What kind of College Credit Should You Earn?

HS4CC Master List of College Credit

30 Ways to Earn College Credit Grouped into 5 Types

MASTER LIST: Sorting through the types of college credit can be overwhelming. Most HS4CC families earn college credit from many sources in high school and then send those credits to their teen’s target college after high school. The key to making the process work is understanding the differences between those credits and how to choose the right one for your teen.

  • TYPE aka TRANSFERABILITY: I group college credit by its level of transferability from “Excellent Transferability” down to “Improbable.” This is the MOST IMPORTANT way to think about college credit. If you want to keep things simple, stick with “Excellent Transferability.” Credits that are less transferable require more learning on your part to understand how to use them wisely in your homeschool.
  • HS4CC Page: Each credit type link below will take you to its own page here. That page will give you insight about how to use that credit type, costs, and things to watch out for. The page is written by me, not the company. As a neutral third party, I have no vested interest in which credit options you choose for your teen, so I can speak frankly about each program.

Type 1: RA Graded Credit (Excellent Transferability)

Regionally Accredited (RA) Graded Credit has the highest level of transferability and acceptance. These credits result in a letter grade on a college transcript. Credit options in this section are solidly transferable into colleges that accept transfer credit.

Look for RA Graded Credit

Type 2: Credit by Exam (Good Transferability)

Credit by exam programs are standardized tests that a student prepares for independently and upon successful passing of the exam, can result in college credit at a college. Credit by exam is considered “potential” college credit until it is turned into actual college credit by a college.

Look for Credit by Exam

Type 3: ACE Credit (Limited Transferability)

The companies/organizations in this category sell courses “for college credit” that have been evaluated by ACE. ACE (American Council on Education) is a third party credit evaluator that evaluates all types of learning programs that happens outside of a college. Officially, ACE advertises that there are almost 1,500 colleges that “may consider” ACE credit. Unofficially, this credit should only be used when you plan to use one of the partner colleges. Inside a partnership, credit transfer is guaranteed!

Using ACE credit requires creating an account with another third party, Credly, to “hold” your teen’s credit until they’re ready to use it. HS4CC List of ACE Partners

Look for ACE Credit

Type 4: NCCRS Credit (Very Limited Transferability)

NCCRS (The National College Credit Recommendation Service) 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 NCCRS. While there are almost 1,500 colleges that “may consider” NCCRS credit, only when a company has a formal written partnership with a college should this credit be considered transferable. Unlike ACE/Credly, there is no NCCRS transcript or holding place to set your credit, so if a company goes out of business before you need the credit, it may be lost. Advice for using NCCRS is to only do so when your teen will pursue a degree with a partner college (see the HS4CC list) because most colleges do NOT accept NCCRS credit. HS4CC List of NCCRS Partners

Look for NCCRS Credit

Type 5: Special Transfer

Credits in this section usually have very specific procedures to follow, limitations, or are part of a special relationship. This is a unique category for credit types that don’t fit well into the other groups.

Look for Special Transfer Programs

Type 6: Not Recommended

These programs /companies/products are currently NOT recommended for any one of many reasons, including but not limited to: program discontinued, business closed, loss of credit recommendation, loss of partnerships, misrepresentation or errors with credit transfer, etc.

See list of programs that are NOT recommended

Author:

Executive Director of Homeschooling for College Credit