Posted in ACE, AP Advanced Placement, CLEP, Credit by Exam, DSST, Foreign Language, Saylor Academy

Single Exam Options

College classes usually require a lot of homework. Some college classes require a little bit of homework, but for some students, earning college credit by exam means skipping homework in college! If your teen is the type of learner who can read a book and pass a test, is a strong independent learner, likes to deep dive into a subject, then credit by exam is probably something to consider.  In addition, parents who plan credit by exam options are the teachers and selectors of the curriculum (because it happens in highschool at home) and there is no worry about what the college may or may not teach.

There are many alternative credit sources out there, and many require passing a series of tests or quizzes, but this post will focus on the single-exam option.

A single-exam option:  one test determines whether or not you receive college credit in a subject.  

Now, to be clear, I’m not advocating skipping a high school class.  Rather, I’m telling you that learning in homeschool can prepare your teen well enough to skip a college class.

Let’s look at this example:

Paul has studied German since middle school and is starting 10th grade.  His parents have used a variety of curriculum options, and he’s done fine, but last year he really had a breakthrough after his family went to Germany to visit family.  When they returned home, Paul was very motivated and put is heart into his German class.  He completed the 4th and final level of his Rosetta Stone German course.  Paul can speak, read, and write German pretty well!  Paul took the German CLEP exam and scored a 70.  That is an exceptionally high score and will qualify him for 9 college credit at most of his target colleges.  With such a high score, his homeschool advisor suggested he attempt the ACTFL  exam too.  His score resulted in 14 college credits.  Though the first 9 credits of his ACTFL exam will duplicate the CLEP exam credits he has (you can’t count them twice), the additional new 5 credits will give him upper-level credit at his top choice university.  At $900 per credit, Paul saved at least $12,000  by taking a single exam and getting 14 credits for his fluency in German.  (If the university tuition price goes up before he graduates high school, his savings will be even more impressive!)

It’s important to point out that not all colleges accept credit by exam, but you’re not going to send your teen to all colleges- you can be strategic in the schools you choose and consider whether or not it is worth your family’s time and money to use credit by exam.

To inject a personal note, when I first read about credit by exam, I was very skeptical.  In addition to thinking it was possibly untrue, I wasn’t sure that I was smart enough to test out of a college course.   Since I was working at a college at the time, I went down the hall and asked about CLEP.  Despite working there for 10 years, I had no idea that we accepted CLEP, we were an official testing center, and that we allowed our students to complete 75% of their degree through CLEP!!!  So, yeah, it’s a real option.

Using my employer’s testing center, I proceeded to test out of class after class. I found a college with better CLEP policy than my employer and tested out of an ENTIRE AA degree.  This was a test, I didn’t even need the degree.  But, that event changed my children’s lives forever, and it led me to start this community.  So, I share that story because it’s TRUE.  (And my IQ is unimpressively average)

List of single-exam options

CLEP College Level Exam Program:  33 different exams.  All credit is considered lower level (100/200) and all exams (except College Composition) are multiple choice pass/fail.  Cost:  about $100 each.  Accepted by about 2,900 colleges. Taken at a testing center.

DSST (formerly known as DANTES):  36 different exams.  Exams are lower and upper-level (100/200/300/400) and all exams are multiple choice pass/fail.  Cost:  about $100 each.  Accepted by about 1,400 colleges.  Taken at a testing center.

Saylor Academy:  31 different exams.  Exams are lower level (100/200) and all are multiple choice and require 70% to pass.  Cost:  $25 each.  Accepted by about 200 colleges.  Taken at home via webcam proctor.

American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages:  Exams in over 100 languages.  Exams are lower and upper level (100/200/300/400) and credit is awarded based on the strength of your score.  Cost and requirements vary.  Accepted by at least 200 colleges for college credit.  (This exam is also accepted for government employment and teacher certification)

Advanced Placement:  38 different exams.  Exams are lower and upper-level (100/200/300/400) and all exams are a combination of multiple-choice and essay.  Exams are scored 1-5, and colleges generally award credit for a score of 3 or above.  Cost:  about $100 each.  Accepted by about 3,200 colleges.  Taken at a designated AP high school.

New York University Foreign Language Proficiency Exam:  Exams in over 50 languages.  Exams are lower and upper level(100/200/300/400) and credit is awarded based on the strength of your score – up to 16 credits.  Cost ranges from $150 – $450.  Accepted by at least 200 colleges for college credit. (This exam is also accepted for government employment and teacher certification).  Taken at a testing center.

UExcel (Formerly known as Excelsior) Exams:  61 different exams.  Exams are lower and upper-level (100/200/300/400) and all exams are mainly multiple-choice.  Credit is awarded as a letter grade (A, B, C, or F).  Cost is about $100.  Taken at a testing center.




Posted in AP Advanced Placement, CLEP, Credit by Exam, Resources, Tuition

Cost of Tuition in the United States

The current and historical cost of tuition in the United Sates is tracked and sorted for us to learn from.   The United States Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics keeps data on this kind of information, and much more!  (Psssttt, it’s one of my favorite sites to browse)

The costs below reflect averaged “rack rate” tuition for 1 year, which is to say the price stated by the college as their tuition rate.  Individual student’s scholarships or other grants are not reflected here, this is simply the price of tuition.   Note that public colleges generally have “in-state” and “out of state” tuition rates- this is because of the economics of a state-funded educational system, and out-of-state students will typically pay a significantly higher rate than in-state students.

Now, because this is the Homeschooling for College Credit page, of course, I’m also including the breakdown for several popular college credit exams that your teen can take – you’ll be able to see the TREMENDOUS cost savings as you get down to the bottom of the page.

“Cost of attendance”  is also collected, and includes OTHER expenses besides tuition.  Books, meals, dorms, etc. may all be estimated on your college’s website. As you dig deeper, you’ll want to sort out the costs that are variable and those that are fixed.  For instance, if a student lives at home, there aren’t many living expenses to add in, but a student living in a dorm will spend about $13,000 more per year. For the purposes of this post, we’re only talking about TUITION.  

Official Calculation as per-year

(Data Source:  National Center for Education Statistics: November 2016)


Less than 2-year (Diploma/Certificate)
Public Non-Profit 248 schools $6,505 in-state $7,288 out-state
Private Non-Profit 86 schools $13,433 N/A
Private For-Profit 1,616 schools $15,269 N/A
2-year (Associate Degree)
Public Non-Profit 1,016 schools $3,941 in-state $7,780 out-state
Private Non-Profit 178 schools $13,899 N/A
Private For-Profit 891 schools $14,864 N/A
4-year (Bachelor’s Degree)
Public Non-Profit 710 schools $8,141 in-state $18,341 out-sta.
Private Non-Profit 1,602 schools $26,355 N/A
Private For-Profit 700 schools $16,066 N/A


Unofficial* Calculation as per-credit

Less than 2-year (Diploma/Certificate)
Public Non-Profit   $217 in-state $243 out-state
Private Non-Profit   $448 N/A
Private For-Profit   $509 N/A
2-year (Associate Degree)
Public Non-Profit   $131 in-state $259 out-state
Private Non-Profit   $463 N/A
Private For-Profit   $495 N/A
4-year (Bachelor’s Degree)
Public Non-Profit   $271 $611 out-state
Private Non-Profit   $879 N/A
Private For-Profit   $536 N/A

Credit by Exam Calculation as per-credit

Credit By Exam
AP Exam $93  3 credit exam=

$31 per credit

6 credit exam=

$16 per credit

9 credit exam=

$10 per credit

CLEP Exam $80 3 credit exam=

$27 per credit

6 credit exam=

$13 per credit

9 credit exam=

$9 per credit

DSST Exam $80 3 credit exam=

$27 per credit

ACTFL foreign language $70 (written) 12 cr. exam=

$7 per credit





Saylor Exam $25 3 credit exam=

$8 per credit


Unofficial* = calculated by dividing the yearly tuition by 30, the standard full-time load.


Posted in AP Advanced Placement, Curriculum, High School, Science

A Little Bit About Physics

Physics is often the “last” science a student takes in high school- if at all.  Let’s face it, it’s too much math for most people, because, well, physics is math!  

Navigating physics gave me fits for years until I read a recent post from SolarKat over on InstantCert.  For those who want to study physics, he shares some great advice and gave me permission to share it here with all of you.

“I would encourage a LOT of math. Physics, at its heart, is math. Plus, if your student decides he wants to go further with physics, he’s likely to need Calculus 1, Calculus 2, Multivariable Calculus, Differential Equations, Linear Algebra, and Statistics. Ideally Numerical Methods, too.”

Ok, wow!  That’s a lot to digest.  Let’s take it down a few levels and look at physics as a subject.  (In my case, I wanted this explained to me like I’m a 10-year-old so this might be a little too simple for some of you.) In short, “real scientists” tell you that physics must be calculus-based.  When asking more about the differences, this was the reply:

“in algebra-based physics, you let the partition of finite difference and summation goes to 0, you will get a calculus-based physics. Nothing else more than that.”


Huh?!  Ok, that’s not like I’m a 10-year-old.  So, after more digging, I’ve reduced physics into the absolute simplest terms that I could understand.  If you need more depth, the physics forum referenced above is excellent.  But, I think this says it all:

“To really understand physics, I think you have to understand calculus, but calculs largley came from physics so they are intertwined. Just about all physics equations are dervied with some help from calculus.”


There are essentially 2 types of introductory physics

Physics 1 (Mechanics)

Physics 2 (Electromagnetics)

Both types will fall into either

Algebra-based (non-science)

Calculus-based (science)

So, as you navigate the high school physics options and the college credit options, my recommendation is to take into consideration your teen’s long-term college and career goals.  If your student will major in any of the liberal arts or career fields (even pre-med) then algebra-based physics will meet their needs!  If your student is headed into any of the hard sciences, engineering, or math, then you’ll want to start them on the proper path (calculus-based) after they’ve studied calculus.

The MOST IMPORTANT takeaway I can offer you is to know which type of mathematical base is being used in the class before you sign up your teen, and choose based on their long-term study plans.

For your science major teen:  wait until after calculus 1 to begin the study of physics.

For your non-science major teen:  study physics anytime or after algebra 2.

AP Physics (Credit by Exam) 

  • AP Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism (Calculus-based)
    AP Physics C: Mechanics (Calculus-based)
    AP Physics 1: Algebra-Based (Mechanics) formerly called AP Physics B
    AP Physics 2: Algebra-Based (Electromagnetics) formerly called AP Physics B


Popular High School Physics Curriculum

  • Conceptual Physics (Algebra-based)
  • Saxon Physics (Algebra-based)
  • DIVE Physics (Algebra-based)
  • Exploration Education Physical Science Course (Algebra-based)
  • Novare Physical Science: A Mastery-Oriented Curriculum (Algebra-based)
  • Robinson Curriculum (Calculus-based)
  • A.C.E. Physical Science (Algebra-based)
  • BJU Press Physics (Algebra-based)
  • Apologia Advanced Physics (Algebra-based)


Free Physics Curriculum/Classes


College Credit Options for High School Students

  • AP exams:  anyone can take an AP exam.  Use your favorite algebra-based or calculus-based physics curriculum to prepare for the AP exam.  AP exams are worth advanced standing or college credit at most colleges.   2017 AP exam dates
  • Saylor Academy Physics 1 (Calculus-based)
  • Saylor Academy Physics II (Calculus-based)
    • Both of the Saylor courses offer a $25 college credit exam at the completion of the course.  The type of college credit awarded is ACE credit, and not well accepted by colleges, but is guaranteed transfer through their direct partner colleges or the Alternative Credit Project arrangement.
  • Straighterline General Physics 1 with Lab (Calculus-based)
    • Straighterline awards ACE credit for successful completion of the course.  ACE credit is not well accepted by colleges but is guaranteed transfer through their partnership agreements with 100 colleges or Alternative Credit Project.
  • Dual Enrollment:  contact your local community college to see if your teen is eligible for college enrollment as a high school student.
  • CLEP Exam:  only about 25% of the CLEP exam Natural Sciences contains algebra-based physics 1 & 2.  (another 25% chemistry, and 50% biology)  There is no CLEP exam specifically for physics.
  • DSST Exam:  50% of the DSST Physical Science exam contains algebra-based physics 1 & 2.  (the other 50% is chemistry).  There is no DSST exam specifically for physics.



Posted in AP Advanced Placement, CLEP, Curriculum, Distance Learning, DSST, High School, Self-Paced Learning

The Great Courses

In 2008, I was struggling through a college Anatomy & Physiology course when I turned to youtube for some help.  I stumbled upon a video by Dr. Anthony A. Goodman – it blew me away.  Not only did he help me understand the information, but I dug until I found the rest of his lectures- they were that good.  As it turned out, they were eventually pulled from Youtube for copyright violation (oops) but I found the source: The Great Courses

Here’s the short of it:  The Great Courses are usually (not always) college-level learning taught by well respected and highly regarded professors.  These are not worth college credit when taken alone, rather they are used in your homeschool as a high school curriculum.  You could then marry the program with other test prep material if you desire to finish your teen’s program with AP, CLEP, or other exam credit.

Format:  Individual Great Courses are available on DVD, CD, Audio, or you can stream their whole Plus catalog on demand through their new Great Courses Plus program (monthly subscription).   While I am not a Plus subscriber, the Plus program looks amazing!  It will appeal greatly to those of you who use technology in your classroom or are already comfortable with products like Amazon Prime, Apple TV, mobile device based streaming, for entertainment.  This product fits into that category perfectly.   Plus program subscribers also have the option of purchasing hard copies at a deep discount (70% off).  

This promotional link gives you 1 month free:

The Great Courses Plus – One Month Free

CLEP & AP Friendly?  I asked our membership if they thought the Great Courses alone were “enough” to prepare their teen for an AP exam or CLEP exam, or if it served as the main curriculum and they followed up with CLEP/AP prep.  This is what they had to say:

Jude Barrier Dickson writes…” I don’t think any TGC {The Great Courses} is enough for an AP or CLEP exam. This is NOT to say they are not valuable, and be sure to know we use them extensively, but I find the best practice for exams are flash cards of info, presented as they would be in an AP or CLEP test.”

Wendy G.  writes… “Lots of CLEP and AP here and I also don’t think TGC would alone be enough, we just use them as supplemental.”

Selecting TGC for Your Homeschool

Since no single course stands alone as your curriculum and test prep, this small selection is representative of the types of courses I believe would enhance your homeschooling for college credit program.  I’ve deliberately selected courses from the Plus list since they are all also available for DVD purchase if you choose.  (Not all DVDs are available to stream)

SCIENCE: The Great Courses Plus

AP or CLEP Biology Program:  Biology The Science of Life, The Joy of Science, Understanding Genetics, and What Science Knows About Cancer.

New course:  Plant Science: an Introduction to Botany

AP or CLEP Psychology Program:  Mysteries of Human Behavior, Biology, and Human Behavior, Understanding the Brain, and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.

AP or CLEP Chemistry Program:  Chemistry our Universe, Chemistry 2nd Edition, Nature of Matter, and Organic Chemistry.

HISTORY: The Great Courses

AP or CLEP American History Program:  History of the United States 2nd Edition, Experiencing America, World War II, and Decisive Battles of History.

New course:  American’s Founding Fathers

DSST Civil War Program: American Civil War, History of the United States 2nd Edition, and The Life of Abraham Lincoln

ECONOMICS: The Great Courses

AP or CLEP Economics Program:  An Economic History of the World, The Economics of Uncertainty, and New Global Economy.

New Course:  The Art of Investing

OTHER: The Great Courses to Consider

DSST Cultural Anthropology Program:  Customs of the World and Cultures of the World.

Coming Fall 2017:  Anthropology and the Study of Humanity

DSST Astronomy Program:  The Remarkable Science of Ancient Astronomy

AP or CLEP Western Civilization Program:  Foundations of Western Civilization (coming Fall 2017)

AP or DSST Environmental Science (Human Cultural Geography): Understanding Cultural and Human Geography, The Science of Energy, and Fundamentals of Sustainable Living.

AP or DSST Statistics and Probability Program:  Big Data How Analytics are Changing the World, Probability Made Clear, Mathematics of Games and Puzzles, and Game Theory.

AP Music Theory Program:  Music and History, Beethoven’s Piano Sonatas, Mozart’s Chamber Music, Greatest Orchestral Works, and Great Solo Piano Works.

CLEP Humanities Program:  Understanding Opera, History of European Art, Masterpieces of the Ancient World, How to Look at and Understand Great Art, The World’s Greatest Churches, The Louvre, and Understand Great Music.

If your family has used The Great Courses in your homeschool, let me know your favorites, and I’ll add them to this page!  Contact Jennifer

Posted in ACE, AP Advanced Placement, CLEP, Credit by Exam, Curriculum, Distance Learning, Self-Paced Learning, Sophia, Straighterline

Fine Arts

Fine Arts for College Credit

Most general Associate of Arts and Associate of Science (2 year) degrees have at least 1 “Fine Arts” requirement (3 college credits), and you can usually fill that in high school.

Exception:  if your teen is headed into a fine arts college, a music conservatory, or other highly specialized area of fine arts education, you’ll want to check with target colleges before accumulating a lot of college credit in high school.  Specialized art/music colleges sometimes have a policy against accepting transfer credit of any kind, but may allow your teen use Advanced Placement exam scores to boost their admissions application. 

The list of acceptable “Fine Arts” courses will differ slightly by institution, but the following courses will do the trick most of the time.  colors3

  1. Literature
  2. Music Theory
  3. Music Performance
  4. Art History
  5. Studio Art
  6. Humanities

Ways to Fill a College Fine Arts Requirement in High School

Dual Enrollment (contact your local Community College for information)

  • Dual enrollment has the highest probability of transfer assuming the target college accepts transfer credit.  Dual enrollment credit earned in high school is not considered “transfer credit” by most schools, but does carry a grade as part of the student’s permanent record.

Credit by Exam (CLEP, AP, DSST, Saylor, ECE/Uexcel)

  • Credit by Exam (CBE) acceptance varies dramatically.  CBE credit earned in high school is not considered “transfer credit” and generally does not carry a grade (pass/fail only).

Non-College ACE Credit (Straighterline, Sophia, Shmoop, Study, ed4credit, Propero)

  • ACE Credit is generally not accepted except when a partnership exists.  Some companies, like Straighterline, have credit-transfer-guarantee partnerships with more than 100 colleges.  ACE credit earned in high school is not considered “transfer credit” and generally does not carry a grade (pass/fail only).

Credit by Exam

(last update:  04/07/2017)

Advanced Placement (AP) Art History (6 cr.)

Studio Art (6 cr.)

$93 Official AP Page
DSST Art of the Western World (3 cr.) $80 + local proctor fee (~$20) Official DSST Page
CLEP American Literature (3 cr.)

English Literature (3 cr.)

Analyzing & Interpreting Literature (3 cr.)

Humanities (6 cr.)

$80 + local proctor fee (~$20) Official CLEP Page
Excelsior College Exam (ECE / Uexcel) Introduction to Music (3 cr.) $110 + $60 local proctor fee Official Uexcel Page
Saylor NONE $0 + $25 webcam proctor fee Official Saylor Page


Non-College ACE Credit Courses

(last update:  04/07/2017)

Shmoop American Literature (3 cr.)

The Bible as Literature (3 cr.)

British Literature (3 cr.)

Contemporary Literature (3 cr.)

Drugs in Literature (3 cr.)

Holocaust Literature (3 cr.)

Introduction to Poetry (3 cr.)

Literature in the Media (3 cr.)

Modernist Literature (3 cr.)

Shakespeare’s Plays (3 cr.)

Western Literature (3 cr.)

Women’s Literature (3 cr.)

$87.68/mo. subscribe

Unlimited courses

Shmoop Introduction to Humanities (3 cr.) $199/mo. subscribe. Limit 2 courses per month
Propero (Pearson) Literature (3 cr.) $330 per class Propero
Sophia Visual Communications (3 cr.)

Introduction to Art History (3 cr.)

$329 per class Sophia
Straighterline NONE $99/mo. subscribe + $59 per class Straighterline
Ed4Credit Literature (3 cr.)

Film Appreciation (3 cr.)

$195 per class Ed4Credit
Davar Academy (NCCRS approved, not ACE approved) NONE $70 per class + $25 web proctoring  Davar


Posted in AP Advanced Placement, Computer Science, Credit by Exam, Curriculum, Distance Learning, Dual Enrollment, Self-Paced Learning

Computer Science for College Credit

UPDATED 9/2/2017:  in addition to the links and tips on this page, I found a few great resources that are new through Coursera.  Coursera is a Massive Open Online Course program that offers free courses and/ or allows you to purchase courses that lead to a credential. Here are a couple worth looking at:

Python Specialization from the University of Michigan

Specialization: Full Stack Web Development

Artificial Intelligence with Andrew Ng’s Deep Learning Specialization

Parents constantly ask for computer science courses for their teens, and I have never had a really good suggestion…. but I think there is a gem offered by Popular Mechanics! It’s a complete computer science bundle for $39.

Popular Mechanics Computer Science Courses

At that price, it’s certainly worth a look. It’s 8 courses that your teen can do at home on the computer. These are the same courses typically taught through the computer science “boot camps” that are popular right now -but not producing results as expected…Coding Schools Failing Their Students.

“Today, 91 full-time coding boot camps exist in the U.S. and Canada, according to Course Report, a research group that tracks the industry. Almost 18,000 people will graduate from them this year. That’s up from 43 schools two years ago, and about 6,000 graduates. Tuition averages over $11,000 at non-degree granting programs that generally last around three months, but it can go as high as $21,000. Some schools take a cut of future salary instead of tuition.” -Bloomberg News

While there isn’t a CLEP or DSST exam for computer science, there are two Advanced Placement (AP) exams your teen can take! Depending on your teen’s score and target college, they can earn 3-8 college credits for a passing score.  If someone signs up for this series, I’d love to get feedback, especially if this is used as the foundation for  AP exam(s).

What is the AP Computer Science exam?

What is the AP Computer Science Principles Exam?

Popular Mechanics Computer Course Set:

  1. From 0 to 1: C Programming – Drill Deep

  2. Byte Size Chunks: Java Object-Oriented Programming & Design

  3. From 0 to 1: Data Structures & Algorithms in Java

  4. From 0 to 1: SQL And Databases – Heavy Lifting

  5. From 0 to 1: Learn Python Programming – Easy as Pie

  6. Learn By Example: C++ Programming – 75 Solved Problems

  7. From 0 to 1: Raspberry Pi and the Internet of Things

  8. Case Studies: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Apple

Angel from our Texas Homeschooling for College Credit Facebook group suggests MORE JAVA for teens considering the AP exams.  She writes “I’d rather pay $155 for the Teen Coder course and know I was getting something aligned to the test. I have spoken to teachers who use this every year and have had great success with it.”  If you’d like to explore her suggested resource, check out the Teen Coder Course.

Let me add a last option – MOOCs.  Your teen can take free college level courses through Coursera.  These are great because you don’t have a big application process or entrance exams – just sign up and go.  If you want, you can even do “bundles” that they call Specializations.  These are sets of courses that award a certificate (for a fee).  These classes can work for high school credit, or rolled into college credit by exam (AP) or the full certificates might be a great alternative on your student’s resume.Computer Science on Coursera

Posted in AP Advanced Placement, CLEP, Credit by Exam, Curriculum, Distance Learning, Dual Enrollment, Free Tuition, Self-Paced Learning

DIY Credit-Rich High School: SAYLOR

There are so many ways to inject college credit into a high school.  Today I’m going to feature Saylor Academy.  What I like about Saylor Academy, is since they started offering free open courses, I knew that they’d eventually build a large enough catalog to be useful to hundreds of thousands of homeschooling high school families.  When they started offering a college credit exam option, these guys quickly climbed to the top of my favorites list!

Saylor Academy describes themselves as

“We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization working since 2008 to offer free and open online courses to all who want to learn.  We offer nearly 100 full-length courses at the college and professional levels, each of which is available right now — at your pace, on your schedule, and free of cost……Our learning materials are curated from a trove of free and open online resources by expert educators (learn more about our course design philosophy). We focus on designing a self-paced learning experience that comes as close as possible to what you would learn in the college classroom. Our certificates are free, our courses available to you any time, and the deadlines under your control. “

For what Saylor offers, they hit a home run.  Seriously, as we get into this, you’ll see that they offer the LOWEST COST COLLEGE CREDIT on the planet.  There is no lower cost option.  (CLEP?  Nope, Saylor costs a fraction of a CLEP exam)

I’m obsessed with college credit cost, so I promise you there isn’t a better deal to be found. -Jennifer

That said, Saylor’s option isn’t a perfect fit for all students.  The big-picture is that the product is A+ and the price is right, however there are finer distinctions that will rule out this type of program for some parents and some homeschools.   I prepared a thorough FAQ inside the 8-page curriculum that should help you assess some of those important points, but if you have questions about the utility of the credit, you can comment below, and I’ll do my best to help.

Is it rigorous?  Frankly, it’s very hard curriculum.  It’s a LOT of college-level reading.  So, for that reason, I stop short of saying “hey, everyone should use this!” and I’ll tell you that NONE of my 4 sons have the academic chops to handle the plan I wrote.  That being said, my kids are average, and this program is for above-average students.  To start this in 9th grade, your 9th grader should be reading at the 12th grade level (give or take) and be exceptionally self-motivated.  They should also be able to handle their computer work on a screen, be allowed to follow links (without wandering over to Facebook…..) and trusted to complete the assignments on the page.  There is no 3rd party teacher, so if your teen doesn’t have self-discipline, this isn’t a good fit.

Who is this for?

If your state doesn’t offer free dual enrollment…..  many don’t.

If you’d rather not use dual enrollment….. for a number of social reasons or potential academic consequences.

If earning credit by exam isn’t a great fit….you don’t live near a testing center or the testing fees are too high.

If you’d rather have your teen take their exams at home…..especially for teens who experience anxiety in an unfamiliar testing environment. 

If your budget is getting in the way of college credit…..your teen can take the entire course for free and decide at the end whether or not to attempt the exam for $25.  

If you move/travel a lot and don’t want to carry books…… Saylor uses online reading.

If you don’t want to buy books…..all reading is linked inside the assignment, there is nothing to purchase for the course, not even labs.

If you don’t know where to get curriculum…..finding college curriculum that is aligned with CLEP or AP exams is a difficult task.  Most products are strictly test-prep.  This is actual curriculum.

If your teen’s placement exams weren’t high enough to enroll…..dual enrollment sometimes asks exam scores reach a benchmark before being granted permission to enroll, but no placement exams are used for these courses.

There is no registration, no placement exam, no application, no age restriction.  Click and learn.

Keeping in mind that Saylor Academy is a secular organization, Christian parents may want to substitute some courses that fit better with their worldview. A similar, and free, option is  Easy-Peasy, the all in one online Christian curriculum that is completely free to use.    (Note that Easy Peasy doesn’t have college credit options, but the parent can use their products as the foundation and follow up with AP or CLEP exam prep later).

8-page Saylor Academy High School Program

%d bloggers like this: