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Mary Margaret’s Story: 100 Credits and Counting

I want to introduce you to a rising 12th grader named Mary Margaret. I met her mom before COVID, back when my local public library allowed me to give free college workshops to the homeschool community in person. Since my audience is typically only adults, it’s always a pleasant surprise to meet a teen, but I had no idea…

My name is Mary Margaret Lewis. I am a rising senior in high school and I have completed coursework for my AA degree. This is the story of how I did it.

In the winter of my Sophomore year, my Mom and I attended a presentation by Mrs. Cook-DeRosa about Homeschooling for College Credit at our local library. We had no idea where that presentation would lead! Other than Advanced Placement exams and some community college classes, we had no idea how much was available to us in North Carolina.

I had already registered to take three AP exams that May, but soon after listening to Mrs. Cook-DeRosa, I completed the Modern States course and CLEP exam for US History I (material I learned as a freshman). I passed the exam and decided to give this ‘degree thing’ a try.

I enrolled at the community college and began taking online classes the summer in between 10th and 11th grade. I originally planned to complete the Associates in Science degree by the end of high school. After studying for and passing more CLEP exams, a few more AP exams, and some more community college classes, I realized that the Associates in Arts degree could be earned earlier than the Associates of Science. I changed pathways and now I’m a month away from starting my senior year with a degree already “in hand.” 

Looking back, I noticed a few things that I find interesting about my journey:

If I can do it, you can do it!

Cost Breakdown

Community College classes – I only paid student fees and text books (Note: North Carolina covers tuition at the community college for high school students who participate in the state’s dual enrollment program. If your state doesn’t offer free dual enrollment, look at our list of out of state programs here.)

CLEP – Tests and proctoring are free with a voucher from Modern States. I only paid for one proctor fee because I messed up the paperwork! (Note: anyone of any age/grade can take unlimited free CLEP exams under this voucher program. Read more here.)

Advanced Placement – I paid for classes and exam fees. (Note: while anyone can develop their own official AP courses, you have to find a local high school willing to let you take an AP test.)

Total number of college credits – 100!

Below is the path I followed since attending the “Homeschooling for College Credit” workshop

Sophomore Year 


Junior Year 




Senior Year


-Fall (To Come)

Spring (To Come)

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