Saylor Academy

This type of credit is “ACE Credit.” The companies/organizations in this category sell courses “for college credit” that have been evaluated by ACE. ACE (American Council on Education) is a third party credit evaluator that evaluates all types of learning programs that happens outside of a college. Officially, ACE advertises that there are almost 1,500 colleges that “may consider” ACE credit. Unofficially, this credit should only be used when you plan to use one of the partner colleges. Inside a partnership, credit transfer is guaranteed!

Using ACE credit requires creating an account with another third party, Credly to “hold” your teen’s credit until they’re ready to use it. HS4CC List of ACE Partners

Unlike the other ACE options on our list, Saylor Academy is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that offers free and open online courses to anyone.

Saylor Courses:  Some of Saylor’s courses are not worth college credit, so you’ll want to be sure you’re looking at their list of “Saylor Direct Credit” courses on the website.

Account Creation: You will create an account for your teen using the same full name and email address that you’ve created for their Credly account. This assures their passed courses will have the credit recorded quickly and easily. If your teen doesn’t have a Credly account, create one today. They’ll need it in place asap.

How it works:  You pay NOTHING to take these courses.  The only cost to earn the credit is paying the proctoring service fee ($5) to take your online proctored exam. You can take the courses for personal interest without taking the online exam if you don’t need or want college credit.

PRO TIP: The study guide is gold! Look among the list of course units. The study guide should be one of the last units on the list. This guide, not the practice tests, is considered the best tool for passing Saylor Academy exams.

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.

There is no paper trail (meaning disclosure to future colleges is not required and future colleges will never see your exam score).

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. You must take and pass the proctored exam to earn college credit.

$5 PRO TIP: Since the final exam only costs $5 (proctor), and you can take it up to 3 times, use your first attempt like a practice test! This is a super smart way to get inside the test and really take a crack at it. If you pass, great, but if not, take a few days to review the important concepts and try again.

Parents can build an entire high school program using Saylor Academy courses. Think of this as the secular alternative to Easy Peasy All in One Homeschool. Parents will award high school credit, without regard to whether or not their teen passed the exam. Since you technically don’t have to complete the class; a teen with prior knowledge could go straight to the final exam.  As such, the exam alone determines whether or not you earn college credit in the course.

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

Potential:  >40 classes (more than 120 college credits)

I created this guide in 2016. Since then, the catalog has expanded to include more classes and the cost to take the exams has been reduced! While the plan is not 100% accurate today, it is more than accurate enough for you to use as a starting point for your own homeschool plan.

Saylor Academy Courses (2022)

CourseACE #Credits
ARTH101: Art AppreciationSAYA-00363
BIO101: Introduction to Molecular and Cellular BiologySAYA-00193
BUS101: Introduction to BusinessSAYA-00253
BUS103: Introduction to Financial AccountingSAYA-00213
BUS105: Managerial AccountingSAYA-00093
BUS202: Principles of FinanceSAYA-00223
BUS203: Principles of MarketingSAYA-00233
BUS204: Business Statistics SAYA-00373
BUS205: Business LawSAYA-00243
BUS206: Management Information SystemsSAYA-00133
BUS208: Principles of ManagementSAYA-00353
BUS210: Corporate CommunicationSAYA-00273
BUS300 Operations ManagementSAYA-00383
BUS303: Strategic Information TechnologySAYA-00143
BUS305 Small Business ManagementSAYA-00493
BUS402 Project ManagementSAYA-00393
CHEM101: General Chemistry ISAYA-00283
College SuccessSAYA-00401
COMM001: Principles Of Human CommunicationSAYA-00103
CS101: Introduction to Computer Science ISAYA-00173
CS102: Introduction to Computer Science IISAYA-00153
CS105 Introduction to Python ProgrammingSAYA-00483
CS107: C++ ProgrammingSAYA-00173
CS302: Software EngineeringSAYA-00183
CS402: Computer Communications and NetworksSAYA-00163
CUST105: Customer ServiceSAYA-00413
ECON101: Principles of MicroeconomicsSAYA-00053
ECON102: Principles of MacroeconomicsSAYA-00063
ENVS203: Environmental Ethics, Justice & World ViewsSAYA-00042
GEO101 World Regional GeographySAYA-00443
MA001: College Algebra SAYA-00263
MA005: Calculus ISAYA-00254
MA121: Introduction to StatisticsSAYA-00323
PHIL102 Critical ThinkingSAYA-00453
PHIL103: Moral and Political PhilosophySAYA-00113
PHYS101: Introduction to MechanicsSAYA-00313
PHYS102: Introduction to ElectromagnetismSAYA-00303
POLSC101: Introduction to Political ScienceSAYA-00123
POLSC201 Introduction to Western Political ThoughtSAYA-00333
POLSC221: Introduction to Comparative PoliticsSAYA-00293
PSYCH101: Introduction to PsychologySAYA-00073
SOC101: Introduction to SociologySAYA-00083