This is a great question and one that parents often ask. So, what’s the best way to present your teen’s GPA on their homeschool transcript?Continue reading “Is it important to add in the weighted GPA with the unweighted GPA on the transcripts?”
As scholarship season comes to a close, it’s not too late to go for a last minute application! Here’s today’s batch and good luck!Continue reading “7 Scholarships!”
In today’s post, I want to tell you about a new Dual Enrollment option that is unique because they offer SELF PACED classes! The details about the program are below, and also info about a free online event where I’ve invited them to share more about their program and allow us to ask questions.Continue reading “New “self-paced” Dual Enrollment Option!”
Residential summer school is coming back! Today I have 2 universities to share with you that are offering on-campus programs this summer that include housing and college credit. These programs are both offered through private Christian Universities that are regionally accredited, but I’m expecting to see a slight return to normal this summer and we should expect to have an abundance of Christian and secular options coming soon.Continue reading “Summer School = College Credit”
A quick dual enrollment fact. You’ll pay SIGNIFICANTLY less money in tuition when your teen takes college classes as a high school student.
A private university offers tuition to high school students at rate of about 1/10th their regular tuition! For a university that normally charges $4,000 per class to their students only charges about $400 per class to high school students for the same class! 3-4-5 or more classes and you’re talking serious savings!
For the next few Sundays, I’m going to send you a carefully curated list of 7 great scholarships that I think members of our Homeschooling for College Credit Community can win! This is the end of scholarship season, so these last few weeks are really important! Here’s today’s batch and good luck!Continue reading “7 Scholarships!”
“A class of children sit revising for make-or-break exams to get them into the college of their choice. It’s the sort of scene that could be seen in high schools across the world but for one important difference: The pupils have intravenous drips hanging over their desks. The image is taken from footage that claims to reveal the controversial use of the drips to boost pupils’ ability to study at a school in Xiaogan, Hubei province, China.” Full story
Homeschooling parents have a special kind of anxiety about standardized testing. In many cases, the very principle of using a standardized course of study is exactly why some parents removed their kids from group schools in the first place. The notion of the individualized pursuit of academic excellence is the opposite of seeking standardization and consistency. Parents I talk to are completely comfortable marching to the beat of their own drum… until somewhere around middle or high school.
Around middle / high school the homeschooling parent’s anxiety goes up, and parents worry about their kids “measuring up” against the kids who have taken standardized tests on a regular basis. Why? PSAT, SAT, ACT, AP, and a few others in the alphabet soup of measurement are introduced into the homeschool for the first time. Remember, most states don’t require homeschooled kids to take standardized tests, in fact, my own kids didn’t take a test until we moved to a “test required” state in 2012. My oldest was a senior in high school with 21 college credits before he ever had to “fill in a bubble.”
The irony of parent’s anxiety is that homeschooled teens usually kick-butt when it comes to standardized testing. I think most of us have heard the stats- generally homeschooled teens score somewhere in the 80th+ percentile on standardized grade-level tests, and in the upper quartile on college entrance exams. The “why” behind those stats are for another day, but for most parents, those stats aren’t comforting reassurance- they’re a mandate.
If homeschooled kids are expected to test higher thank average, this adds a lot of pressure to homeschooling parents. After all, since higher standards are the norm, scoring average or below average feels like a failure to some. This is a case where “above average” has become average.
But what if your teen really is average? What if your teen has passions and talents that aren’t part of what is tested on the SAT? What if your teen is just a regular student who will probably score in the 50th percentile in most subjects? They have no chance, right?
Well, you might be surprised and relieved to know that SAT scores are not an accurate predictor of success in college – and yet, they continue to be a source of stress and fuss among high school parents and students. Homeschool parents know, but should be reminded, that academic success is multi-dimensional. College success is multi-dimensional.
Happiness, health, and success in life are not based on a test score.
College Entrance Exams
As you consider standardized testing, know that college entrance tests are currently optional. Unlike achievement tests that may be required of k-12 homeschool students in some states, the PSAT, ACT, and SAT for college entrance are not required exams. Choosing to take an exam is an opportunity for your teen to demonstrate college readiness. As such, whether or not your teen decides to take one of these exams depends on 4 key factors: Homeschool exit strategies, target colleges, availability, and their strengths/weaknesses.
1. Homeschool Exit Strategies
What are the options after high school? The most popular options include college, military, apprenticeship, mission work, vocational training, gap year, or entering the workforce. While it feels like “everyone” goes to college, the current data tells us about 67% of high school graduates will enter college directly. We also know that of that set, only 60% will graduate in 6 years or less. From that, we can infer that many of the students who entered college directly may have been more successful in taking a different approach:
if 1000 students graduate high school: 330 do not head to college while 670 do.
Of those 670 who start college, 402 graduate in 6 years or less, while 268 do not graduate college ever. The simple math tells us that of the initial 1000 high school graduates, only 402 follow the direct timeline from high school graduation to college graduation. That leaves the majority of -598 students- in different categories. This set had a different exit strategy or changed strategy at some point in the 6 years after high school graduation. National Center for Educational Statistics
As you consider exit strategies for your teen, remember that one size does not fit all. For teens not heading directly into college following high school graduation, or choosing a different path, standardized exams are probably unnecessary.
2. Target Colleges
If your teen has a few target colleges picked out, simply visit the college’s website to see if and which exam(s) they prefer. (Try looking in their “Admissions” tab) If your teen doesn’t have target colleges picked out, read on…
There is a growing trend away from requiring ACT/SAT exams for admission. You might be surprised to know that The National Center for Fair and Open Testing maintains a database of over 900 bachelor-degree-granting-colleges that do not require standardized exams for admission, are “test-optional” or “test flexible.” See the full list. In addition to the bachelor’s degree colleges above, there are 1,200 community colleges in the United States, most of which provide open enrollment admission – that is to say admission is granted without test score benchmarks. In most cases, colleges use a placement tool (Accuplacer and Compass) to determine the level for placement, not whether or not you can earn admission.
since not all students graduate high school ready for 100 level college courses, the community college provides the courses necessary to meet that deficiency instead of denying admission.
Two advantages of taking a placement exam at your community college over traditional standardized tests are (a) student can schedule it whenever they want – even into adulthood, and (b) typically there is little or no cost.
For colleges that require SAT or ACT exams for admission, you may find that this only applies to freshman applications. For students entering college after military service, after mission service, as a transfer student, after earning an associate’s degree, or those over the age of 21, the SAT/ACT exam requirement is typically removed.
Standardized exams require advanced scheduling and travel to a testing center. In short, homeschooling families that spend a lot of time traveling, stationed overseas, or other location-based limitations will have to take that into account.
4. Strengths and Weaknesses
The purpose of a standardized exam is for your son or daughter to demonstrate their candidacy to a specific college. As such, you’ll want to take stock of their strengths and weaknesses when choosing the right exam rather than trying to score well on both exams. Remember, both ACT and SAT have undergone changes over the past few years, so be sure your teen is using current study material as they prepare. Since the last SAT revision, the differences between the Reading, English, and Math sections are very minor. The significant distinction is that the ACT includes science, while the SAT does not.
If your teen’s strengths are in athletics, music, ministry, or if they have weaknesses that interfere with strong testing ability, the standardized test may not be the right choice for your family. While it’s true that some teens will be required to take a standardized test to pursue specific colleges, creative and resourceful parents should not be intimidated or fall to peer pressure that may not be in the best interest of their family.
Earlier in March, I posted about the DSST exams that are currently “expired” and promised an update as soon as the exams were reevaluated. ACE has extended the exams, but for 10 months, not several years. What does that mean? I’ll tell you what I think it means, but it’s “interesting” to say the least.Continue reading “UPDATE: DSST Review, Renew, or Discontinue?”
Outlier is a company that formed a partnership with the University of Pittsburgh to offer college classes online ($400) and have them appear as original credit on an official University of Pittsburgh transcript. This is a legitimate form of credit laundering, and based on the feedback so far, these classes are cinema-quality-knock-your-socks-off. Your teen could be one of 1,000 selected to get a class for free!Continue reading “Scholarship Alert: 1 free class from Outlier”
Today, I want to share a section from my book Homeschooling for College Credit. I’m often asked if I think CLEP is starting to decline in popularity or acceptance. I don’t have to guess- we have data! Continue reading “CLEP Keeps Growing”
Wednesday March 31, 2021 Alternative Ways to Earn College Credit in High School. Join special guest Jennifer Cook-DeRosa of Homeschooling for College Credit as she explores the alternative types of college credit with Jamie Gaddy of Homeschoolcom. Use the button below to join the Facebook event TODAY from 3:00-4:00 EST!
The last day of every month celebrates YOUR success!! Did your teen earn any college credit this month? If so, share below so we can celebrate with you!
2021 Nurse Corps Scholarship Program Application Cycle
This is a WONDERFUL scholarship – I’m thrilled to share it with you here.Continue reading “Nursing Scholarship”
THIS SUMMER Husson University in Maine (yes, regionally accredited) allows eligible high school juniors and seniors to take 2 free online courses. These are for college credit and should transfer into your target college in the future. You can take a max of 21 credits before you graduate high school! ANY STATE except California. Details below.Continue reading “BREAKING NEWS: Get 2 free dual enrollment courses this summer!”
If your teen is considering a career in a health or medical field, I have some interesting electives you can add to your high school curriculum to give them a head start.
These aren’t worth college credit (you’ll award high school credit), but some, like those offered through the American Red Cross, result in certification or licensure! Since many health occupations look for volunteer or work experience, this is a great way to receive training as a first step toward a career.
Our “college students” are still in high school, and the parents are calling the shots, so why won’t the college talk to you? Because you need a FERPA waiver.Continue reading “Why You Need a FERPA Waiver”
Homeschooling for College Credit families often pay tuition or have unique educational situations. I’ve pulled and pasted some highlights from the IRS Publication Tax Benefits for Education to help you with your FAQs. I am not a tax professional! Consult your teen’s college and your accountant regarding your specific situation and your taxes.Continue reading “6 Questions About HS4CC and Your Taxes”
It’s nearly impossible to develop a college class or write a textbook without some kind of bias, yet CLEP exams tend to be balanced and fair. How does that happen?Continue reading “Good to Know: Writing a CLEP Question”
TEL Learning offers high-quality, self-paced courses that can be used in one of two ways: 1) for college credit for a fee, or 2) as a free resource for your homeschool (no college credit). Both of these options use the exact same course but with different end purposes. Let’s examine the college credit option first.Continue reading “TEL Learning”
Just when we’ve all gotten comfortable with Arizona State University’s Earned Admissions program, they’ve undergone a name change!Continue reading “ASU Earned Admissions: NEW NAME”
There are 9 DSST exams that are currently “expired” and I’m waiting patiently to learn the fate of these exams…. but so far, no word from DSST. Here’s what we do know.Continue reading “DSST Review, Renew, or Discontinue?”
While all CLEP exams are multiple choice, a few exams have essays- some are required and some are optional. In this post, we’ll do a quick run-down of where you’ll find essays.Continue reading “Good to Know: CLEP Essays”
Thinking about earning college credit in high school? In this post, I’ll do a quick summary of what each kind of college credit costs if you’re STILL in high school, and how you can save money on the process.Continue reading “What does it Cost to Homeschool for College Credit?”
Homeschooling for College Credit families use Arizona State University’s Earned Admissions (now called Universal Learner) program because it allows parents a VERY affordable ($25) opportunity to test out dual enrollment for their teens with low risk (only pay tuition if you like your grade and want college credit). Here are a few of the most common answers to your questions about the ASU EA program.Continue reading “Common Transcript Questions about ASU’s EA Program”
PSAT, SAT, AP, and CLEP. If any of those exams are in your teen’s future, you should set up your College Board account. You can do it right now!Continue reading “Good to Know: Set up a College Board Account”