Posted in ACE, Debt Free Degree, Free Tuition, HS4CC, Sophia

Using Sophia Courses during Covid-19?

If you’re like me- you’re jumping on’s free courses right now!  Let’s look at how those credits can transfer to college after this is over.

Sophia Learning, LLC (Sophia) was founded in 2010 as a  learning platform, but in 2018, Sophia became a subsidiary of Strategic Education Inc. and blew up.  I wrote a very short entry about Sophia in Homeschooling for College Credit Chapter 2, outlining the dozen or so new courses they were offering, but their price was a significant barrier for most of our families.  At $329 per course, they were the most expensive alternative credit provider in my book, so it is fair to say they weren’t getting a lot of traction on my HS4CC community posts.

In 2019, Sophia reached out to me about giving coupons to our readers- big coupons. No strings attached- just allowing our readers to enroll at a deep discount and use the product. By rolling coupons forward and stacking them with other internet deals,  I drew up a plan called “The Sophia Strategy” which was basically extreme couponing for HS4CC credit earners.  By stacking deals, families who followed that strategy could earn 20 college credits for $600.  That was a game-changer!  Suddenly, families here were able to get within a few credits of an associate degree for under $1,000 – they were cutting the cost of a bachelor’s degree in half…..  and then Coronavirus changed everything.

In late March, Sophia decided to open their ENTIRE catalog through July 31,2020.  This “all-you-can-do” buffet of classes allows unlimited college credit-earning by anyone age 13 or older.  Since Sophia credit is ACE credit (learn about ACE credit) parents who are choosing to pick one of Sophia’s partner colleges as a target college for their teens are saving HUGE money.  For parents who decide not to choose a partner college, their teens are essentially getting free college-level homeschool curriculum that can be recorded on their high school transcript.  This is a big win for all our readers!

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Parents who are struggling to find a way to pay for college should consider a Sophia partner college instead of the popular “brand name” colleges.


4 FACTS about Partner Colleges

  1. Sophia currently has 24 partner colleges. 
  2. Not every partner college accepts every Sophia course – see our recommendations below
  3. Transfer guides for each partner college will help you choose the right courses
  4. Sophia guarantees that your course will transfer

4 OPINIONS about Partner Colleges

  1.  Your Sophia discount is BETTER than getting a scholarship because the discount is guaranteed!
  2. Partner colleges don’t have cheaper tuition – so the only way to make sure you’re saving the most money is to max out on Sophia classes so you can avoid paying rack rate tuition.
  3. Do not choose a partner college unless you plan to earn at least 30 college credits through Sophia (10 classes).  We recommend you take the max allowed.
  4. Every partner college with Sophia allows students to earn their degree through distance learning, but room and board can cost more than tuition – so be sure to look that up as you plan.

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Here are some calculations using a few of Sophia’s partnerships using 2020 tuition rates for an Associate Degree (60 credits).  These colleges allow as many as 45 Sophia credits to apply towards a general Associate Degree, but your actual number of credits applied to the degree will depend on the courses your teen completes and the program they enroll in. Our Degree Completion Facebook group can help with general planning, but the individual colleges are your best resource for specific questions.

Partner College:  Houston Community College (TX)

Estimated discount using Sophia in high school: $9,945

Rack rate tuition:  $221 per credit (out of state)

Estimated tuition cost of the associate degree:  $13,260

Cost to complete 45 college credits through Sophia:  $0

Estimate what you’ll pay when they enroll:  $3,315

Partner College:  Liberty University (VA)

Estimated discount using Sophia in high school:  $17,550

Rack rate tuition:  $390 per credit (online full time)

Estimated tuition cost of an associate degree:  $23,400

Cost to complete 45 college credits through Sophia: $0

Estimate what you’ll pay when they enroll: $5,850

Partner College:  Charter Oak State College (CT)

Estimated discount by using Sophia in high school: $18,855

Rack rate tuition: $419 per credit (out of state)

Estimated tuition cost of an associate degree:  $25,140

Cost to complete 45 college credits through Sophia:  $0

Estimate what you’ll pay when they enroll:  $6,285

Partner College: Wilmington University (DE)

Estimated discount by using Sophia in high school: $17,145

Rack rate tuition: $381 per credit (out of state)

Estimated tuition cost of an associate degree:  $22,860

Cost to complete 45 college credits through Sophia:  $0

Estimate what you’ll pay when they enroll:  $5,715

More about Partner Colleges

An unknown fact about Sophia Partner Colleges, is that they also have partnerships with other low-cost credit providers.  In other words, if you choose Charter Oak State College and have maxed out on Sophia credit, you can still keep earning college credit for all but ONE class required for the Associate’s Degree.  You can even continue earning credits for all but TWO classes required for their Bachelor’s Degree. In other words, Sophia is the first step in an overall strategy to minimize what you need to pay for a college degree.

There are 3 colleges that are unmatched in their credit acceptance policy.  Thomas Edison State University (NJ), Charter Oak State College (CT), and Excelsior College (NY) are the cream of the crop for parents who want their teens to earn as much credit as possible for the lowest price possible and transfer everything in for their degree.

Of course, the colleges have no incentive to teach you how to use their policy to the fullest and avoid paying tens of thousands of dollars for tuition.  Earlier this year, I launched a short online class on how to make the most of alternative credit at these three colleges.  If that’s your goal, HS4CC parents can earn the first 90 or so credits for under $3,000 in high school – many teens earn the whole degree.  The only sticking point with a degree from one of the Big 3 is that you’ll have to major in Business or Liberal Arts.  Attempting to earn a degree in other majors starts to add to the cost significantly.  But, if distance learning through a fully accredited college in Business or Liberal Arts is ok for your teen, then I’d love to teach you how to make it happen.   Homeschooling for College Credit is a neutral third-party, and receives no incentive or commission from any college or university, assuring you have every tool necessary so you don’t have student loan debt. All of this is spelled out in my $39 online course called The Big 3.  


Before you borrow $100,000 or more for an accredited college degree, let me introduce you to The Big 3. 



Sophia Catalog

all courses are worth 3 college credits unless otherwise noted


You might also be interested in:

30 Ways to Earn College Credit in High School

Homeschooling for College Credit, 2nd edition



Site Owner, Homeschooling for College Credit

3 thoughts on “Using Sophia Courses during Covid-19?

  1. Hey Jennifer, My son using 9th grade, taking Algebra 1. Would the college algebra be able to count as his HS and college credit? Thanks!


    1. Melanie, yes but it might be a little tough without having gone through HS Algebra 2. College Algebra does build on Algebra 2, so my advice is to give it a go, but don’t be too upset if it is too hard.


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