Posted in ACE, Free Tuition, Self-Paced Learning, Sophia, Transfer Credit

Sources of Free College Credits

BONUS:  currently, the Modern States Online Test Prep Program is offering a voucher to anyone who completes their online CLEP course.  The voucher will pay for your exam cost and reimburse you for your testing center fee if you have one.  You can take an UNLIMITED number of CLEP  exams right now for $0.  When this voucher program ends, or if you don’t use a voucher, CLEP exams cost about $100  each. 

Besides the current CLEP promo- there are classes that are $0 and award college credit.

As a homeschooler of high school students, here’s what you should know before you read on:

ALL (but one) of these freebies awards ACE credit.  As such, their transfer is very limited.  If your teen is several years away from high school graduation and selecting a target college, you may want to use these just for fun, and if he gets credit later- that’s a bonus.  You can bundle these together into high school electives too.  But, if you’re getting close to enrollment or you’ve already selected a target college, you’ll want to confirm that they accept ACE credit before investing too much time in these.

That said, since they are free, many parents have their teens complete some anyway.

See my previous posts on colleges that accept ACE courses for college credit and setting up your teen’s ACE account.

Understanding expiration dates:  whenever a course or exam is evaluated for college credit by ACE, they set a date range of usually a few years.  During that time, completing the course or exam allows you to earn college credit.  When a course or exam has “expired” that means the window for college credit has closed.  Frequently, a course or exam is renewed, and the dates will extend out another few years, but occasionally we have seen courses permanently expire.  AS LONG AS you complete a course and get it onto your ACE transcript before an expiration date, the credit is good and you can use it at any point in the future.

I keep a close eye on expiration dates- you’ll see this page updated accordingly.

Saylor Academy (over 100 college credits)

Saylor is 100% free if you can find a local proctor to administer your final exam. If you have to use Saylor’s online proctoring service, the cost is $25 per course.

More about Saylor Academy

Courses consist of optional reading modules and links to videos and a final exam (proctored).  Approximate time needed to complete the course: NA

Sophia (2 college credits)

Sophia offers 2 “always free” single credit courses: team2

  • Developing Effective Teams (1 credit)
  • Essentials of Managing Conflict (1 credit)

You can sign up for the courses at

The courses consist of video-based modules and short quizzes followed by an online exam.  Approximate time needed to complete one course and exam:  less than 1 day

The Institutes (3 college credits) 

The American Institute For Chartered Property Casualty Underwriters (commonly referred to as “The Institutes”) offer a free ethics course that is ACE recommended for 3 credits. (deadline to participate 4/30/2022)

Course consists of reading modules followed by an online exam.  Approximate time needed to complete the course and exam:  less than 1 day

  • 312N-H Ethics and the CPCU Code of Professional Conduct (3 credits) – a lower level ethics/philosophy course that meets TESU‘s General Education “ethics” requirement.

To signup, use the following link: 

Select the FREE option. You should not do the $5 option. The paid option is for “Continuing Education credit,” which is different than college credit. The free version is ACE approved for college credit.

TEEX Cybersecurity (1-11 college credits) 

Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX) offers 10 ACE-approved courses recommended for college credit. These are DHS/FEMA funded and therefore free for the general public to take.  This program expires 11/30/2021

In February, TEEX and ACE did a switch-up on how these courses are evaluated for credit.  If you’ve already taken TEEX (before December 2018) you can possibly take them AGAIN and opt for the 10 credit option.  If you take them now, you can choose to take 1 or all 10 courses.

Old TEEX Method, New Credit

3-10 credits

Even with the change, I’m leaving this older section here because it is actually still an option, but if you complete the TEEX courses this way, you can only earn 6 credits (see below).  This method uses the umbrella course names (Cyber 101, 201, 301) on your ACE transcript instead of the individual course names.

  • Cyber 101 – Cybersecurity for Everyone (was 2 credits –> now 4 credits)
    • Must complete all 3:
      • AWR168 Cyber Law and White Collar Crime
      • AWR174 Cyber Ethics
      • AWR175 Information Security for Everyone
  • Cyber 201 – Cybersecurity for IT Professionals (was 2 credits –> now 3 credits)
    • Must complete all 4:
      • AWR138 Network Assurance
      • AWR139 Digital Forensics Basics
      • AWR173 Information Security Basics
      • AWR178 Secure Software
  • Cyber 301 – Cybersecurity for Business Pro (was 2 credits –> now 3 credits)
    • Must complete all 3:
      • AWR169 Cyber Incident Analysis and Response
      • AWR176 Disaster Recovery for Information Systems
      • AWR177 Information Risk Management

New TEEX Method

1-11 credits (1 upper level)

Complete each course individually and submit to ACE for college credit.

  • AWR168 Cyber Law and White Collar Crime, 2 credits
  • AWR174 Cyber Ethics, 2 credits
  • AWR175 Information Security for Everyone, 1 credit
  • AWR138 Network Assurance & AWR 139 Digital Forensics Basics, 1 credit
  • AWR173 Information Security Basics, 1 credit
  • AWR178 Secure Software, 1 credit 
  • AWR169 Cyber Incident Analysis and Response, 1 credit
  • AWR176 Disaster Recovery for Information Systems, 1 credit
  • AWR177 Information Risk Management, UPPER LEVEL 1 credit

To signup, use the following link and make sure you complete each mini-class in each main class before submitting to ACE. 

After you are enrolled, use this login URL to take the classes:

Course consists of reading long modules and taking many quizzes.  Approximate time needed to complete EACH course:  1 day-3 days.

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Site Owner, Homeschooling for College Credit

3 thoughts on “Sources of Free College Credits

  1. I Love you!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks!!!!!!!

    On Wed, May 15, 2019, 8:07 AM Homeschooling for College Credit wrote:

    > Jennifer Cook-DeRosa posted: “BONUS: currently, the Modern States Online > Test Prep Program is offering a voucher to anyone who completes their > online CLEP course. The voucher will pay for your exam cost and reimburse > you for your testing center fee if you have one. You can take an ” >


  2. Thank so much for all your help and resources!

    I discovered the TAMU Commerce online degree Organizational Leadership, which looks like its accepts lots of CLEP and Ace credits. Now, a few months after discovering this program they have added the phrase: This program is limited to adult learners who have been out of high school for 5+ years and/or who have completed no fewer than 12 credit hours of college-level credit at a university or community college

    Great! What does this mean? My son can’t go unless he waits 5 years? Ugh. Any ideas?

    Thank you! Sent from my iPhone



    1. Hi Cassie, that’s a bummer, but I’m fixated on the “or” in the sentence you quoted. OR 12 college credits through a college. While that would exclude CLEP to count in that tally, 4 college classes = 12 credits, so if you wanted to pursue this program, that’s your in. If your teen has access to free or reduced CC tuition, I’d start there, but if not, there is no reason you have to use your CC. Often you can find really low CC tuition out of state. Currently, the New Mexico Junior College is advertising a flat rate of $828 for 12+ college credits in one semester. Another piece of the puzzle is to do the math and find out what you’ll have to pay AFTER you factor in the CLEP and ACE credits. It is typical for a college to ask for 30 credits be taken with them (x whatever price per credit) and that will help you determine if this is an affordable school for you. Message me anytime, I’m happy to help you pick a target college.


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