-00053
ECON102: Principles of Macroeconomics SAYA-00063
ENVS203: Environmental Ethics, Justice & World Views SAYA-00043
MA001: College Algebra 3
MA005: Calculus ISAYA-00254
MA121: Introduction to Statistics SAYA-00323
PHIL103: Moral and Political Philosophy SAYA-00113
PHYS101: Introduction to Mechanics SAYA-00313
PHYS102: Introduction to Electromagnetism SAYA-00303
POLSC101: Introduction to Political Science SAYA-00123
POLSC201 Introduction to Western Political ThoughtSAYA-00333
POLSC221: Introduction to Comparative Politics SAYA-00293
PSYCH101: Introduction to Psychology SAYA-00072
SOC101: Introduction to Sociology SAYA-00081
course list in real time