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Straighterline

https://www.straighterline.com

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

Straighterline courses are offered as a subscription + per course basis. There is no limit to the number of courses you can complete in a month.

Straighterline subscription works best when you can lighten your homeschooling load and focus on 1-2 Sophia courses exclusively. Since finishing 2 courses in a month is very cost effective, that is the recommended strategy.

See how I used Straighterline with my 10th grader to accumulate 39 credits in one semester (cost included) Straighterline and my 10th Grader

What you need to know about Straighterline

How it works: You pay a monthly subscription fee of $99 per user. Then, you purchase courses a la carte as you need them.   A “free” ebook is provided with every course, so it is all-inclusive.  The only added cost is if you take a lab science. In those classes you’ll need to purchase a home lab kit.

Classes: Your teen can complete the course at their own pace, and then schedule the proctored final exam (if applies). Only English and lab sciences have graded assignments, every other course progresses through a series of tests and quizzes.

Exams: All courses except for English require taking a final exam. Some courses also have a midterm exam. It take 2-3 days to set up the exam with their third party proctor service ProctorU. They will monitor the exam via webcam and microphone. They will also perform the identification check, a room scan, and have a brief conversation with the student. The exam score is uploaded instantly.

TEST ANXIETY? A unique feature of Straighterline courses is that many of the courses allow you to accumulate more than enough points BEFORE you get to the final exam. This means students go into their exam with zero pressure to “pass” their final. Each course allows you to review the syllabus and point values before signing up.

Potential:  Straighterline offers over 50 courses for college credit.

Courses (11/1/2022)ACE ApprovalACE ExpirationNumber of Credits
Managerial Accounting07/01/202006/30/20233
Life-span Development07/01/202006/30/20233
Introduction to Statistics07/01/202006/30/20233
Medical Terminology11/01/202010/31/20233
Personal Finance01/01/202112/31/20233
Introduction to Criminal Justice01/01/202112/31/20233
United States History I Exam01/01/202112/31/20233
Introduction to Statistics Exam01/01/202112/31/20233
College Algebra Exam01/01/202112/31/20233
Introduction to Biology Exam01/01/202112/31/20233
Anatomy and Physiology I Exam01/01/202112/31/20233
General Calculus II05/01/202105/31/20243
General Calculus I05/01/202105/31/20243
Information Technology Fundamentals06/01/202105/31/20243
Principles of Management06/01/202105/31/20243
Business Law06/01/202105/31/20243
Financial Accounting06/01/202105/31/20243
Organizational Behavior06/01/202105/31/20243
Business Ethics06/01/202105/31/20243
Business Communication06/01/202105/31/20243
Business Statistics06/01/202105/31/20243
Accounting II06/01/202105/31/20243
Accounting I06/01/202105/31/20243
Microeconomics06/01/202105/31/20243
Macroeconomics06/01/202105/31/20243
Precalculus06/01/202105/31/20243
College Algebra06/01/202105/31/20243
Introduction to Business06/01/202105/31/20243
Survey of World History09/01/202108/31/20243
Introduction to Religion09/01/202108/31/20243
American Government09/01/202108/31/20243
Introduction to Philosophy09/01/202108/31/20243
Introduction to Environmental Science09/01/202108/31/20243
Introduction to Communications09/01/202108/31/20243
Cultural Anthropology09/01/202108/31/20243
United States History II09/01/202108/31/20243
Western Civilization II09/01/202108/31/20243
Western Civilization I09/01/202108/31/20243
United States History I09/01/202108/31/20243
Student Success09/01/202108/31/20243
Introduction to Sociology09/01/202108/31/20243
Introduction to Nutrition09/01/202108/31/20243
Introduction to Psychology09/01/202108/31/20243
Personal Fitness and Wellness03/01/202202/28/20253
First Aid/CPR03/01/202202/28/20253
Pharmacology03/01/202202/28/20253
Microbiology Lab03/01/202202/28/20251
Microbiology03/01/202202/28/20253
Anatomy and Physiology II Lab03/01/202202/28/20251
Anatomy and Physiology II03/01/202202/28/20253
Anatomy and Physiology I Lab03/01/202202/28/20251
Anatomy and Physiology I03/01/202202/28/20253
General Physics I Lab03/01/202202/28/20251
General Physics I03/01/202202/28/20253
Introduction to Biology Lab03/01/202202/28/20251
Introduction to Biology03/01/202202/28/20253
General Chemistry I Lab03/01/202202/28/20251
General Chemistry I03/01/202202/28/20253
English Composition II03/01/202202/28/20253
English Composition I03/01/202202/28/20253
Quantitative Reasoning05/01/202204/30/20253
Spanish II08/01/202207/31/20253
Spanish l08/01/202207/31/20253

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, but if you clear your schedule and work on 1 course at a time, you can complete a course in a week or two.

My high school teens complete an average of 1-2 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 $1,200 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. When you use a code to buy a class you have to have an active subscription, but you don’t have to complete the class at that time. Courses can sit in your account for years. My oldest son has many courses in his account that are over 10 years old, ready to complete if he needs them. (I bought them when they ran an amazing sale). It is not always a good deal to buy a course when your subscription is inactive, the exception is when you can stock up on courses at the discounted price. As a rule, I consider anything better than $30 per credit a “stock up price” for Straighterline courses.

$99 subscription + 1 regular price course $59 = $158 (divide by 3 credits = $53/credit)

$99 subscription + 1 discounted course $9 = $108 (divide by 3 credits = $36/credit)

$99 subscription + 3 discounted courses $9 each = $126 (divide by 9 credits = $14/credit) **STOCK UP!

ACE and Expiration Dates:  While Straighterline courses never expire in your account, Straighterline refreshes, replaces, or removes courses when their ACE evaluation expires. This is typically in a 3-year cycle. If you don’t finish a course inside the dates, you risk losing access to the college credit if they are removing the course. If they refresh or replace the course, Straighterline will offer you the new course for no cost, but you may lose your progress.

Straighterline Dissected: What to Take (an older post but shows you how to use a strategy that still works today)


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