Blog Posts

Posted in College Admission, Community college, Dual Enrollment, financial aid, Free Tuition, Tuition

$2000 Bachelor’s Degrees in NC

“My son is taking all his classes for 12th grade at the community college, he will be graduating in May with both his high school diploma from our homeschool and associates degree from our local community college” 

-Jayne L., North Carolina homeschooling parent.

 

Updated for 2019

The topic of today’s post is targeted toward our North Carolina families, but the takeaway isn’t that you should relocate to North Carolina, it’s that in almost every state there are some strategies you can build around the resources you have available to you.  I know many non-NC adults who “hacked” their education and earned AA or BA degrees for pennies on the dollar (I’m on that list!)  For the motivated, there are a lot of ways to save money, but this post is my deconstruction and then reconstruction of the resources in NC, assembled in a way that maxes out the benefits available to parents.

I like to point out that I volunteer at our county’s library as a college planning expert (for homeschoolers).  Eight times per year I give Homeschooling for College Credit presentations, championing the educational benefits available to those in North Carolina .  10 times out of 10, a parent will tell me they had no idea these resources were available to their teen, and that their teen could complete a degree this way instead of earning an academic scholarship, or taking on a lot of student loan debt.  Nevermind the opportunity to oversee the process while their teen is still living at home instead of sending them away to college and hoping their college advisors are good stewards of your teen’s time and money.

10 times out of 10, a parent will tell me they had no idea these resources were available

In short, make it your mission to find the programs in your state, and build a ladder that takes advantage of each and every one- then share that ladder with others.  The more brainpower we have working the problem, the greater we all benefit!

College costs:  Tuition, books, fees, meals, housing, and transportation.  No matter what your teen is doing, they have to live somewhere and eat something.  Sure, they can do that on campus and in a cafeteria, but my advice is that they live and eat at home.  I also like to rent textbooks or buy used editions whenver possible.

You have to plan ahead

Starting in high school, the homeschool parent has the option of bringing college credit into their high school -but since each parent acts as their teen’s guidance counselor, sometimes they don’t know what they don’t know.  Parents are great at high school planning, but may not understand dual enrollment planning.  In high school, the Career and College Promise advisor can help you with dual enrollment, but they aren’t great at helping with degree planning.  In community college, the advisors can help you with your AA/AS degree, but they aren’t great at helping you plan your BA/BS.  At a 4 year university, the advisors can help you earn your BA/BS, but they can’t go back in time to correct the inefficiencies from 1-2-3-4 years earlier.

There is no ONE PERSON IN THE SYSTEM that can advise for your teen from 10th grade through college graduation.  You have to take on the role of guidance counselor – Each employee has their niche, but the only common thread is YOU!  No one cares about the efficiency or cost or time or completion of your teen’s college degree more than you.  There are a lot of moving parts in the process.  BUT,  with a bit of planning and adjusting as your teen advances, they’ll get out the other end with a degree.


High School (Grades 9 & 10)

So, first things first, grades 9 & 10 must be academically robust enough that your teen can test into College Algebra and into College Composition.  In North Carolina, our high school students all have access to a state-wide dual enrollment program called Career & College Promise.  Each of the 58 community colleges has programs (called Pathways) available to your teen, some starting in 9th grade, but most start in 11th grade.  To complete the $2000 Bachelor’s degree, your teen needs to start taking courses in their AA Transfer Pathway or AS Transfer Pathway in fall (August) of 11th grade.

What age?  In NC, dual enrollment isn’t based on age, it’s based on grade.  The homeschool parent gets to decide when their teen is ready for 11th grade.

For teens headed to a 4-year college, taking advantage of the AA Transfer Pathway or the AS Transfer Pathway is a tuition-free way to earn unlimited college credit in high school. (you read that correctly- unlimited)  This is the key component of the $2000 Bachelor’s Degree.  In NC, students choosing one of the Transfer Pathways must meet placement test benchmarks (this requirement is reportedly being removed for fall 2019).  If your teen doesn’t meet the benchmark, they can still take college classes, but they won’t be able to follow the plan in this post.

(Note:  if your teen has already taken the PSAT, SAT, Pre-ACT, ACT, Compass, Asset, PLAN, or NCDAP, your teen’s score may already be high enough to meet this benchmark- ask your local community college’s Career & College Promise coordinator for more help.) 

NCPromise3


High School (Grades 11 & 12)

Grade 11 (FALL) is when your teen must begin their pathway courses.  Your teen will have access to 3 semesters as an 11th grader (fall, spring, summer) and 3 more as a 12th grader (fall, spring, summer).  A pathway consists of about 30 credits and will fit inside of their associate degree, which will fit inside a bachelor’s degree.  Use this for visual reference:

AA Transfer Pathway (30) –> AA Degree (60) –> BA Degree (120)

or

AS Transfer Pathway (30) –> AS Degree (60) –> BS Degree (120)

No matter which community college you use for Career and College Promise classes, the pathway requirements are set at the state level, so “where” they take their classes doesn’t change the process.  Note that your teen is allowed to take pathway classes at any college, it doesn’t have to be your closest campus.  And, the entire AA and AS pathway can be completed online as a distance learning student – so they don’t need to go to campus to take their courses!

“We used two different community colleges and almost a third. One had stronger English and math instructors while the other’s strong suit was history and sociology. The third – CPCC – has a phenomenal online program.”

-Yvonne, Homeschooling for College Credit North Carolina Facebook Moderator

An important point when planning your teen’s courses, it is possible to complete the full AA or AS degree in high school, however, your teen can’t take courses “off-pathway” until they’ve done the entire pathway.  That means, no matter how much your teen wants to take a second psychology course, they won’t have access to the college catalog until every course on the Transfer Pathway has been “checked off.”  The goal is to get off-pathway as efficiently and quickly as possible.

Pathway courses can be completed using community college courses, AP exams for college credit, or CLEP exams for college credit.  Not all NC community colleges apply exam credit the same way- shop around!

If you’re aiming for the most efficient schedule, your teen should enroll accordingly:

  • FALL 11th GRADE:  12-15 credits (4-5 pathway classes)
  • SPRING 11th GRADE:  12-15 credits (4-5 pathway classes)
  • SUMMER between 11th/12th GRADE: 3-6 credits (1-2 pathway/degree classes)
  • FALL 12th GRADE:  12-15 credits (4-5 degree classes)
  • SPRING 12th GRADE:  12-15 credits (4-5 degree classes)

Parents often consider ways to use CLEP or AP exams to either lighten a teen’s course load or accelerate the pathway/degree process.  Keep in mind that CLEP and AP exams cost just under $100 each, so there is an added cost to using these, however, the benefit may be worth it to your family in other ways.  When CLEP and AP credit is earned inside an AA or AS degree that will be used at an NC public university, the exam credit is locked into the transfer agreement and won’t be thrown out – even if the NC public university doesn’t normally award CLEP / AP credit.

“My son took and passed 7 CLEPs during 9th & 10th grade. The AA pathway consists of 11 courses the student must complete before moving on to other classes, his CLEPs knocked out 6 of those classes.  I HIGHLY recommend keeping a spreadsheet to track what your child’s CLEP exams will come in as and what classes they have to complete on the pathway so that you can plan each semester accordingly.”

-NC Homeschooling Parent

If you think 4-5 courses per semester may be too much for your teen, consider enrolling them in the “short” versions of each course.  Most courses come in 2 schedule options, 8 weeks or 16 weeks.  By using 8-week options, you can “stack” 2 courses into a single time slot.

FALL 11th GRADE

  • ENG111 (weeks 1-8)  3 credits
  • ENG 112 (weeks 9-16) 3 credits
  • SOC210 (weeks 1-8) 3 credits
  • PSY150 (weeks 9-16) 3 credits
  • MAT161 (weeks 1-16) 3 credits

Observe that this student is taking 15 credits, but at any given time will only be taking 3 classes at a time (English 1, Sociology, and College Algebra) for 8 weeks, and then (English 2, Psychology, and College Algebra) for 8 weeks.

 What’s on the AA or AS Pathway?


 

Off Pathway- On Degree

At some point in the 11th or 12th grade school year, your teen will be eligible to go “off-pathway” and start checking boxes toward their associate’s degree.  It’s important for me to emphasize that even if your teen can’t finish their entire associate’s degree in high school, that they keep plugging away and finish their degree before matriculating into their target university.  In order to get that “transfer guarantee” offered by our state, your teen must complete the full degree.  Even just one credit short means that their target university will evaluate each and every class, AP, and CLEP exam- which could mean credit being lost in the transfer.  You don’t want that! This whole plan is based on the protected right we have to get a full and perfect transfer.

While working a degree plan, the community college advising team should be included in course selection and guidance with your teen.  You’ll want to be sure that each course brings your teen one step closer to their degree, and that there are no missteps.  Double check that your teen is following the correct degree plan:  AA or AS TRANSFER DEGREE.  Degrees with other titles (Associate of Applied Science, Associate Degree in Nursing, etc.) can transfer too, but the planning is not as cut and dry as AA/AS, and the nuances of planning go beyond the scope of today’s post.  If your teen is pursuing anything other than an AA or AS, they need to check in with their college advisor each and every semester before choosing classes.


 High School and College Graduation

If you worked the plan, your teen will be ready for their high school diploma (issued by you) and will walk across their community college stage to receive their associate’s degree.  Double win!

Having completed the AA/AS degree, your teen will apply to our public universities as a transfer student.  If your teen doesn’t finish the degree and only has accumulated college credit, your teen must apply as a freshman.  Transfer students in North Carolina who hold a full AA/AS degree don’t have to take the SAT exam or meet the “high school entrance” course requirements.

The entire process of exiting a community college with an AA/AS degree and transferring into a public university is HEAVILY REGULATED and standardized by our state.  It’s called our Comprehensive Articulation Agreement, and the contents are public information.  This is a huge advantage because you can learn everything there is to know about the process- just like an academic advisor.  In fact, traditional high school guidance counselors do not advise students on coordinating high school and college graduation simultaneously – it’s beyond their scope of practice.

Don’t be suprised if you encounter the occasional College Admissions Representative who doesn’t know or understand the Comprehensive Articulation Agreement policy as well as you do.  What you’re planning to do is extraordinary.

Tuition Cost for AA / AS Degree:  $0



Onward to the Bachelor’s Degree

To take full advantage of what NC has to offer, you’ll want to tap into their newest program that went into effect FALL 2018 called North Carolina Promise Program.  The Promise Program has selected 3 colleges in NC that will allow your teen to enroll for a tuition cost of $500 per semester.  This means, your teen can complete their last 2 years of college (4 semesters) for only $2000.  Note that even if your teen doesn’t choose a Promise school, their AA / AS degree is still a guaranteed perfect transfer- but you’ll pay tuition at the rack rate.

You should budget in costs of textbooks (renting or buying used is often a big cost saving) as well as fees.  Most colleges have hidden fees or insurance costs.  You can find these out in advance, and use them as you calculate costs.  EVERY COLLEGE DIFFERS in their fees, so be sure to check all three.

Through NC Promise, the state will significantly reduce student tuition cost at three UNC system institutions – Elizabeth City State University, The University of North Carolina at Pembroke, and Western Carolina University – beginning in Fall 2018. The plan will increase educational access, reduce student debt and grow the state’s economy.  -NC Promise

To keep costs to a bare minimum, you’ll have to address housing.  If you’re fortunate enough to live within commuting distance (Pembroke, Elizabeth City, or Cullowhee) you can avoid the cost of student housing (between $2,000-$4,000 per semester!) by keeping your teen at home.  For two years of housing, this impacts your overall budget by $8,000 – $16,000!  Add in meals, and the “housing question” is no small decision.

What if you don’t live near one of the 3 campuses?  2 of the colleges (UNC-P and WCU) offer a selection of degrees that can be completed as a distance learning student!  Of the three, WCU offers the most online programs, UNCP is a close second, and ECSU offers next to no distance programs. While not “every” major could (or should) be completed as a distance learner, but some of the degrees are offered both ways- so distance learning allows your teen to live at home, avoid transportation costs, and save travel time to and from campus.

What about the stigma?  Distance learning is now mainstream!  In 2018, the US Department of Education reported that 98% of all public colleges and universities offered distance learning courses, and in almost every case, no distinction is made on the transcript or degree- in other words, the degree from either of those three state schools is identical whether earned online or on campus.

What about fees or other costs?  All colleges add in fees, the million dollar questions are “what kind of fees- and how much are they?”  Some fees you can control, for instance, a parking pass isn’t required if you’re not attending classes on campus, at Western Carolina University that saves you $350 per year.  Elizabeth State also has an $80 laundry fee you won’t have to worry about, but bouncing a check will cost you no less than $25 at each school, and if your teen doesn’t have health insurance through a parent, you’ll pay another $2,000 per year for mandatory coverage.

Fees that you should expect no matter which learning option you choose includes:

  • Technology Fees ( about $300/year)
  • Activity Fees (about $600/year)
  • Books (about $1,000-$2,000 per year)

Note that fees for residential (staying on campus) students and distance learning (not staying on campus) students are usually different.  Be sure you’re looking at the correct classification.

 


Distance Learning Bachelor’s Degrees at NC Promise Schools (2019)

  • Western Carolina University, Cullowhee, NC  (Link to all WCU degree options)
    • Birth-Kindergarten Teacher
    • Business Administration
    • Criminal Justice 
    • Emergency Medical Care
    • Emergency and Disaster Management
    • Entrepreneurship
    • Engineering Technology (Off-site/Hybrid Program)
    • Innovation Leadership and Entrepreneurship
    • RN to BSN (Nursing)
  • The University of North Carolina, Pembroke, NC  (Link to UNC-P online degree options)
    • Criminal Justice
    • Sociology
    • Interdisciplinary Studies (Applied Professional Studies, Applied Information Technology, Criminal Justice, or Public and Non-Profit Administration)
    • Business Administration (Finance, Management, or Marketing.) 
  • Elizabeth State University, Elizabeth City, NC  (Link to ECSU distance learning info)

Elizabeth State doesn’t offer entire degree programs via distance learning (yet), but you can take individual courses as a distance learner.  I believe that they expect all students to attend on campus as a rule and that online learning allows for exceptions.  Based on what I could cobble together on their website, none of their degrees can be fully completed as a distance learning student.  This may change if their enrollment increases as a result of the Promise Program.  I’ll keep you updated.  Majors offered at Elizabeth State.

Tuition Cost for AA / AS Degree in high school:  $0

Tuition Cost for BA / BS Degree:  $500 per sem x 4 

BA / BS Tuition Total:  $2,000


If you’re homeschooling for college credit and live in North Carolina, you’ll want to get the inside scoop by joining our NC HS4CC Facebook group!  Readers from other areas of the country can find their state’s Facebook group here.

In closing, even if you don’t take advantage of the new Promise program, every homeschooling teen in NC can take advantage of the AA/AS option.  More encouragement from the North Carolina Homeschooling for College Credit Facebook group:

“My daughter graduated in 2016 with her AA, she transferred to UNCC, moved into her major after taking 2 classes that were needed for it over the summer, and will be graduating with her BS in May ’18 and early admitted to a master’s program and will be graduating that May ’19.”

  –Denise W., NC homeschooling parent


“My daughter transferred to Chapel Hill with her associates in liberal studies. She does have to take three semesters of foreign language and one life fitness class as part of the general requirements to graduate from Chapel Hill, but her Associates fulfilled the rest of the requirements for general ed and she is on track to graduate in two years.”

– Jennifer Brauns Anthony, NC homeschooling parent


“Western was great on transferring my daughters credits even before she committed to attend (which she did not) and if you had a AA or AS completed you were automatically in as a junior”

-Jackie P., NC homeschooling parent

Posted in business, CLEP

CLEP Marketing

The Marketing exam is a great first CLEP for your teen. It is considered one of the easier CLEP tests. The content is manageable in a semester and is a great 1/2 credit elective for high school students that can yield three college credits.

Already confused? watch Jennifer Cook DeRosa’s “What is CLEP?” video

If you want simple, select a textbook and simply have your teen read it.  That will cover the curriculum. I found Glencoe Marketing Essentials to cover the majority of the topics on the CLEP test. Older books are easy to obtain inexpensively. You’ll want to follow learning with some test prep and maybe a few practice tests.  In Jennifer’s home, she consistently uses a layering technique to teach her children subjects that will also be part of a CLEP exam.  She likes to include documentaries, homework, field trips, research papers and the like- but how deep you dive is really up to you. Watch Jennifer’s video explaining how to layer resources.



Introductory Marketing

Overview

The Principles of Marketing examination covers material that is usually taught in a one-semester introductory course in marketing. Such a course is usually known as Basic Marketing, Introduction to Marketing, Fundamentals of Marketing, Marketing, or Marketing Principles. The exam is concerned with the role of marketing in society and within a firm, understanding consumer and organizational markets, marketing strategy planning, the marketing mix, marketing institutions, and other selected topics, such as international marketing, ethics, marketing research, services, and not-for-profit marketing. You’re expected to have a basic knowledge of the economic, demographic, social, cultural, political, legal, and technological trends that are important to marketing.

The examination contains approximately 100 questions to be answered in 90 minutes. Some of these are pretest questions that will not be scored. Any time candidates spend on tutorials and providing personal information is in addition to the actual testing time.

Knowledge and Skills Required

The subject matter of the Principles of Marketing examination is drawn from the following topics in the approximate proportions indicated. The percentages next to the main topics indicate the approximate percentage of exam questions on that topic.

Role of Marketing in Society (8%–13%)

  • Ethics
  • Nonprofit marketing
  • International marketing

Role of Marketing in a Firm (17%–24%)

  • Marketing concept
  • Marketing strategy
  • Marketing environment
  • Marketing decision system
    • Marketing research
    • Marketing information system

Target Marketing (22%–27%)

  • Consumer behavior
  • Segmentation
  • Positioning
  • Business-to-business markets

Marketing Mix (40%–50%)

  • Product and service management
  • Branding
  • Pricing policies
  • Distribution channels and logistics
  • Integrated marketing communications/promotion
  • Marketing application in e-commerce

Study Resources

Most textbooks used in college-level principles of marketing courses cover the topics in the outline given earlier, but the approaches to certain topics and the emphases given to them may differ. To prepare for the Principles of Marketing exam, it is advisable to study one or more college textbooks, which can be found in most college bookstores. When selecting a textbook, check the table of contents against the knowledge and skills required for this test. Please note that textbooks are updated frequently; it is important to use the latest editions of the textbooks you choose. Most textbooks have study guides, computer applications, and case studies to accompany them. These learning aids could prove useful in the understanding and application of marketing concepts and principles.

Textbooks

A survey conducted by CLEP found that the following textbooks are among those used by college faculty who teach the equivalent course. You might purchase one or more of these online or at your local college bookstore.

  • Armstrong and Kotler, Marketing: An Introduction (Pearson/Prentice Hall)
  • Bearden, Ingram, and LaForge, Marketing: Principles and Perspectives(McGraw-Hill/Irwin)
  • Boone and Kurtz, Contemporary Marketing (South-Western)
  • Etzel, Walker, and Stanton, Marketing (McGraw-Hill)
  • Kerin, Harley, Berkowitz, and Rudelius, Marketing (McGraw-Hill/Irwin)
  • Kotler and Armstrong, Principles of Marketing (Prentice Hall)
  • Lamb, Hair, and McDaniel, Essentials of Marketing (South-Western)
  • Lascu and Clow, Marketing Frontiers, Concepts, and Tool (Atomic Dog)
  • Perreault and McCarthy, Basic Marketing: A Global Managerial Approach(McGraw-Hill)
  • Pride and Ferrell, Marketing (Houghton-Mifflin)
  • Solomon, Marshall, and Stuart, Marketing: Real People, Real Choices(Pearson/Prentice Hall)
  • Zikmund and d’Amico, Marketing (South-Western)

You can broaden your understanding of marketing principles and their applications by reading articles in newspapers and business publications such as The Wall Street JournalBusiness WeekHarvard Business ReviewFortuneAd Week, and Advertising Age. Journals like Journal of MarketingMarketing TodayJournal of the Academy of Marketing SciencesAmerican Demographics, and Marketing Week can be found in most college libraries.

Score Information

Credit-Granting Score for Principles of Marketing

ACE Recommended Score*: 50
Semester Hours: 3

Each institution reserves the right to set its own credit-granting policy, which may differ from that of ACE. Contact your college as soon as possible to find out the score it requires to grant credit, the number of credit hours granted, and the course(s) that can be bypassed with a satisfactory score.



Homeschooling for College Credit Recommends…

The best CLEP prep book on the market for this exam is the REA CLEP Principles of Marketing book. It includes practice tests in the back that explain “why” an answer is right or wrong.  HIGHLY recommended.

Free-CLEP-Prep has a free study guide and a YouTube channel playlist. You can also purchase their Quick Prep Package which includes a Quick Prep Sheet PDF and a professionally narrated MP3 version and access to two practice tests.

InstantCert has an online flashcard study program and a Specific Exam Resource file where members share feedback about the exam in real time.  Use code 100150 to get $5 off the $20 cost.

Free online flashcards are available at Quizlet. Simply search “marketing clep” and you will find lots of options.

The US Small Business Association has a short Marketing 101 course with worksheets. This 30-minute interactive course would be a great introduction to the topic of marketing.

Standard Deviants Marketing DVD series.  My daughter loved this series and watched it twice! It’s a little cheesy and very 80’s, but that is part of its charm. I was able to find them used on Ebay for a reasonable price.

Saylor Academy offers a completely free Principles of Marketing online course. They offer an exam that awards college credit for $25.

The Modern States organization offers a completely free Principles of Marketing video-based online course. As a bonus, they are currently issuing vouchers to take the CLEP exam for FREE to anyone who asks.  Reducing your CLEP cost to $0? Yes, please!

 

If you’re looking for something on paper, try a laminated study sheet.  There are a ton of them covering dozens of subjects.  You can almost always get them for under ten bucks, and they will outline and zero in on all the major topics/dates/names/etc. for the subject without fluff.   Marketing Quickstudy Reference Guide

Posted in CLEP, Credit by Exam

THE 1st CLEP

The first CLEP exam is always nerve-wracking. You just don’t know what you don’t know! Below are a few tips to help you feel more prepared.

Tips for Parents

  1. Make your student take the test. It sounds obvious, but some parents succumb to the temptation to cancel because their student doesn’t feel ready. However, if they’ve studied for it, they should follow through and take it.
  2. Sign them up for Modern States to get a free voucher. Learn how to take a CLEP for free here. 
  3. Know where you are going – not only how to get to the testing center but where to go once you get there. Plan extra time for parking and paying the test center fee which may be in a different area than the exam. Call the testing center ahead of time if you have any questions.
  4. Know what to bring. Your child will need identification, money for the testing fee, and the CLEP registration ticket.
  5. Inform your student before the test that 50 is a passing score. This is not the type of scoring system we are used to. One of my daughters walked out of her first CLEP disappointed because she thought she’d failed. She hadn’t! I just forgot to tell her what passing was.
  6. Read My Top Ten CLEP Prep Tips for Parents by Jennifer Cook-DeRosa.

Advice for Students

  1. Ask for scratch paper – even if you don’t think you will need it. Before you begin the test, write down information that you don’t want to forget.
  2. Answer every question. There is no penalty for guessing, but an unanswered question is always wrong. If you are unsure, answer the question and “mark” it for later. If you have time, you will be able to go back and review the questions that you marked. 
  3. Understand that you won’t know everything on the test. You may not have even heard of some things. That’s ok! These are broad exams and it is impossible to study everything. Don’t let unknown questions shake your confidence. You can still achieve a passing score.
  4. Don’t cancel your score. Ever. You will be asked more than once at the end of the test if you want to cancel your score. Don’t! There is never a good reason to cancel your score.
  5. Watch the College Board video on how to use the platform.
  6. Read 7 Ways to Fail Your CLEP Exam.

 

Read our other posts about CLEP

 

Posted in Uncategorized

Equifinality and a Degree

Ooooh, do you ever hear a new word and just fall in love with it?  As a middle-aged woman, I’ve got a decent vocabulary, so when I hear a word for the first time my ears perk up.  Last week I heard the word equifinality used in a sentence.  It wasn’t in my dictionary (a 1913 Websters hand-me-down from my mom) so I turned online to look it up.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, this word is worth a thousand ideas.

WOW!  Yes! I love this word.  Continue reading “Equifinality and a Degree”

Posted in CLEP

Take a CLEP for free!

Taking a CLEP Exam Using Modern States –

STEP by STEP instructions

image 3

Modern States offers free, online classes to help you prepare for CLEP exams. When you complete a course through Modern States you will receive a free voucher for the exam.

Here are the steps:

  1. Create an account at www.modernstates.org .
  2. Choose a class from the Modern States catalog.
  3. Enroll and complete the course. View the videos (or read the transcripts) and answer all of the practice questions. You can view your progress in the class by choosing the progress tab at the top of the screen.image 1
  4. Request a voucher when you’ve completed 100% of the course. You will need to upload a screenshot of your course progress. It will look like the image above, but the total at the right needs to be 100%. You should receive an email from Modern States with the voucher code within a few days.
  5. Register for the CLEP exam using the voucher number you received. Add the voucher number at the checkout (see the image below). Your total will be $0. Print the CLEP Exam Registration Ticket. Bring this to the testing center.image 2
  6. Make an appointment at your local testing center to take the exam. Your Exam Registration Ticket expires six months from the date your order it. You can take the exam any time before it expires.
  7. Take the CLEP exam. You will need to bring the Exam Registration Ticket, a valid ID, and money for the test center fee. (Make sure that you get a receipt for the test center fee! My test center receipt always lists the wrong test -the Accuplacer- but it has always been accepted by Modern States.)
  8. Submit a reimbursement request for the test center fee. You will need to attach a copy of your score report and the test center fee receipt in addition to providing the CLEP voucher number you received in step 4.

The voucher is received from Modern States after completing their course and is used to purchase a CLEP Exam Registration Ticket from the College Board.

The CLEP Exam Registration Ticket is presented at the testing center and allows you to take the CLEP exam.


 

CLEP can really save you thousands of dollars, and you can use it anywhere CLEP is accepted (about half the colleges in the country accept CLEP). 

Thinking about using CLEP?  Learn more, read this!

Posted in cost map

Southern New Hampshire University

Homeschooling for College Credit at Southern New Hampshire University (online)

Listen to a brief introduction to this cost map:


Rack Rate Tuition: $19,200 ($320 per credit x 60 credits)

Resourcefully Planned: $5,125 (45 credits in homeschool at about $325,  15 cr. taken through SNHU online once enrolled)


Degree:  Associate of Arts

Note:  Southern New Hampshire University requires 25% of the degree (15 cr.) to be earned through SNHU online, thus 75% of the degree (45 cr.) can be completed during or after homeschool and transferred in before starting classes with SNHU.  Students who do that will save the most money and begin their studies at SNHU Online with 1 semester remaining.

What is a resourcefully planned degree?  In short, a cost map shows you how Homeschooling for College Credit in high school can be transferred into a specific college to save money.  We’ll use alternative college credit sources that are accepted by this college to devise a strategic plan for your student.  The cost map is a general outline that gets you headed in the right direction.

What a Resourcefully Planned Cost Map is NOT:  It’s not a guarantee.  This is an informed DIY plan using the college’s advertised transfer and credit acceptance policies.

Why DIY?  As the parent of a high school student, you won’t have access to academic advisors or the registrar of a college, in addition, colleges don’t specialize in helping you avoid taking their classes!  But, college transfer protocol and transfer policies are often available to the public, allowing teens to start earning college credit NOW that can be used LATER.

Where is Dual Enrollment?  Since some families have free tuition through dual enrollment, while other families may not, dual enrollment has been completely left out of the plan. If you have dual enrollment available to you, you may want to use it.

NOTE: Southern New Hampshire University offers VERY AFFORDABLE dual enrollment high school program ($100 per course – not per credit!) however it is currently limited to those who can commute to take the classes in person at the New Hampshire campus.  If you are a LOCAL STUDENT, the 5 courses that “count” toward the degree can all be completed through their dual enrollment program, which changes the cost of those classes from $960 to only $100.  Resourcefully Planned LOCAL STUDENT:  $825 

Other costs:  Colleges will have other costs beyond the scope of our basic tuition calculation.  Application fee, graduation fee, technology fee, etc. are all fees that you should plan for when your teen eventually enrolls.  To keep the playing field even, the rack rate listed above doesn’t include fees either – the numbers shown are straight tuition.

Saylor Academy has a partnership with SNHU that guarantees credit transfer.  Read more about how to homeschool for college credit using Saylor Academy here.

Additionally, SNHU policy allows acceptance of credit that is ACE or NCCRS evaluated for college credit.  Read more about ACE and NCCRS credit you can take here.


Rack Rate Tuition:  $19,200

Resourcefully Planned:  $5,125

$325 would be paid throughout high school for the first 45 credits (cash). 

The remaining  15 credits will cost $4,800 at SNHU. (apply for scholarships)


How to avoid student loan debt

  1. Reduce the number of credits your teen must complete by doing as many of them as possible in high school.
  2. Secure scholarships, apply for Federal work-study and use savings/cash to cover the balance of tuition once you’re an enrolled student.
  3. Only after you’ve exhausted options 1 & 2 should you consider borrowing money.

Cost Map for Southern New Hampshire University   (01/2019)

Requirement Homeschooling for College Credit Approximate Cost taken during homeschool

$325

Cost if taken through SNHU

$19,200

English 1, 3 cr. CLEP College Composition  Modular (no essay) $0* $960
English 2, 3 cr. NA NA $960
Math, 3 cr. CLEP College Mathematics (MAT130)

 

$0* $960
Perspectives in Liberal Arts, 3 cr. NA NA $960
Success Strategies for online learning, 3 cr. NA NA $960
Humanities, 3 cr. Saylor Academy ENVS203 Environmental Ethics, Justice & World Views $25** $960
Humanities, 3 cr. NA NA $960
History 100, 3 cr. CLEP U.S. History 1 $0 $960
History 200, 3 cr. DSST Civil War & Reconstruction $100 $960
Natural Science 200, 3 cr. NA NA $960
Natural Science 100, 3 cr. CLEP Natural Sciences $0* $960
Humanities 200, 3 cr. DSST Art of the Western World $100 $960
Public Speaking, 3 cr. DSST Public Speaking $100 $960
Free Elective: CLEP American Government $0* $960
Free Elective: CLEP Analyzing Interpreting Literature $0* $960
Free Elective: CLEP Introduction Sociology $0* $960
Free Elective:

 

TEEX Cybersecurity, 6 cr.

 

$0

$325

$1920

$19,200

*Modern States is currently awarding vouchers to cover CLEP exam fees as well as testing center fees.  You can obtain a free voucher through their website. 
**Saylor Academy allows for local proctoring $0 or digital proctoring $25.  This plan is calculated using digital proctoring, but you may deduct $25 per course if you choose local proctoring.


Important links for Southern New Hampshire University:

Saylor Academy Partnership Page

Southern New Hampshire University Dual Enrollment (on campus only)

Southern New Hampshire University CLEP Exam Equivalencies use COCE column

SNHU Transfer Policy

 

Need help from scratch?   Start here –> Homeschooling for College Credit

Want to know more about the types of college credit used in this chart? –>  Take me there.

See more Cost Maps

 

Posted in cost map

University of North Carolina-Pembroke

Homeschooling for College Credit at University of North Carolina Pembroke

Listen to a brief introduction to this cost map:


Rack Rate Tuition IN STATE: $6,360 ($53 per credit x 120 credits)

Resourcefully Planned IN STATE: $4,611 (33 credits in homeschool $0,  87 credits taken online with UNC)

Resourcefully Planned with Career and College Promise: $2,000 (60 credits in homeschool, 4 semesters online with UNC)

-or-

Rack Rate Tuition OUT OF STATE: $22,560 ($188 per credit x 120 credits)

Resourcefully Planned OUT OF STATE: $16,365 (33 credits in homeschool $0,  87 credits taken online with UNC)


Degree:  Bachelor of Arts, Criminal Justice  or Bachelor of Arts, Sociology

Note:  UNC Pembroke is one of three NC Promise colleges in North Carolina.  Promise schools offer flat-rate tuition ($500 per semester in-state, $2,500 per semester out of state).  Read more about the NC Promise program here.   


What is a resourcefully planned degree?  In short, a cost map shows you how Homeschooling for College Credit in high school can be transferred into a specific college to save money.  We’ll use alternative college credit sources that are accepted by this college to devise a strategic plan for your student.  The cost map is a general outline that gets you headed in the right direction.

What a Resourcefully Planned Cost Map is NOT:  It’s not a guarantee.  This is an informed DIY plan using the college’s advertised transfer and credit acceptance policies.

Why DIY?  As the parent of a high school student, you won’t have access to academic advisors or the registrar of a college, in addition, colleges don’t specialize in helping you avoid taking their classes!  But, college transfer protocol and transfer policies are often available to the public, allowing teens to start earning college credit NOW that can be used LATER.

Where is Dual Enrollment?  Since some families have free tuition through dual enrollment, while other families may not, dual enrollment has been completely left out of the plan. If you have dual enrollment available to you, you may want to use it.

Note:  North Carolina homeschool high school students can participate in the Career and College Promise through their local community college from grades 11 and 12. This program allows teens to take guaranteed transfer courses on the AA or AS pathways tuition-free.  In addition, there is a Criminal Justice pathway that allows 12 credits (4 courses) that would also apply to the CJ degree. If you are an NC resident, I strongly urge you to consider using Career and College Promise (dual enrollment).  If your teen can not hit the testing benchmark to begin the AA or AS pathway, follow this plan making use of CLEP exams instead.  Once your teen has graduated from high school, simply complete the AA or AS before you transfer.   The CLEP policy of UNC-P may differ from that of your local community college.  UNC-P allows up to 30 CLEP credits.

Read more here:  $2000 Bachelor’s Degrees in NC

Other costs:  Colleges will have other costs beyond the scope of our basic tuition calculation.  Application fee, graduation fee, technology fee, etc. are all fees that you should plan for when your teen eventually enrolls.  To keep the playing field even, the rack rate listed above doesn’t include fees either – the numbers shown are straight tuition.


Rack Rate Tuition IN STATE: $6,360 ($53 per credit x 120 credits)

Rack Rate Tuition OUT OF STATE: $22,560 ($188 per credit x 120 credits)

Resourcefully Planned IN STATE: $4,611 

Resourcefully Planned OUT OF STATE: $16,365


How to avoid student loan debt

  1. Reduce the number of credits your teen must complete by doing as many of them as possible in high school.
  2. Secure scholarships, apply for Federal work-study and use savings/cash to cover the balance of tuition once you’re an enrolled student.
  3. Only after you’ve exhausted options 1 & 2 should you consider borrowing money.

Cost Map for University of North Carolina Pembroke (01/2019)

Requirement Homeschooling for College Credit Approximate Cost taken during homeschool Cost when taken through UNC in state Cost when taken through UNC out of state
English Composition 1, 3 cr. CLEP College Composition (with essay), ENG1050, 3 cr. $0* $159 $564
ENG1060 English Composition 2 NA NA $159 $564
Fine Arts, 3 cr. CLEP Humanities, ART 2050 and MUS 1020, 6 cr. (+3 credit elective) $0* $318 $1,128
Literature, 3 cr. CLEP Analyzing and Interpreting Literature, ENG2030, 3 cr. $0* $159 $564
Philosophy or Religion, 3 cr. NA NA $159 $564
History, 3 cr. CLEP U.S. History 1, HST1010, 3 cr. $0* $159 $564
Social Science, Psychology, 3 cr. CLEP Psychology, PSY1010, 3 cr. $0* $159 $564
Social Science, Sociology, 3 cr. CLEP Sociology, SOC1010, 3 cr. $0* $159 $564
Social Science, Political Science, 3 cr. AP Government and Politics, PLS1010, 3 cr. $0* $159 $564
Natural Sciences, 6 cr. CLEP Natural Sciences, BIO 1000 and PHS 1100, 6 cr. $0* $318 $1,128
Mathematics CLEP College Math, MAT1050, 3 cr. $0* $159 $564
General Ed. Elective, 6 cr. 3 credit overage from Fine Arts, need more 3 cr. NA $159 $564
Freshman Seminar, 1 cr. NA NA $53 $188
Physical Education, 2 cr. NA NA $106 $376
Criminal Justice Core or Sociology major, 18-21 cr. NA NA $1,113 $3,948
Criminal Justice or Sociology Electives, 15 cr. NA (Career and College Promise eligible) NA / $0 $795 $2,820
University Electives, 39 -42 cr. NA (Career and College Promise eligible) NA / $0 $2,067 $7,332
$6,360 $22,560

*Modern States is currently awarding vouchers to cover CLEP exam fees as well as testing center fees.  You can obtain a free voucher through their website. 


Important links for University of North Carolina:

List of all NC degrees across all NC universities

UNC Tuition and Fees

UNC General Education Requirements

Accepted CLEP and AP exams

Need help from scratch?   Start here –> Homeschooling for College Credit

Want to know more about the types of college credit used in this chart? –>  Take me there.

See more Cost Maps

Posted in cost map

Colorado Technical University

Homeschooling for College Credit at Colorado Technical University (Online)

Listen to a brief introduction to this cost map:


This college uses QUARTER credits

Semester credits are worth 1.5 times more than quarter credits. Thus, a 120-credit-hour bachelor degree under the conventional system is equal to a 180-credit-hour degree under the quarter credit system.


Rack Rate Tuition: $58,500 ($325 per credit x 180 credits)

Resourcefully Planned: $39,713 (61.5 credits in homeschool at about $1,200,  118.5 cr. taken through Colorado Tech online once enrolled)


Degree:  Bachelor of Science, Cybersecurity  

Note:  Colorado Technical University requires 25% of the degree to be earned through Colorado Tech University online, however, it is not possible to complete all of the other specific courses required in advance.

Since CTU does not publish a “list” that matches CLEP exams with their courses, I spoke at length with their registrar to get a handle on their policy.  Per my conversation (nothing in writing) they assured me that general education courses were interchangeable within the same category (ex. their “Introduction to Science” could be replaced with Biology or their “Modern American History” could be replaced with any other history, etc.)  

Since I rarely trust what’s spoken, I approached this cost map from an extremely conservative position. It is possible that you can use more transfer than I worked in, but this is one of those schools that makes it harder than it has to be.  

What is a resourcefully planned degree?  In short, a cost map shows you how Homeschooling for College Credit in high school can be transferred into a specific college to save money.  We’ll use alternative college credit sources that are accepted by this college to devise a strategic plan for your student.  The cost map is a general outline that gets you headed in the right direction.

What a Resourcefully Planned Cost Map is NOT:  It’s not a guarantee.  This is an informed DIY plan using the college’s advertised transfer and credit acceptance policies.

Why DIY?  As the parent of a high school student, you won’t have access to academic advisors or the registrar of a college, in addition, colleges don’t specialize in helping you avoid taking their classes!  But, college transfer protocol and transfer policies are often available to the public, allowing teens to start earning college credit NOW that can be used LATER.

Where is Dual Enrollment?  Since some families have free tuition through dual enrollment, while other families may not, dual enrollment has been completely left out of the plan. If you have dual enrollment available to you, you may want to use it.

Other costs:  Colleges will have other costs beyond the scope of our basic tuition calculation.  Application fee, graduation fee, technology fee, etc. are all fees that you should plan for when your teen eventually enrolls.  To keep the playing field even, the rack rate listed above doesn’t include fees either – the numbers shown are straight tuition.


Rack Rate Tuition:  $58,500

Resourcefully Planned:  $39,713

$1,200 would be paid throughout high school for the first 61.5 credits (cash). 

The remaining  118.5 credits will cost $38,513 at Colorado Tech. (apply for scholarships)

Savings of $18,787


How to avoid student loan debt

  1. Reduce the number of credits your teen must complete by doing as many of them as possible in high school.
  2. Secure scholarships, apply for Federal work-study and use savings/cash to cover the balance of tuition once you’re an enrolled student.
  3. Only after you’ve exhausted options 1 & 2 should you consider borrowing money.

Cost Map for Colorado Technical University  (01/2018)

Requirement Homeschooling for College Credit Approximate Cost when taken during homeschool Cost when taken through  CTU
Cybersecurity Core, 52 cr. NA NA $16,900
Cybersecurity Concentration, 64 cr. NA NA $20,800
Spreadsheet Applications, 4 cr. NA NA $1,300
Discrete Mathematics and Statistics, 4.5 cr. NA NA $1,463
Technical Writing DSST Exam Technical Writing $100 $1,463
Principles of Macroeconomics CLEP Principles of Macroeconomics $0* $1,463
English 104 & 105 CLEP College Composition (with essay) $0* $2,925
Introduction to Algebra CLEP College Mathematics $0* $1,463
College Algebra CLEP College Algebra $0* $1,463
History 101 Straighterline U.S. History 1 $100** $1,463
Math 301 Straighterline Business Stats. $100** $1,463
Philosophy 101 Straighterline Business Ethics $100** $1,463
Political Science 101 Straighterline American Govt. $100** $1,463
Science with Lab Straighterline Biology with Lab (any lab science) $300** $1,950
Science with Lab Straighterline Chemistry with Lab (any lab science) $300** $1,950
University 104 Academic Success Straighterline Student Success 101 $100** $1,463
$1,200 $58,500

 

*Modern States is currently awarding vouchers to cover CLEP exam fees as well as testing center fees.  You can obtain a free voucher through their website. 

**Colorado Technical University has a partnership with Straighterline that guarantees transfer of these specific courses.  See full transfer agreement list here.   It’s worth noting that they require a slightly higher score (73%) than normal (70%) to qualify for the credit.


Important links for Colorado Technical University:

CTU Tuition Page

College Catalog

CLEP Policy (max: 30 credits / 45 quarter credits)

Articulation agreements with this college

Colorado Technical University under scrutiny 

Need help from scratch?   Start here –> Homeschooling for College Credit

Want to know more about the types of college credit used in this chart? –>  Take me there.

See more Cost Maps

 

Posted in High School, Math, Transcripts

Math Success 4 Math Averse

So, if you already feel yourself mounting a reaction to the title, this post isn’t for you.  Like anything you’re good at, you can’t imagine that other people can’t “become” good at it too… if they only had a better attitude, different curriculum, a better teacher, etc.  STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) are all the rage – most universities have watched their STEM-majors double in the past few years, so there is a ton of emphasis on not only high school math, but college-level math in high school.  Sure, with 10,000 hours it’s possible to become an expert in anything.  This is not that.

You’ve heard me tell you that YOU are the best guidance counselor for your teen.  That extends beyond math, obviously, but I’m not going to tell you whether I think it’s right or wrong to push your non-mathy teens into Calculus, that’s for you to decide.  In this post, we’re going to embrace the possibility that some of our teens don’t enjoy math – have no interest in STEM – want to study as little math as possible, and certainly, don’t want a career that requires a lot of math.  It is possible to lead a happy, healthy, educated life without loving math.  That is this.

High School Math

How much is required?  First, you have to answer that question for your state.  If you live in a state with specific high school graduation requirements, then you’ll want to be sure you comply with them.  Compliance assures your teen’s diploma will be valid and legal as they exit high school and move forward in life.  State Requirements Look-Up  Everything that follows in this post assumes you’re making decisions within the framework of homeschooling lawfully.  The truth of the matter is that most of you don’t have graduation requirements, rather your state offers up their public school math program as a suggested course for you to follow. Compliance with public school suggestions are always up to you.

What subjects count?  Let’s assume your state lets you choose your curriculum, in that case, you have a lot of freedom here.  We’re going to go off-book in a minute, but before we do, let’s review a typical k-12  math sequence and roughly when it’s taught:

  1. Arithmetic  (grades k-8)
  2. Pre Algebra (grades 6-9)
  3. Algebra 1 (grades 8-10)
  4. Geometry (grades 9-10)
  5. Algebra 2 (grades 10-12)
  6. Trigonometry / Pre-Calculus (grades 10-12)
  7. Calculus (grades 10-12)

The problem for some students happens around Pre- Algebra.

Algebra, in general, can be when the bottom falls out of your otherwise competent student’s success.  If you ask any adult that “isn’t good at math” where they fell apart, they’ll likely tell you it was in algebra.  If you’ve hit a rough patch in Pre-Algebra or Algebra 1, you have a few options.

  • Do more arithmetic – speed and accuracy are key.  You may be surprised how weak most teens are at arithmetic, and in my opinion, this is likely the culprit. Forget how the transcript “looks” for a minute and think big-picture:  no matter what your teen does for college or a career or in life, they need solid arithmetic skills- this is as important as knowing how to read.  If their arithmetic is weak, make it PRIORITY #1.  No exceptions.  (see my suggestions for this at the bottom)
  • Slow down the pace – assuming the rate of learning new material is the problem, rather than lacking a foundation in arithmetic, slowing down might make it more manageable.
  • Change curriculum- while I hate this suggestion, it is an option.  The problem with curriculum hopping in math, is that the scope and sequence almost never match, and you’ll be left with holes, but the issue here, is that you won’t know you have holes.
  • Change tracks- if you’re sure that arithmetic isn’t a weakness, and your teen is an otherwise fine student capable of learning new things, you do have the option of switching to applied math!  It is possible that your teen just doesn’t like math.  I can feel you gasp through my computer, but if you can wrap your head around the possibility that they might not need as much math as you’re planning, you may find one of the applied math options really hits a home run.  (more about that in a few minutes)

Math in College

Before we can talk about the alternative paths in high school math, most parents protest immediately because they fear their student won’t be able to either (a) get into college (b) do college math.  Let’s look at math in college for a moment and some of the myths.  First, the high school sequence above is actually harder (higher) than the math required for most college degrees.  This is true!  Most parents believe that math through Calculus is required for all college admission, when in fact, math through Calculus is only required for the smallest of career choices.  Let’s learn some vocab:

GENERAL EDUCATION:  the core requirements everyone at that college must take in order to graduate from that college. General Education requirements are as few as 5 classes in some Associate of Applied Science programs, to the more typical 20 courses at a 4-year college.  You’ll find that General Education requirements can be VERY different from one school to the next.

MAJOR:  the requirements beyond the General Education courses necessary to earn your degree. You get to choose your major which should align with your career goals.

Here are some truths:

  • Most non-STEM majors don’t have math requirements.  Their General Education requirement will have some type of math, but you can shop around for low math colleges.
  • General Education requirements across the board usually don’t require math above the College Algebra level (roughly equivalent to Algebra 2 with a chapter or two of Pre-Calculus for good measure).
  • Most 4-year colleges and all community colleges offer math classes for every level.   Even if you enter college unprepared for college math, the college is usually arranged to help you succeed.
  • General Education requirements in math sometimes allow science and technology to count in the same category, meaning it’s sometimes possible to avoid all math entirely by taking an extra science or computer course.
  • There are 2 places you have to check to see the type and amount of math required:
    • The college’s General Education requirement (this will be the same for everyone, so if the college requires Statistics or Trig in their General Education requirements, there is no way around this).  Look for General Education requirements that ask for no more than 3 credits of math (1 class) and with numbers as close as possible to 100.  For instance, MATH105 should be easier than MATH121.
    • Your target major at each target school.  Some majors just require a lot of math, so if you’re looking at a math-heavy major, there isn’t much I can offer.  However, math-light majors can vary from one college to another!  If your teen wants to become a History Teacher, you’ll find most colleges don’t require College Algebra- so if your target school does, keep looking.
MATH-LIGHT MATH-HEAVY
American Sign Language Interpreter

Anthropology

Art History

Automotive

Broadcasting / TV/ Radio

Communications

Construction Technology

Culinary Arts

Diversity

Dramatic Arts

Elevator Installer

Emergency Medicine / Paramedic

Fire Science

Foreign Language

Graphic Design

Hair and Beauty

Health Occupations

History

Horticulture

Hospitality

Human Services/ Social Work

Interior Design

Journalism

K-12 Teacher (non-STEM)

Lawyer / Legal

Library Science

Management

Mortuary Science

Music

Nursing

Performing Arts

Philosophy

Pilot

Police and Law Enforcement

Political Science

Psychology

Real Estate

Religion

Sales and Marketing

Sociology

Studio Art

Sustainability

Writing

Accounting

Actuary

Astronomy

Business

Chemical Engineering

Chemistry

Computer Aided Drafting

Computer Programming

Data Analysis

Economics

Electrical Engineering

Engineering (as a category)

Engineering Technology

Finance

K-12 Teacher (STEM)

Mechanical Engineering

Medical Science

Petroleum Engineering

Physics

Science Teacher

Software Development

Statistics

Supply-Chain

Video Game Design

Jennifer’s tips for students who really, really, really hate math

  1. Spend a lot of time investigating careers and college majors.  You need to know if your career goal works for those who hate math.  If you’re looking at a Math-Heavy career, you’ll have to embrace math or change career trajectories!
  2. If you’ve found a career and major that are Math-Light, start making a list of colleges with low general education math requirements.  The lowest you’ll find is usually called “Mathematics for Liberal Arts” and the lowest amount you’ll usually find is 3 credits – 1 course.  If you’re seeing general education requirements higher than this, keep looking.
  3. Be sure to look for hidden maths that sneak into a major.  Math can lurk in classes with names that contain these words in their title:
    1. Quantitative
    2. Statistics
    3. Probability
    4.  Research
    5. Financial
    6. Analysis
    7. Inference
  4. See if you can test out of the math requirement in high school using CLEP or DSST exams at your target schools.  (not all colleges will accept exam credit!)  This approach has several benefits.
    1. Study in your own homeschool without stress or pressure.
    2. Earn college credit as pass/fail, removing the worry about your GPA.
    3. Start your first semester without a math prerequisite (often you can’t register for science until you’ve finished math).
    4. Start (and finish) college without having to do a single math class.
  5. If you plan to earn your degree as a distance learning student/online, many of these programs also partner with college-credit-businesses that allow you to complete some courses at home (in high school) in a self-paced and open book setting.  These partnerships are a wonderful way to earn credit, but outside of the partnership, you may find that the credit won’t transfer.  The company with them MOST college partnerships is called Straighterline.  The lowest transferable math they offer is College Algebra, but their partnership extends to over 100 colleges, so it’s worth considering.  You can also find math options here.

CLEP Testing:  College Mathematics CLEP Exam Website

DSST Testing: Mathematics for Liberal Arts DSST Testing Website

Applied Math Courses in High School

If you’ve caught your breath, and have decided that you may not have to spend all 4 years of high school in pursuit of Calculus credit, I want to offer you some alternative math courses that you can use in place of the traditional sequence we discussed earlier.  Using applied math takes the “theory” of math, and puts it into “application” or real-world use of numbers.  For many students that struggle with math, you’ll see a huge improvement when they begin studying applied math- this happened to my 12th grader.  After struggling through 3 years of Saxon Algebra 1/2 (aka pre-algebra) with barely passing marks every year,  (yes, he did the same book 3 years in a row and it never “clicked” for him) my 12th-grade son is now a solid “A” math student in Consumer Math.  He has turned the corner, we found a way for him to be successful! I only wish I’d started him in applied math years earlier.

In most cases, you can find these books through your favorite online bookstore.

Consumer Math:  I spent months reviewing the top 4 publishers in this space, and my hands-down favorite is A Beka.  I know some of you aren’t Christian, but besides an occasional bible verse, you won’t find a strong Christian theme in this book.  The content is exceptional.  Full color, practical, easy to read, excellent explanations, manageable lesson sizes, can be done over 1 year or 2.  Note: You don’t need the half-dozen books they sell for the “complete kit” you just need the Teacher Book (answers) and Student Book.  Highly recommend. 

Culinary Math:  This is my wheelhouse.  I taught Culinary Math for 10 years at a community college early in my career.  If your student wants to be a chef, they’ll be miles ahead of their culinary school peers if they start culinary math now.  While Culinary Math is a variation on arithmetic, the terminology is a little different.  Beyond converting recipes and measurements, the student will learn to calculate food and labor costs, convert between weight and volume, and understand purchasing.  The textbook I taught from would be great for a homeschool course:  Culinary Math by Linda Blocker/Julia Hill. 

Math for Health Care Professionals:  Review of the metric system, reading drug labels, medicine cups, syringes, intravenous administration bags, dosages, basic intravenous administration, and basic dosage by weight units.

Personal Finance:  There are dozens of curriculum options since I get to plug my favorites, I love Dave Ramsey’s Foundations in Personal Finance High School course. It can be taken in person, via DVD, or online.

Introduction to Accounting / Bookkeeping:  Many homeschool curriculum companies offer complete products if you don’t see it under “math” try looking under “electives.”

Statistics:  For visual learners, Statistics might be a great fit.  Statistics use a lot of charts, graphs, and spreadsheets.  While traditional Advanced Placement students usually have to wait until after Pre-Calculus to take Statistics, that’s because they want the students to finish their core first.  Most people can study statistics with a mathematical level of around Pre-Algebra or Algebra 1.  There is a college-credit exam for students who want to take their learning to the next level.  See the DSST link above.  

Game Theory & Probability:  This will totally appeal to anyone who likes to play card games, roll dice, flip coins, or talk about sports statistics and winning the lottery.  The Great Courses has several really great full curriculum options, but I personally loved the free streaming lecture series called Against All Odds  

Industrial Arts Math:  Having an aspiring welder, I was thrilled to make Math for Welders his math book this year.  What an exciting way to learn and expand on arithmetic using blueprints and diagrams for my son.  He finally found the “why” behind much of the math he learned in middle school.  (P.S. the manufacturer won’t sell you the teacher’s edition -with answers- but odd answers are provided in the back I found an answer key on eBay) 

College Math / and or / Mathematics for Liberal Arts:  We spoke earlier about testing out of college math while still in high school.  If you’re eager to try this option, you can find out about the content of these 2 exams at the links above.  While you might be able to find a college text, you can likely build a curriculum DIY style for either of these courses.  This is a great math credit option for 11th or 12th grade. Compare the DSST Math for the Liberal Arts vs. CLEP College Mathematics

High School Math / Practical Math:  This isn’t applied math, however, it’s a perfectly acceptable math course title if you’ve decided to dedicate more time to arithmetic.  Keep in mind that your teen’s real education is more important than what appears on their transcript, so if you see gaps in their skills, ignore the criticisms and do what needs to be done.  A community college accepts all high school graduates at every level of mathematics ability.


 

Arithmetic for High School Students

Earlier, I wrote “Do more arithmetic – speed and accuracy are key.  You may be surprised how weak most teens are at arithmetic, and in my opinion, this is likely the culprit. Forget how the transcript “looks” for a minute and think big-picture:  no matter what your teen does for college or a career or in life, they need solid arithmetic skills- this is as important as knowing how to read.  If their arithmetic is weak, make it PRIORITY #1.  No exceptions.”

If this is where you need to focus, start here:  Arithmetic on Khan Academy