Straighterline credit type: ACE credit. (What is ACE credit?)
Disclaimer: Straighterline is a registered trademark. The content of this blog is not endorsed, evaluated, or approved by Straighterline in any way.0
What: Straighterline is a business (not college) that offers online courses.
Who accepts their credit? Straighterline has over 100 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 awards credit before enrolling. Interesting point: Straighterline has more partner colleges than anyone else in this segment.
How it works: You pay a monthly subscription fee of $99 per user. You then purchase courses a la carte as you need them. A “free” ebook is provided. You’ll complete the course at your own pace, then schedule your proctored final exam (if applies). You will take a proctored exam via webcam on your home computer. They use a third party provider called ProctorU to monitor your test. Your exam score is uploaded instantly. If you passed the course, you must complete the final step of getting your course onto your ACE transcript.
What is an ACE transcript? Create an ACE account Each of your homeschooled students needs their own ACE account with individual email addresses. Creating a transcript is free but not so easy. 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.
Potential: Straighterline offers 55 courses for college credit totaling about 156 potential credits. Note that most of the partner schools cap the number of StraighterLine credits you can use toward a degree. Stricter partner schools allow as few as 30, while generous partner schools allow up to 90.
Cost: Cost is difficult to determine since the pace you complete the course determines the cost. Students are incentivized to work quickly because the faster you complete the course, the cheaper it is. The minimum cost to complete any course is one month ($99) plus the cost of the course(s) you choose. Straighterline’s marketing material suggests you can complete 1 course in a month.
My high school teens complete an average of 2 courses per month when I added a subject to their school day, but did 3 courses in a month when it was their “only school” subject for the month. Completing 3 courses costs $99 subscription + $59 per course (x 3) = $178*. So, you can see it is more cost effective to complete SL courses QUICKLY and in BULK rather than spread out over a semester. We paid $1200 total for 39 credits.
My 10th Grader’s Spring Semester (read this to understand cost)
Scholarships: Straighterline has scholarship arrangements with many partner schools. A typical arrangement is “complete 4 courses with StraighterLine and receives 10% off tuition.” Check to see if your target school is on their Scholarship Participants list.
Codes: Codes reduce the cost of your SL course, and there are always codes. I keep a current list here: Discount Codes. It is normal to receive $50 off each course you register for, and they NEVER EXPIRE, so you can purchase the courses during a promo code period, and use it later! (I use codes for all our classes. In the above sample, my son completed 3 courses *9 college credits*, each with a $50 off code for a total of $127!
ACE and Expiration Dates: While Straighterline courses never expire in your account, Straighterline refreshes or replaces courses when their ACE expiration is up (or has the option to, of course, they may also choose to do nothing…but since we can’t read minds…). So, it’s important to keep an eye on dates when the courses you purchase are up for renewal. I advise you to “use them up” before their renewal – this avoids any potential sticky situations that may cause you trouble.
List of Straighterline Courses (2018)
Anatomy Physiology I (Lab Option)
Anatomy Physiology II (Lab Option)
English Composition I
English Composition II
General Chemistry I (Lab Option)
General Physics I (Lab Option)
General Physics II (Lab Option)
Intro to Biology (Lab Option)
Introduction to Business
Introduction to Communication
Introduction to Criminal Justice
Intro to Environmental Science
Introduction to Nutrition
Introduction to Philosophy
Intro to Programming in C++
Introduction to Psychology
Introduction to Religion
Introduction to Sociology
Introduction to Statistics
Microbiology (Lab Option)
Personal Fitness and Wellness
Principles of Management
United States History I
United States History II
Western Civilization I
This content is reprinted from Chapter 2 of Homeschooling for College Credit 2nd Edition.
To make the most of your Straighterline membership, it’s all about strategy. I’ve written a lot about how to be strategic through Straighterline. Be sure to check my posts below as I outline how we made the most of our subscription.
My 10th Grader’s Spring Semester (read this first)
Straighterline Dissected: What to Take (read this before picking courses)