30 Ways to Earn College Credit
Each link in this catalog will open to the HS4CC guide for that credit type.
Most HS4CC families earn college credit from many sources in high school and most HS4CC families have not picked out a college which makes credit acceptance uncertain. My ranking system allows you to predict credit acceptance when you don’t know your target college(s).
Example: if a college does not accept Advanced Placement credit by exam (Type 2) you can assume that they will not accept anything from a lower type (Type 3, Type 4, Type 5).
If you know your target college(s) you can disregard this ranking system and ask the college directly if they accept a specific credit type. NOTE: colleges do not preapprove credits or courses or exams for prospective students but many colleges publish lists of acceptable sources of credit that they will accept.
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.
- (1) College-Based Dual Enrollment (DE)
- (2) Arizona State University (Universal Learner)
- (3) Outlier (legitimate credit laundering to University of Pittsburgh)
- (4) Wescott Courses (credit laundering to UMassGlobal)
- (5) Veritas Press / Scholars Academy (credit laundering to Cairn University)
- (6) Classical Conversations (credit laundering to Southeastern University or The College at Southeastern)
- (7) IEW Christian Halls (credit laundering to Southeastern University or Donnelly College)
- (8) Summer School
- (9) Winter Break, Minimesters, Accelerated Terms
Type 2: Credit by Exam (Good Transferability)
Credit by exam programs are standardized tests written and administered by a company (not college) that assess college-level knowledge in various subjects. Credit by exam tests are not “textbook specific” so you can prepare using any material you like. Credit earned by exam is considered “potential” college credit until it is accepted by a college.
- (10) Advanced Placement Exam (AP) (approx. 85% of colleges accept)
- (11) College Level Exam Program (CLEP) (approx. 76% of colleges accept)
- (12) DSST/DANTES Exams (approx. 50% of colleges accept)
- (13) Foreign Language Exams – Advanced Placement, CLEP, ACTFL, NYU-FLP
Type 3: ACE Credit (Limited Transferability)
This type of credit is “ACE Credit.” 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!
- (14) ALEKS Corporation—McGraw Hill
- (15) Saylor Academy
- (16) Sophia
- (17) Straighterline (ACE)
- (18) Study.com (ACE)
- (19) Workplace Training
- (20) GED Exam
- (21) Statistics.com
- (22) SeeMore Impact Labs (formerly CSM Learn)
- (23) Penn Foster College (limited to ACE courses only)
- (24) Gateway Education (ACE)
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
- (25) Coopersmith Career Consulting
- (26) Davar Academy
- (27) Law Shelf
- (N/A) OnlineDegree.com (age 18+ only)
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.
- (28) Prior Learning Assessments (PLA)
- (29) MOOCs (edX, Coursera, Hillsdale College, BYU
- (30) TECEP® Exams – Thomas Edison Credit by Exam Program
- (N/A) Christian Leaders College (for Transfer to Liberty University only)
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.
- Challenge Exams (any college)
- Olivet Nazarene University
- College Plus
- FEMA Independent Study
- Gateway Education
- InstantCert Courses
- National Fire Academy
- Pearson Accelerated Pathways
- TEL Learning (acceptable only when using McMurry as your partner university)
- Texas Engineering Extension Service TEEX
- The Institutes (Insurance)
- TOR Academy
- UExcel Exams
- Unbound / Be Unbound
- Verity College Education