Blog Posts

Posted in CLEP, HS4CC

Parent Question: How many CLEPs can my teen take?

Q: What’s the maximum CLEP exams a student can take?

A: I’ve got great news- there is no limit! I think that the amount YOUR teen takes is a combination of three important factors.

  1. What subjects is your teen taking in high school? This is an important consideration, in my opinion, because my advice is to always bring college credit into your homeschool plan instead of trying to morph your homeschool plan to the whims of one or two colleges. If you’re planning to study Biology, then take the CLEP biology too. If you’re planning to study Literature, then take a CLEP Literature exam too. When you bring CLEP into your plan, it will always be a good way to add frosting on the cake!
  2. Does your teen test well? Some students really enjoy the testing process and others are incredibly stressed out by it. If your teen doesn’t mind taking tests, then CLEP is a great option and I would encourage you to use it often. If testing stresses your teen to the point that they aren’t excited about earning college credit this way, then my advice is to try one and go from there. CLEP may not be a good fit for your Homeschooling for College Credit plan, and that’s ok! There are plenty of other ways to earn college credit!
  3. Is your teen targeting top tier universities? There are about 3,800 colleges and universities in this country, and most of them participate in CLEP to some degree, but if you’re targeting the very top tier elite colleges (think: Top 30), CLEP is not for you. If your teen is NOT targeting a top tier university, take every CLEP you can!!

My Top 10 CLEP Prep Tips for PARENTS

Before I ever started homeschooling my own teens for college credit, I wanted to know more about CLEP, and how it worked. The super-short version is that I took one exam “just to see” what it would be like….but I ended up testing out of an Associate’s Degree (60 credits) in 6 months! I didn’t […]

Is She a College Freshman or a Transfer Student?

HELP! Is my teen is applying to college soon, and I’m not sure if she should apply using the freshman application or the transfer student application? Earning college credit in high school can lead you to wonder if your teen is an incoming freshman or a transfer student- good question!   In the first place, you […]

Posted in Credit by Exam, Debt Free Degree, HS4CC

Family Member in a Union? Free College

We see lots of programs come and go, but this one is STILL available and running strong (since we first shared about it in 2016), so we HAVE TO keep letting our parents know – especially now that we have a HS4CC graduate from this program! If ANYONE in your family is part of the union, your teen may have access to a totally free associate degree. Zero out of pocket, really.

Continue reading “Family Member in a Union? Free College”
Posted in Common Sense College Planning, HS4CC

Workshop: Simple Math Difficult Decisions

Announcing a *brand new* workshop for the Homeschooling for College Credit community called “Simple Math Difficult Decisions” and a special aspect of this session is that your teens are invited to attend with you! Taught by Jennifer Cook-DeRosa, this workshop will happen several times this summer!

If the math of college costs seems too big and your savings account too small, you’re not alone. Homeschool families are unique because you’re talking about a group of people who are highly invested in their teen’s education, have exceptionally resourceful parents, and have had to carry the cost of their teen’s homeschool education since day 1.

In this session, we’ll talk about how to use logic and math, not emotion and propaganda, to break down the costs of college and how to make a significant dent in what you pay.

DATES (choose 1)

July 15, 2021 11:00am EST – 12:00pm EST followed by 1 hour Q&A

August 31, 2021 6:00pm EST- 7:00pm EST followed by 1 hour Q&A

Posted in Computer Science

Computer Science Classes & AP Exam

If you’ve been looking for a computer science curriculum to use this fall, I found one you might like! It’s been developed by the prestigious Carnegie Mellon University and is free for homeschooling families to use. You can choose to pair this with the AP Exam (resources below) for high school and potential college credit, or choose one of their lighter classes for “just” high school credit.

Continue reading “Computer Science Classes & AP Exam”
Posted in CLEP, HS4CC

Finding CLEP Equivalencies

Once you discover CLEP, the first order of business is usually trying to find out how CLEP exams are accepted at your teen’s target college. You’ll hear the HS4CC community call this “CLEP Equivalency” because once a college accepts a CLEP exam, it will become “equivalent to” a course offered at the college- and THAT’S how you knock out college credit (and save a lot of money) by using CLEP.

HS4CC Tips for CLEP Equivalency Research

  1. College policies change!! Realize that until your teen graduates high school and officially enrolls in college, your CLEP research should be considered “unofficial” because colleges can (and do) review policies like these every year.
  2. A “good” college CLEP policy page:
    • Has a table or chart on their website that lists each exam and the course it represents
    • Has a date that identifies the last time the chart was updated (within 2 years is best)
    • Has a link to the college’s transfer policy for credit by exam (CLEP, AP, DSST)
    • Lists minimum scores needed to earn college credit (score of 50 is standard)
    • Explains how CLEP is recorded on your official college transcript (“cr” or “credit” is standard)
    • Explains how CLEP impacts GPA at the college (“does not impact” is standard)
    • Provides contact information if you have questions
  3. If your target college does not provide equivalency information, contact the college’s registrar via email and ask for it. Public colleges will all have this policy in place (even if it isn’t on their website) while private colleges can be more reserved about what they’ll accept.
  4. In this 8 minute video below, I narrate the process and take you with me as I encounter a couple snags looking up a CLEP equivalency and transfer policy for a friend.

OTHER BLOG POSTS ABOUT CLEP

Breaking News: CLEP at Home!

This is the post I’ve been dying to write! Since COVID-19, the #1 most asked question is “will we ever get to take a CLEP at home?” College Board just made history and is allowing you to take your CLEP exam at home!!!

Posted in HS4CC

Learn how to Homeschool for College Credit

Our first week of the Summer Workshop Series is over, but we have over a dozen more coming your way this June, July, and August! If you’ve been wondering about how to implement a Homeschooling for College Credit program in your homeschool, now is the perfect time to get started! With over a dozen workshops to choose from, we know you’ll find one you love!

4 Reasons to Homeschool for College Credit This Year What’s so special about this year? It’s the perfect time for your teen to earn their first college credit. Find out why!

Free event. 10am EST- 11am EST + Q&A to follow

Parent & Teen Event: Simple Math Difficult Decisions 

Use logic and math, not emotion and propaganda, to break down the costs of college and how to make a significant dent in what you pay.

Free event. 4pm EST – 5pm EST + Q&A to follow

Associate Degrees in High School 

The good, the bad, and the reality. Do they save time and money, or are they an expensive way to move the goalpost backward? Learn when an associate degree makes the most sense, and when you should avoid it.

Free event* 4pm EST – 5pm EST


*Effective June 9, 2021 all livestreamed events will include a $2.99 technology fee*.

Posted in CLEP, NCAA

CLEP Registration Problem: Checking the 10th grade box

Lori writes:  “I was attempting to sign my son up for the CLEP test in American Government and the registration form on the CLEP site does not accept any student designation that is less than 10th grade. I know that some other parents have been successful in arranging for CLEP test for their students who are even younger than my son (15), so I was wondering how to get around this stipulation on the CLEP form?”

That’s a great question, Lori, and this comes up ALL THE TIME!! First of all, anyone of any age can take CLEP. The problem here isn’t that the student is “too young” rather it’s that the College Board’s form doesn’t have enough tick boxes. It seems like a simple solution, especially since one advantage of using CLEP in a homeschool is that those too young for dual enrollment have an opportunity to earn college credit when they’re ready- not at a specific grade.

What should you do?

It is my opinion that UNLESS your child is an NCAA-bound athlete (where grade level matters in a huge way), select the 10th-grade box. 

The College Board insists that the tick-box is strictly demographic data for internal use and that colleges will never see that box. 

I want to believe them, really I do, but let’s look at the risk : reward before we decide.

For “regular” homeschooling students, there is no risk. Indicating a grade level on this form won’t matter because (1) the homeschooling parent determines the teen’s grade level in high school (2) the parent controls access to the score report (3) College Board continues to tell us that this information isn’t released. The risk is so minimal and the reward so high that I would mark that box with confidence and not give it a second thought.

But, for those who are NCAA-bound athletes, it’s a different story.  NCAA is exceptionally strict regarding age and grade. They are exceptionally strict about the number and type of high school credits a student earns, and they are exceptionally strict about the records documenting these activities…. and that’s just for public school students. The scrutiny of homeschooled students headed into NCAA is at least twice as difficult- maybe more. In summary:  NCAA doesn’t play around. If they think something is “off” about your teen’s records, your teen will be disqualified from playing college sports- game over.

NCAA Homeschool Eligibility Guide

So, since the risk is so high for the students in the NCAA category, I take the extreme opinion of telling NCAA families to wait until 10th grade before attempting a CLEP exam.  This protects your teen from the extremely unlikely event that your identification of their (higher) grade is disclosed somewhere somehow.

Until then, parents with teens younger than 10th grade should continue to contact The College Board and simply suggest that they add a box for those younger than 10th grade.  It’s an easy request, and easy fix, and it keeps everyone honest.

College-Level Examination Program (CLEP)

P.O. Box 6600
Princeton, NJ 08541-6600
Phone: 800-257-9558 or 212-237-1331
Fax: 610-628-3726
E-mail: clep@collegeboard.org (Professionals)  <– homeschool parents use that address
E-mail: clep@info.collegeboard.org (Students)Representatives are available Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern Time.

Posted in HS4CC

Credit by Exam Discounts for HS4CC

I love sales and deals!! Here are some discounts that might help your credit by exam journey!

TEST PREP CREDIT BY EXAM

Advanced Placement (AP)  

  • None at this time

College Level Exam Program (CLEP) 

  • Take unlimited CLEP exams for free when you complete a free online CLEP prep course through Modern States. You can also receive reimbursement for your testing center fee.  Take a CLEP for free!
  • REA Guides (CLEP Prep books & online practice tests) save 30% when you enter coupon code CLEP30 at checkout.
  • Free CLEP practice tests at FreeCLEPPrep.com   No code needed.
  • 50% off your second CLEP exam  between January 1, 2021 and August 31, 2021, and get 50% off when you sign up for a second exam between June 1, 2021 and August 31, 2021.*Use promo code CLEPSUMMER.  

DSST 

Speedy Prep

Happy Posts from April

A small sample of the many posts our members shared in April offering encouragement and inspiration. April showers bring May flowers and apparently LOTS of college credit! If your teen earns even ONE college credit in high school, he’s ahead!! Are you ready?

CLEP Keeps Growing

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!

Breaking News: CLEP at Home!

This is the post I’ve been dying to write! Since COVID-19, the #1 most asked question is “will we ever get to take a CLEP at home?” College Board just made history and is allowing you to take your CLEP exam at home!!!

DSST Practice Exams

It’s always best to take a few practice tests before any credit by exam test. There are a good number of DSST practice exams (some for free) available to help you get ready for the “real” test!

Posted in Dual Enrollment, HS4CC

3 Live ZOOM Events This Week!

https://homeschoolingforcollegecredit.com/live-events/

TUESDAY

Affordable Dual Enrollment: what you don’t know may be costing you tens of thousands of dollars!

2:00pm EST

WEDNESDAY

Dual Enrollment on your Homeschool Transcript: properly document dual enrollment courses, credits, and grades.

6:00pm EST

THURSDAY

Accelerating your Dual Enrollment Program with CLEP: Why CLEP can help improve and enhance your program.

10:00am EST

Posted in HS4CC

May Celebrations!

Every month we take time to encourage each other and celebrate our teen’s hard work. In most months we’ll hear about a class or exam a teen completed, but May is ESPECIALLY exciting because we often hear from teens who completed their high school DIPLOMA! In addition, we even have a few who finished entire DEGREES! If you’re celebrating a big accomplishment this month, share below so we can celebrate with you!

Happy Posts from April

A small sample of the many posts our members shared in April offering encouragement and inspiration. April showers bring May flowers and apparently LOTS of college credit! If your teen earns even ONE college credit in high school, he’s ahead!! Are you ready?

Homeschooling with CLEP: Game-changer for Sean’s Future

I am thrilled to share with you this homeschooling success story of how Sara used CLEP in her homeschool with her son Sean during 11th (and now 12th) grade. She posted her celebration inside our Illinois HS4CC Facebook group and gave me permission to share it with you here. I know you’ll find it as […]

Posted in Dual Enrollment

COVID $ for Dual Enrollment?

Just this week, I’ve read announcements that multiple states are releasing major amounts of grant/financial aid dollars as a response to COVID and encouraging a re-enrollment initiative. It appears as if the decision to implement this type of program is coming from the state level.

I encourage you to reach out inside your Homeschooling for College Credit state group, visit your local community college’s website, and scan your state’s .gov page for clues about possible programs in your area. I do NOT have a good database since my info is coming in bits and pieces through the news, but with fall registration happening NOW, I encourage everyone to check locally and see if your teen qualifies for any of these grants/scholarships/programs.

Dual enrollment high school students are in their own category of student type, so your high school students may qualify for DIFFERENT programs than your high school graduates. This has been the case in my family (we live in North Carolina) where 2 of my sons qualified for free tuition under different guidelines for different courses using different grants- so be sure to check thoroughly! I’m sharing the link to my state’s info, but if YOU know of a COVID grant for your state, you can send the link to me and I’ll send it out to everyone.

Read more about grants in North Carolina

Free Dual Enrollment -or- regular tuition through Spartanburg Community College (open to anyone /any state this year only)

Find my Homeschooling for College Credit State Group

Posted in Breaking News, Community college, Debt Free Degree, Distance Learning, Dual Enrollment, HS4CC

Breaking News: Free Dual Enrollment program for your teen- sign up now.

UPDATE: since publishing this post, Spartanburg Community College added the line “living in SC” to their eligibility requirements. My screenshot from Wayback Machine confirms that it wasn’t part of the original offer. So sorry guys, this is a bummer.

So, it looks like only our SC families can take advantage, and I hope they do, but congrats to those who got in before of the “change.”

Spartanburg Community College (South Carolina) has opened their catalog to students living anywhere in the country for South Carolina dual enrollment AND they are waiving tuition. Yes, really. $0 Dual enrollment this year- what are you waiting for??? Courses are taken online from anywhere.

The button above will take you to the Dual Enrollment Handbook (59 pages) full of everything you need to know, but this is a quick overview to help you decide if this will work for your teen. My prediction is that these classes will be full immediately, so there is no time to waste if you want your teen to register!

SPARTANBURG COMMUNITY COLLEGE OVERVIEW
Spartanburg Community College (SCC), established in 1963, is one of 16 colleges in the South Carolina Technical College System. Its service area is comprised of Spartanburg, Cherokee, and Union Counties located in upstate South Carolina. SCC offers 70 certificate, diploma, and degree programs in the following areas: university transfer, health sciences, and technologies.

Spartanburg is regionally accredited, so the credits earned here should transfer well into any other accredited college or university that accepts transfer credit.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THIS PROGRAM

  • The college *always offers dual enrollment, but normally charges tuition. This free tuition program is only for 2021-2022 school year (3 semesters: fall 2021, spring 2022, summer 2022)
  • They offer several high school programs that all fall under their umbrella term they call Early College.
  • The online courses open to homeschoolers are in their program called Dual Enrollment (still under the Early College umbrella term).
  • When you register your teen, it creates a permanent record / GPA / college transcript that will follow them forward and will require future disclosure of their attendance and grade earned.
  • Your teen has access to the entire college catalog as long as they meet prerequisites (if applicable). Example: You can’t take Biology 2 without having taken Biology 1.
  • You have to fill out an application.
  • Instructors are not expected to alter standard course content or discussion topics to accommodate a younger audience. Students should be prepared to read, hear, or see course content that includes mature and sometimes provocative, controversial academic topics and be able to respond in a mature way to such subject matter.
  • You have to pay for textbooks (if applicable).
  • SOME of these classes are LIVE ONLINE which means that you have to log in at a specific time- be sure to check!!
  • Synchronous = live or in real time, Asynchronous = learn anytime

ELIGIBILITY

  • Age 16 and having completed 10th grade. (Younger students may appeal using the form in the back of linked booklet above- appendix D)
  • 3.0 Grade Point Average (from your homeschool transcript)
  • SAT / ACT scores may be used in place of 3.0 GPA if necessary
  • LIVING IN SOUTH CAROLINA (this was just added per SPCC)

OTHER THINGS TO KNOW

  • You don’t have to get a certificate/diploma/degree from this college.
  • These courses should transfer well to other colleges outside of South Carolina
  • If your teen takes a college class, you can award them 1 high school credit
  • If your teen pursues a bachelor’s degree at a South Carolina university, use this link to confirm transfer South Carolina Transfer and Articulation Center (SC TRAC): https://www.sctrac.org.

FIND COURSES

Their full catalog is searchable, so be sure to filter for ONLINE when looking for a class. Note that it is possible to earn an entire associate degree online through this college, so if your teen already has a lot of college credit, you may want to consider “finishing” their degree at Spartanburg! They allow you to transfer in up to 75% of the credits toward a degree. Transfer page

Their transfer page says they accept CLEP, AP, and ACE credit. It is unclear if they accept Sophia, Straighterline, Studycom, etc. If any parent here has their teen’s ACE credit evaluated by Spartanburg, PLEASE let me know. -Jennifer

Step 1: Use this link

Step 2: open “Advanced Search” from the top bar

Step 3: Select “Fall Term 2021” as desired term

Step 4: Select “SCC Online” as desired location

**At this point a new screen opens with all online courses**

Step 5: Select “Open Sections Only” from the Availability option on the left

**At this point the number of open courses will appear as a number next to the SCC Locations button. In this screenshot you’ll see that there are (were) 86 available classes to choose from.

Step 6: You can now either browse the entire remaining list of classes, or filter further by subject on the left. In the sample above, you’ll see a number next to the subjects. That number indicates how many courses are open in that subject. American Government (1) indicates 1 course available.

NOTE: Where it states “ENG-032 and RDG-032” they are indicating a placement level, not a class. In short, your teen needs to be eligible for college level English and Reading. Check with advising about how to prove eligibility.

Step 7: The catalog should be in real time (or very close to it) so be sure to have your teen’s application in the works asap! I expect the availability to be different every day until the semester begins. Popular classes sometimes have extra sessions added, so you can continue to check back.



Jennifer’s Pick for Resourceful Planning

The following are my “top picks” because I like to make the most out of every ounce of learning. If I take a class, I like to see if there are any CLEPs that are “similar but different” to bundle with it. In addition, if I take a CLEP, that might meet prerequisites for other classes. I’ve picked a few classes that will bundle well (without duplicating) CLEP exams – and suggestions for classes you could try if you’ve already taken a CLEP in that subject.

  1. PSY-103 Human Relations (3 credits) This course is a study of human relations, including the dynamics of behavior, interrelationships, and personality as applied in everyday life.
    • (I would study for and take the CLEP Sociology after this course)
  2. PSY-212 Abnormal Psychology (3 Credits) This course is a study of the nature and development of behavioral disorders, including the investigation of contemporary treatment procedures.
    • (I like this course if you’ve already done CLEP General Psychology exam and want more psychology credit)
  3. PHS-101 Physical Science I (4 Credits) Topics are selected from astronomy, chemistry, geology, and physics.
    • (This course has some math/language arts pre requisites, so not everyone will qualify, but if you’ve already taken either high school or college biology, I would study for the CLEP Natural Sciences exam after this course)
  4. MUS-105 Music Appreciation (3 Credits) This course is an introduction to the study of music with focus on the elements of music and appropriate listening experiences. ART-101 Art History and Appreciation (3 Credits) This is an introductory course to the history and appreciation of art, including the elements and principles of the visual arts.
    • If you take both Music Appreciation and Art Appreciation, it’s low hanging fruit to attempt the CLEP Humanities exam too.
  • BONUS suggestion: PHI-105 Introduction to Logic (3 Credits) This course is an introduction to the structure of argument, including symbolization, proofs, formal fallacies, deductions, and inductions. This course doesn’t tie into another CLEP exam, but it’s SUPER HARD TO FIND and one that many parents ask for!

https://www.sccsc.edu

Posted in Common Sense College Planning, HS4CC

Simple Math Difficult Decisions

Announcing a *brand new* workshop for the Homeschooling for College Credit community called “Simple Math Difficult Decisions” and a special aspect of this session is that your teens are invited to attend with you! Taught by Jennifer Cook-DeRosa, this workshop will happen several times this summer!

If the math of college costs seems too big and your savings account too small, you’re not alone. Homeschool families are unique because you’re talking about a group of people who are highly invested in their teen’s education, have exceptionally resourceful parents, and have had to carry the cost of their teen’s homeschool education since day 1.

In this session, we’ll talk about how to use logic and math, not emotion and propaganda, to break down the costs of college and how to make a significant dent in what you pay.

DATES (choose 1)

June 8, 2021 4:00pm EST – 5:00pm EST followed by 1 hour Q&A

July 15, 2021 11:00am EST – 12:00pm EST followed by 1 hour Q&A

August 31, 2021 6:00pm EST- 7:00pm EST followed by 1 hour Q&A

As always, our workshops are free but space is limited so advanced registration is required.

Posted in celebrate, Debt Free Degree, HS4CC, Sophia, Straighterline

Bachelor’s Degree at 18: Hannah’s Graduation Story

As the school year comes to an end, our normal monthly celebrations are not only including college credit celebrations, but GRADUATION stories too! Hannah Joy from Florida sent me her Homeschooling for College Credit graduation story, and while she gave me permission to cut and trim, I decided that each and every word she wrote was worth sharing. TEASER: Her degree from Liberty University came in under $8,000. She is an extraordinary young woman who took charge of her education in an extraordinary way. I hope you’ll take the time to read her story, celebrate with her, and find encouragement from her words. Bonus- she’s even taken the time to track EVERY CREDIT and every DOLLAR she spent for those who would like to develop a similar plan. Dig in!

Continue reading “Bachelor’s Degree at 18: Hannah’s Graduation Story”
Posted in HS4CC

You’re Invited: New Member Welcome Zoom!

If you’re brand new to the Homeschooling for College Credit Community, you’re invited to attend one of our “quick-start” welcome events via Zoom. Our next sessions are listed below. Ask questions and get started!

Photo by Liza Summer on Pexels.com

Welcome Event

Welcome to the Homeschooling for College Credit community! If you want to get started injecting college credit into your homeschool, you’re in the right place. Join us for this welcome event and get started!

Photo by Alexander Suhorucov on Pexels.com

Welcome Event

Welcome to the Homeschooling for College Credit community! If you want to get started injecting college credit into your homeschool, you’re in the right place. Join us for this welcome event and get started!

We’ll chat about important aspects of high school and you’ll have an opportunity to ask questions and get encouragement. Even if you’ve never been to college, you CAN help your teen start earning college credit in high school and beyond. See you soon!

Posted in HS4CC

Summer Workshop Schedule is UP!!

I know you’ve been waiting for the HS4CC Summer Classes & Workshop Schedule, and I’m thrilled to share that it is ready! We have a TON of free and low-cost educational classes this summer- ranging from dual enrollment to CLEP to transcripts to associate degrees and a lot of bonus events with special guests. Go to the website’s LIVE EVENTS tab to get registered. www.homeschoolingforcollegecredit.com/live-events

Continue reading “Summer Workshop Schedule is UP!!”