Modern States is a new, totally free, mini-curriculum that is aligned specifically to CLEP exams. Their AP catalog is really just a collection of MOOCs that they’ve assembled in one place. Still, a great resource. I want to tell you how much I love ❤ them, but instead, I’ll tell you that I like them, but I have problems with their deceptive marketing.
When you visit their site, you’ll notice their tagline “Freshman Year for Free.” Before we go forward, I want to help you understand what Modern States is, and what it isn’t – as much as I want to promote this new opportunity for parents and teens, I can’t understand why they aren’t more transparent – the nuances of college credit aren’t easy to grasp, so to be less than clear does everyone a disservice.
“Take tuition-free, high quality courses online from top institutions for college credit.”
In my opinion, this statement is really misleading because you’re not taking courses from a top institution for college credit. You’re taking courses developed by Modern States for you to learn independently. In the case of the AP courses, you’re simply taking an open courseware course.
Make no mistake, you are not an enrolled student at a college when you take courses through Modern States. Further, the courses themselves do not award college credit in any way. There is no direct ACE credit (as is the case with Saylor, Straighterline, or Studycom) and you must also pass a CLEP exam that is accepted by your receiving college in order to earn college credit. In short? It’s CLEP prep.
As a CLEP-prep resource? It’s great! These mini-courses are meant to fit into your busy (homeschool) schedule. Estimated completion at 6 hours per week is 4 weeks. A big benefit to parents is that they can either offer this as an accelerated course, or there is enough time in the school year to use this as a “final quarter” course that follows a traditional homeschool curriculum. It really depends on the subject, and how important it is to you that your teen get a full-robust experience. Doing Modern States alone will not provide enough contact hours, homework, writing, research, etc. to merit counting as a full course for most parents. On the other hand, not every subject needs depth, so in that case, you would be fine.
You have to dig- but once you get into the site and visit their FAQ page, allllll the way down at the bottom you’ll get the real truth. There is nothing to be ashamed of, I’m not sure why this isn’t on the front page?
“How does it work?
Modern States offers free, high-quality online courses taught by college professors that prepare you for virtually all of the major AP and CLEP exams, which are well-established and widely-accepted. Solid performance on the exams (each participating college decides what scores you need for credit) can earn you college credits and enable you to save tuition dollars. You can take one course or many; if you do well on eight exams, you can potentially earn Freshman Year for Free.”
Did I mention the cost?
It’s free. As in, totally no cost at all. You will, however, have to pay for your CLEP exam, any proctoring fees, and any transfer fees to your college if applicable.
But wait….there’s more.
Modern States is currently running a voucher program. In short, if you complete the entire Modern States course as outlined in their instructions, you can receive a voucher to pay for your CLEP exam! The program was initially open to the first 500 people, but they’ve extended time and time again. My contact with them recently suggested there was “no indication of ending the voucher program anytime soon.” So, there is plenty of time for you to sign up. Modern States Voucher Program
Their catalog as of today:
Analyzing and Interpreting Literature
History of the United States I
History of the United States II
Introduction to Educational Psychology
Human Growth and Development
Introductory Business Law
Passing the CLEP and Learning with Modern States
Principles of Macroeconomics
Principles of Management
Principles of Marketing
Principles of Microeconomics
Social Sciences and History
Western Civilization I: Ancient Near East to 1648
Western Civilization II: 1648 to the Present
AP Biology – Part 1: The Cell
AP Biology – Part 2: Genetics
AP Biology – Part 3: Evolution and Diversity
AP Biology – Part 4: Ecology
AP Biology – Part 5: Review and Exam Preparation
Calculus 1A: Differentiation
Calculus 1B: Integration
Calculus 1C: Coordinate Systems & Infinite Series
AP Calculus BC
AP Computer Science A: Java Programming
AP Computer Science A: Java Programming Classes and Objects
AP Computer Science A: Java Programming Data Structures and Loops
AP Computer Science A: Java Programming Polymorphism and Advanced Data Structures
AP English Literature & Composition – Part 1: Stories
AP English Literature & Composition – Part 2: Poems
AP English Literature & Composition – Part 3: Plays
AP Environmental Science – Part 1: The Living World
AP Environmental Science – Part 2: Populations
AP Environmental Science – Part 3: Pollution and Resources
AP Environmental Science – Part 4: Exam Review
Introduction to AP Human Geography
Introductory AP Microeconomics
AP Italian Language and Culture
AP Physics 1 – Part 1: Linear Motion
AP Physics 1 – Part 2: Rotational Motion
AP Physics 1 – Part 3: Electricity & Waves
AP Physics 1 – Part 4: Exam Prep
AP Physics 2 – Part 1: Fluids and Thermodynamics
AP Physics 2 – Part 2: Electricity and Magnetism
AP Physics 2 – Part 3: Optics and Modern Physics
AP Physics 2 – Part 4: AP Review and Exam Preparation
AP Psychology – Course 1: What is Psychology?
AP Psychology – Course 2: How the Brain Works
AP Psychology – Course 3: How the Mind Works
AP Psychology – Course 4: How Behavior Works
AP Psychology – Course 5: Health and Behavior
AP Psychology – Course 6: Exam Preparation & Review
AP Spanish Language and Culture