This list includes all the ways your teen can earn college credit in high school.
No matter their age, grade, state, or ability level, your teen can earn college credit!
Each link on this list will open to the HS4CC guide for earning that type of credit.
About the Types
My ranking system allows you to predict credit acceptance when you don’t know your teen’s target college(s). These types are general guidelines, and can help you make informed decisions. If your teen DOES know their target college, then disregard this ranking and simply ask the college directly.
NOTE: colleges will generally not pre-approve credits or courses or exams for prospective students but many colleges publish lists of acceptable sources of credit that they will accept.
Example: If you already know your target college a does not accept CLEP credit by exam (Type 2), it is safe to assume they will not accept anything lower than CLEP but may accept higher types.
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.
- College-Based Dual Enrollment (DE)
- Winter Break, Minimesters, Accelerated Terms
- Summer School
- Arizona State University (Universal Learner)
- Wescott Courses (Credit laundering to UMassGlobal)
- Veritas Press / Scholars Academy (Credit laundering to Cairn University)
- Classical Conversations Plus (Credit laundering to Southeastern University or The College at Southeastern)
- IEW Christian Halls (Credit laundering to Southeastern University)
- Outlier (possible credit laundering through University of Pittsburgh)
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.
- Advanced Placement Exam (AP) (approx. 85% of colleges accept)
- College Level Exam Program (CLEP) (approx. 76% of colleges accept)
- DSST/DANTES Exams (approx. 50% of colleges accept)
- Foreign Language Exams – Advanced Placement, CLEP, ACTFL, NYU-FLP
Type 3: ACE Credit (Limited Transferability)
- ALEKS Corporation—McGraw Hill
- Saylor Academy
- Straighterline (ACE)
- Study.com (ACE)
- Workplace Training
- GED Exam
- SeeMore Impact Labs (formerly CSM Learn)
- Penn Foster College (limited to ACE courses only)
- Gateway Education (ACE)
- Texas Engineering Extension Service TEEX
Type 4: NCCRS Credit (Very Limited Transferability)
The National College Credit Recommendation Service (NCCRS) is a third party credit evaluator that evaluates learning that occurs outside of a college. Only when a provider has a partnership with a college should this college credit be considered transferable. Unlike ACE/Credly, NCCRS college credit is held directly with the provider. HS4CC List of NCCRS Partners
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.
- Prior Learning Assessments (PLA)
- MOOCs (edX, Coursera, Hillsdale College, BYU)
- TECEP® Exams – Thomas Edison Credit by Exam Program
- 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.
- Institutional Challenge Exams (any college)
- Olivet Nazarene University / Your Way
- College Plus
- FEMA Independent Study
- Gateway Education
- InstantCert Courses
- National Fire Academy
- Pearson Accelerated Pathways
- TEL Learning (exception: when using McMurry as your partner university)
- The Institutes (Insurance)
- TOR Academy
- UExcel Exams
- Unbound / Be Unbound
- Verity College Education