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Upper-Level Credit in High School

Super rare thing for me to write about here because, frankly, very few of you are going to be in a situation where you exhaust your credit earning options for the first two years of college (60 credits). But every now and then, a parent will ask about upper-level credit options.

Upper level credits tend to be the hardest to earn “before college” because colleges tend to reserve those courses for enrolled students. In other words, a student who might just take a course or two (high school student) isn’t the target audience of an upper-level course. An upper-level course tends to be a course in a student’s major (though it doesn’t have to be) and presumes that the student has already completed most or all of the general education courses leading up to the subject.

The most transferable classes are the lower-level (100-200) and those are the credits you’ll earn through dual enrollment, AP, CLEP, Sophia, and a number of other programs. To think of it another way, the 100 and 200 level courses make up the associate degree, and the 300-400 levels make up the last two years of a bachelor’s degree.

As you are probably starting to realize, the likelihood of a high school student needing upper level credit is pretty limited. BUT, for those of you in that category, resourcefully planning is essential. I don’t recommend any high school student work on upper level credit until they’ve committed to a specific college and specific major. Only then will you be able to plan well.

Hitting the “lower level” limit? Here are the upper level options for high school – and YES some of the dual enrollment colleges offer upper level at reduced tuition if you’re still in high school!)

Studycom Upper Level List

Study(dot)com posted their upper level credit list last week. It’s searchable longhand on their website, but this is nice to see in one place. Studycom courses are ACE evaluated for college credit (Studycom is not a college) so their credits are accepted at colleges that accept this type of credit. Transfer credit is guaranteed when…

ACE Partnership List

ACE (American Council on Education) is a third party credit evaluator that evaluates all types of learning that happens outside of a college. A company may market and sell courses “for college credit” that have been evaluated by ACE. While there are almost 1,500 colleges that “may consider” ACE credit, only when a company has…

DSST: The Civil War & Reconstruction

In this post, I’m going to feature the exam “The Civil War & Reconstruction” from DSST. With a passing score, this exam can yield 3 college credits. EXAM INFORMATIONThis exam was developed to enable schools to award credit to students for knowledge equivalent to that learned by students taking the course. This examination includes the…

Live Events!

We have a lot of exciting live events planned each month. Whether you’re looking for new “getting started” workshops, “how to” build a plan for Homeschooling for College Credit, or intensive sessions, we have something for each of you. Want a session we don’t offer? Let us know! Check out our current line up below.…


Executive Director of Homeschooling for College Credit

2 thoughts on “Upper-Level Credit in High School

  1. This is so helpful and you all at HS4CC are the best! Your wonderful book got me started and your information is priceless. I would like to join in the discussion but I needed to leave Facebook behind. Are you active anywhere else?

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