Posted in Big 3, Common Sense College Planning, Credit by Exam, Debt Free Degree, Dual Enrollment, High School, HS4CC, Saylor Academy

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!)

The Big 3

In the arena of using alternative college credits to the fullest, there are 3 colleges that stand alone as the most flexible with and DIY-friendly; they are affectionately called “The Big 3.” If you hear people talking about testing out of a degree, this is what they mean.

ACE Partnership List

What are ACE courses? Some private businesses and organizations create and sell “college courses” to the public despite them not being a college. As a rule, colleges don’t recognize these courses for college credit. What is an ACE evaluation? Any business or organization that pays the American Council on Education (ACE) to provide a 3rd […]

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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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