Posted in College Admission, Common Sense College Planning, HS4CC

TODAY: Liberty University Planning Event

Bachelor’s degrees from Liberty University can be expensive, for other people. When you learn how to resourcefully plan your teen’s bachelor’s degree at Liberty University, you’ll wonder why anyone ever pays “rack rate” tuition for college.

Join Shelley Cloutier and Jennifer Cook-DeRosa for this special “Unofficial” Liberty University Planning event! You’ll learn how to extract every penny and college credit out of high school to bring the costs of a Liberty University degree WAYYYYYYY DOWN.

2021

NOTE: Liberty University is a Christian University

Resourceful Homeschooling for an Affordable Bachelor’s Degree! During this 2+ hour live stream intensive workshop, you’ll learn which courses your teen should take, when to take them, and how you can save the most money. Though this event is LIVE, you can view the event at your leisure later. Every participant will receive a handout and full recording of the event.

By following this Homeschooling for College Credit approach, you will learn how to plan your teen’s degree at Liberty University for less than half of their advertised cost. 

Wednesday September 15, 2021

3:00pm EST – 5pm EST (Q&A to follow)

Each participant will receive a handout and a recording of the session

$40 space is limited

This event is SOLD OUT. Thank you for your understanding. It will be offered again in December.

Posted in ASU UL, College Admission, Common Sense College Planning, Debt Free Degree, financial aid, HS4CC

Watch Now: Arizona State University Universal Learner Program

This *unofficial* ASU Universal Learner Info Session was hosted by Homeschooling for College Credit experts specifically for homeschoolers who are trying to earn college credit.

Click “play” below to watch!

  • Andrea LaBass, ASU Expert & HS4CC Moderator
    • Basic overview of ASU Universal Learner, planning courses, registering for courses, and studying for success.
  • Ann Dorminy, ASU Expert & HS4CC Moderator
    • Transferring courses to your target college and/or transitioning into ASU’s degree program.
  • Chrystal Smith, ASU Expert & HS4CC Moderator
  • Jennifer Cook-DeRosa, Executive Director of HS4CC
    • Finishing the ASU Bachelor’s Degree after high school without student loan debt

(1 hour)

https://us02web.zoom.us/rec/play/DbMxTq1VardcsUZHYmii1I98cYBEJ-09TWMjAYj617LTjEoVnBZHKw4BOcxyMhI7OREAaCcNPxvF9ULJ.buOFCqeD4nC-t-gt?continueMode=true

Want to watch other workshops or join in our next livestream? Check our LIVE EVENTS calendar.

What’s the difference between ASU’s various course programs?

Since this summer, we’ve been BIG FANS of Arizona State’s Earned Admissions program for our homeschooling community, but since that time we’ve learned of a few other options you might like to know about. But what’s the difference between these programs and how do they fit into a Homeschooling for College Credit program?

Announcement: New ASU Portal

Our new ASU partnership portal allows HS4CC parents access to a variety of college courses without the red tape, transcript submissions, age restrictions, lengthy admissions processes, and regulations typically found at local colleges and universities. We receive no compensation from ASU for this program, but we DO receive access to special courses and programs that […]

Posted in College Admission, Common Sense College Planning, HS4CC

Next week: Liberty University Planning Event

Bachelor’s degrees from Liberty University can be expensive, for other people. When you learn how to resourcefully plan your teen’s bachelor’s degree at Liberty University, you’ll wonder why anyone ever pays “rack rate” tuition for college.

Join Shelley Cloutier and Jennifer Cook-DeRosa for this special “Unofficial” Liberty University Planning event! You’ll learn how to extract every penny and college credit out of high school to bring the costs of a Liberty University degree WAYYYYYYY DOWN.

2021

NOTE: Liberty University is a Christian University

Resourceful Homeschooling for an Affordable Bachelor’s Degree! During this 2+ hour live stream intensive workshop, you’ll learn which courses your teen should take, when to take them, and how you can save the most money. Though this event is LIVE, you can view the event at your leisure later. Every participant will receive a handout and full recording of the event.

By following this Homeschooling for College Credit approach, you will learn how to plan your teen’s degree at Liberty University for less than half of their advertised cost. 

Wednesday September 15, 2021

3:00pm EST – 5pm EST (Q&A to follow)

Each participant will receive a handout and a recording of the session

$40 space is limited

Posted in College Admission, Common Sense College Planning, Debt Free Degree, financial aid, HS4CC

Watch Now: Simple Math…Difficult Decisions

Using logic and math, not emotion and propaganda, we’ll reframe what you think it means to pay for a college degree. You’ll learn how to break down costs, where you can save big bucks, and how to keep student loan borrowing as close to zero as possible. Especially for Homeschooling for College Credit families. (1 hour)

Want to watch other workshops or join in our next livestream? Check our LIVE EVENTS calendar.

Posted in College Admission, HS4CC, SAT

SAT Essay is Gone

College Board Ends the SAT Essay

In January 2021, the College Board announced that, after the June 2021 test date, they would no longer be offering the SAT Essay. The essay was previously an optional part of the SAT, and many students already chose not to take it. However, taking the SAT Essay will now no longer be an option. The only possible way to take the SAT Essay is during an SAT School Day. And even in these cases, your school has to choose to include the essay, and we expect many of them won’t.

Who Should Take the SAT with Essay

You don’t have to take the SAT with Essay, but if you do, you’ll be able to apply to schools that require it. Find out which schools require or recommend the SAT Essay. If you don’t register for the SAT with Essay at first, you can add it later.

SAT fee waivers cover the cost of the SAT with Essay.

SAT: Stressing About Testing

“A class of children sit revising for make-or-break exams to get them into the college of their choice. It’s the sort of scene that could be seen in high schools across the world but for one important difference: The pupils have intravenous drips hanging over their desks. The image is taken from footage that claims to […]

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 College Admission, Community college, HS4CC

Accuplacer Exam: Will your teen have to take it?

Accuplacer is the brand name of a very widely used college placement test. Community colleges often use this exam to assess an incoming student’s ability to do “college level” work. It isn’t worth college credit, but it sometimes stands in the way of enrolling in a dual enrollment program.

Continue reading “Accuplacer Exam: Will your teen have to take it?”
Posted in College Admission, Community college, Dual Enrollment, financial aid, Free Tuition, Tuition

$2000 Bachelor’s Degrees in North Carolina

“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 2021

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. Continue reading “$2000 Bachelor’s Degrees in North Carolina”

Posted in College Admission, Common Sense College Planning, Debt Free Degree, financial aid, Free Tuition, Scholarships, Tuition

Teen Employment = Free College

You’re injecting college credit into your homeschool, but what about “the rest of the degree” that comes at full price after high school? I want you to consider all possible options that help your family stay out of debt!

Continue reading “Teen Employment = Free College”
Posted in College Admission, SAT

SAT: Stressing About Testing

“A class of children sit revising for make-or-break exams to get them into the college of their choice. It’s the sort of scene that could be seen in high schools across the world but for one important difference: The pupils have intravenous drips hanging over their desks. The image is taken from footage that claims to reveal the controversial use of the drips to boost pupils’ ability to study at a school in Xiaogan, Hubei province, China.” Full story

Homeschooling parents have a special kind of anxiety about standardized testing. In many cases, the very principle of using a standardized course of study is exactly why some parents removed their kids from group schools in the first place. The notion of the individualized pursuit of academic excellence is the opposite of seeking standardization and consistency. Parents I talk to are completely comfortable marching to the beat of their own drum… until somewhere around middle or high school.

Around middle / high school the homeschooling parent’s anxiety goes up, and parents worry about their kids “measuring up” against the kids who have taken standardized tests on a regular basis. Why? PSAT, SAT, ACT, AP, and a few others in the alphabet soup of measurement are introduced into the homeschool for the first time. Remember, most states don’t require homeschooled kids to take standardized tests, in fact, my own kids didn’t take a test until we moved to a “test required” state in 2012. My oldest was a senior in high school with 21 college credits before he ever had to “fill in a bubble.”

The irony of parent’s anxiety is that homeschooled teens usually kick-butt when it comes to standardized testing. I think most of us have heard the stats- generally homeschooled teens score somewhere in the 80th+ percentile on standardized grade-level tests, and in the upper quartile on college entrance exams. The “why” behind those stats are for another day, but for most parents, those stats aren’t comforting reassurance- they’re a mandate.

If homeschooled kids are expected to test higher thank average, this adds a lot of pressure to homeschooling parents. After all, since higher standards are the norm, scoring average or below average feels like a failure to some. This is a case where “above average” has become average.

But what if your teen really is average? What if your teen has passions and talents that aren’t part of what is tested on the SAT? What if your teen is just a regular student who will probably score in the 50th percentile in most subjects? They have no chance, right?

Well, you might be surprised and relieved to know that SAT scores are not an accurate predictor of success in college – and yet, they continue to be a source of stress and fuss among high school parents and students. Homeschool parents know, but should be reminded, that academic success is multi-dimensional. College success is multi-dimensional.

Happiness, health, and success in life are not based on a test score.

College Entrance Exams

As you consider standardized testing, know that college entrance tests are currently optional. Unlike achievement tests that may be required of k-12 homeschool students in some states, the PSAT, ACT, and SAT for college entrance are not required exams. Choosing to take an exam is an opportunity for your teen to demonstrate college readiness. As such, whether or not your teen decides to take one of these exams depends on 4 key factors: Homeschool exit strategies, target colleges, availability, and their strengths/weaknesses.

1. Homeschool Exit Strategies

What are the options after high school? The most popular options include college, military, apprenticeship, mission work, vocational training, gap year, or entering the workforce. While it feels like “everyone” goes to college, the current data tells us about 67% of high school graduates will enter college directly. We also know that of that set, only 60% will graduate in 6 years or less. From that, we can infer that many of the students who entered college directly may have been more successful in taking a different approach:

if 1000 students graduate high school: 330 do not head to college while 670 do.

Of those 670 who start college, 402 graduate in 6 years or less, while 268 do not graduate college ever. The simple math tells us that of the initial 1000 high school graduates, only 402 follow the direct timeline from high school graduation to college graduation. That leaves the majority of -598 students- in different categories. This set had a different exit strategy or changed strategy at some point in the 6 years after high school graduation. National Center for Educational Statistics

As you consider exit strategies for your teen, remember that one size does not fit all. For teens not heading directly into college following high school graduation, or choosing a different path, standardized exams are probably unnecessary.

2. Target Colleges

If your teen has a few target colleges picked out, simply visit the college’s website to see if and which exam(s) they prefer. (Try looking in their “Admissions” tab) If your teen doesn’t have target colleges picked out, read on…

There is a growing trend away from requiring ACT/SAT exams for admission.  You might be surprised to know that The National Center for Fair and Open Testing maintains a database of over 900 bachelor-degree-granting-colleges that do not require standardized exams for admission, are “test-optional” or “test flexible.” See the full list. In addition to the bachelor’s degree colleges above, there are 1,200 community colleges in the United States, most of which provide open enrollment admission – that is to say admission is granted without test score benchmarks. In most cases, colleges use a placement tool (Accuplacer and Compass) to determine the level for placement, not whether or not you can earn admission.

since not all students graduate high school ready for 100 level college courses, the community college provides the courses necessary to meet that deficiency instead of denying admission.

Two advantages of taking a placement exam at your community college over traditional standardized tests are (a) student can schedule it whenever they want – even into adulthood, and (b) typically there is little or no cost.

For colleges that require SAT or ACT exams for admission, you may find that this only applies to freshman applications. For students entering college after military service, after mission service, as a transfer student, after earning an associate’s degree, or those over the age of 21, the SAT/ACT exam requirement is typically removed.

3. Availability

Standardized exams require advanced scheduling and travel to a testing center.  In short, homeschooling families that spend a lot of time traveling, stationed overseas, or other location-based limitations will have to take that into account.

4. Strengths and Weaknesses

The purpose of a standardized exam is for your son or daughter to demonstrate their candidacy to a specific college. As such, you’ll want to take stock of their strengths and weaknesses when choosing the right exam rather than trying to score well on both exams. Remember, both ACT and SAT have undergone changes over the past few years, so be sure your teen is using current study material as they prepare. Since the last SAT revision, the differences between the Reading, English, and Math sections are very minor. The significant distinction is that the ACT includes science, while the SAT does not.

If your teen’s strengths are in athletics, music, ministry, or if they have weaknesses that interfere with strong testing ability, the standardized test may not be the right choice for your family. While it’s true that some teens will be required to take a standardized test to pursue specific colleges, creative and resourceful parents should not be intimidated or fall to peer pressure that may not be in the best interest of their family.

Posted in College Admission, financial aid, High School

Member Question: Should we graduate high school earlier than usual?

A Texas parent asks: “Hello. I am new here and to full homeschool in general… In a nut shell, my daughter is THRIVING in her online high school curriculum… We want to allow her full homeschool to give her control over her pace as she would like to graduate earlier and have control over her personal schedule. She is very disciplined and we know it’s the right move for her.”

Continue reading “Member Question: Should we graduate high school earlier than usual?”
Posted in College Admission, SAT

SAT: Stressing About Testing

“A class of children sit revising for make-or-break exams to get them into the college of their choice. It’s the sort of scene that could be seen in high schools across the world but for one important difference: The pupils have intravenous drips hanging over their desks. The image is taken from footage that claims to reveal the controversial use of the drips to boost pupils’ ability to study at a school in Xiaogan, Hubei province, China.” Full story

Homeschooling parents have a special kind of anxiety about standardized testing. In many cases, the very principle of using a standardized course of study is exactly why some parents removed their kids from group schools in the first place. The notion of the individualized pursuit of academic excellence is the opposite of seeking standardization and consistency. Parents I talk to are completely comfortable marching to the beat of their own drum… until somewhere around middle or high school.

Around middle / high school the homeschooling parent’s anxiety goes up, and parents worry about their kids “measuring up” against the kids who have taken standardized tests on a regular basis. Why? PSAT, SAT, ACT, AP, and a few others in the alphabet soup of measurement are introduced into the homeschool for the first time. Remember, most states don’t require homeschooled kids to take standardized tests, in fact, my own kids didn’t take a test until we moved to a “test required” state in 2012. My oldest was a senior in high school with 21 college credits before he ever had to “fill in a bubble.”

The irony of parent’s anxiety is that homeschooled teens usually kick-butt when it comes to standardized testing. I think most of us have heard the stats- generally homeschooled teens score somewhere in the 80th+ percentile on standardized grade-level tests and in the upper quartile on college entrance exams. The “why” behind those stats are for another day, but, for most parents, those stats aren’t comforting reassurance- they’re a mandate.

If homeschooled kids are expected to test higher than average, this adds a lot of pressure to homeschooling parents. After all, since higher standards are the norm, scoring average or below average feels like a failure to some. This is a case where “above average” has become average.

But what if your teen really is average? What if your teen has passions and talents that aren’t part of what is tested on the SAT? What if your teen is just a regular student who will probably score in the 50th percentile in most subjects? They have no chance, right?

Well, you might be surprised and relieved to know that SAT scores are not an accurate predictor of success in college – and yet, they continue to be a source of stress and fuss among high school parents and students. Homeschool parents know, but should be reminded, that academic success is multi-dimensional. College success is multi-dimensional.

Happiness, health, and success in life are not based on a test score.

College Entrance Exams

As you consider standardized testing, know that college entrance tests are currently optional. Unlike achievement tests that may be required of k-12 homeschool students in some states, the PSAT, ACT, and SAT for college entrance are not required exams. Choosing to take an exam is an opportunity for your teen to demonstrate college readiness. As such, whether or not your teen decides to take one of these exams depends on 4 key factors: homeschool exit strategies, target colleges, availability, and their strengths/weaknesses.

1. Homeschool Exit Strategies

What are the options after high school? The most popular options include college, military, apprenticeship, mission work, vocational training, gap year, or entering the workforce. While it feels like “everyone” goes to college, the current data tells us about 67% of high school graduates will enter college directly. We also know that of that set, only 60% will graduate in 6 years or less. From that, we can infer that many of the students who entered college directly may have been more successful in taking a different approach:

If 1000 students graduate high school, 330 do not head to college while 670 do.

Of those 670 who start college, 402 graduate in 6 years or less, while 268 do not graduate college ever. The simple math tells us that of the initial 1000 high school graduates, only 402 follow the direct timeline from high school graduation to college graduation. That leaves the majority of -598 students- in different categories. This set had a different exit strategy or changed strategy at some point in the six years after high school graduation. National Center for Educational Statistics

As you consider exit strategies for your teen, remember that one size does not fit all. For teens not heading directly into college following high school graduation or choosing a different path, standardized exams are probably unnecessary.

2. Target Colleges

If your teen has a few target colleges picked out, simply visit the college’s website to see if and which exam(s) they prefer. (Try looking in their “Admissions” tab.) If your teen doesn’t have target colleges picked out, read on…

There is a growing trend away from requiring ACT/SAT exams for admission.  You might be surprised to know that The National Center for Fair and Open Testing maintains a database of over 900 bachelor-degree-granting-colleges that do not require standardized exams for admission, are “test-optional” or “test flexible.” See the full list. In addition to the bachelor’s degree colleges above, there are 1,200 community colleges in the United States, most of which provide open enrollment admission – that is to say admission is granted without test score benchmarks. In most cases, colleges use a placement tool (Accuplacer and Compass) to determine the level for placement, not whether or not you can earn admission.

Since not all students graduate high school ready for 100 level college courses, the community college provides the courses necessary to meet that deficiency instead of denying admission.

Two advantages of taking a placement exam at your community college over traditional standardized tests are (a) students can schedule it whenever they want – even into adulthood, and (b) typically there is little or no cost.

For colleges that require SAT or ACT exams for admission, you may find that this only applies to freshman applications. For students entering college after military service, after mission service, after earning an associate’s degree, as a transfer student, or those over the age of 21, the SAT/ACT exam requirement is typically removed.

3. Availability

Standardized exams require advanced scheduling and travel to a testing center. In short, homeschooling families that spend a lot of time traveling, stationed overseas, or other location-based limitations will have to take that into account.

4. Strengths and Weaknesses

The purpose of a standardized exam is for your son or daughter to demonstrate their candidacy to a specific college. As such, you’ll want to take stock of their strengths and weaknesses when choosing the right exam rather than trying to score well on both exams. Remember, both ACT and SAT have undergone changes over the past few years, so be sure your teen is using current study material as they prepare. Since the last SAT revision, the differences between the Reading, English, and Math sections are very minor. The significant distinction is that the ACT includes science, while the SAT does not.

If your teen’s strengths are in athletics, music, ministry, or if they have weaknesses that interfere with strong testing ability, the standardized test may not be the right choice for your family. While it’s true that some teens will be required to take a standardized test to pursue specific colleges, creative and resourceful parents should not be intimidated or fall to peer pressure that may not be in the best interest of their family.

Posted in College Admission, Debt Free Degree, financial aid, HS4CC

Colleges That Don’t Allow Student Loans

The college tuition funding nut is a tough one to crack.  You could be super rich with a fully stocked college fund for all of your kids (yeah!) or you could be like me, trying to cash flow college for 4 kids on 1 income.  If you’re somewhere in the middle, you might be considering student loans- but what if your teen attends a college that doesn’t allow student loans? Can that help you or hurt you? Continue reading “Colleges That Don’t Allow Student Loans”

Posted in College Admission, Debt Free Degree, High School, Scholarships

Stupid Girl – What Was She Thinking?

Nine out of ten families decide that their children are college material as early as the day they sign up for preschool. In 2014, a kindergarten play was shelved so the 5-year olds could prep for college.  We’ve created a sense of urgency around college admissions and attendance at all costs. Continue reading “Stupid Girl – What Was She Thinking?”

Posted in College Admission, Dual Enrollment, HS4CC

Liberty University “You’re a First-Time College Student”

I write a LOT about the classification of students.  For financial aid and college applications, your teen is either a first-time freshman applicant or a transfer student.  It’s important that parents understand which type their teen is, but recently in another group a question was raised about how Liberty University handles admissions.

Continue reading “Liberty University “You’re a First-Time College Student””

Posted in College Admission, Dual Enrollment, HS4CC

Member Question: Still trying to wrap my head around dual enrollment

Member question from Texas:  “If you “do college for high school,” is there anything “high school” that you need to include? I’m still trying to wrap my head around the dual enrollment stuff. If a college lists their high school requirements for admission and your kid is working on an AS instead of high school and they get their degree by HS graduation, do the admissions requirements apply? Does the college really even look at high school at that point or do they look at your college transcript and go forward?” Continue reading “Member Question: Still trying to wrap my head around dual enrollment”

Posted in College Admission, Debt Free Degree, HS4CC

Federal Employee? College Discount!

OPM is partnering with colleges and universities as a part of the continuing efforts to provide higher educational opportunities to the Federal workforce by providing current Federal employees with the opportunity to pursue post-secondary education at reduced tuition rates.   Some of the agreements extend the benefits to spouses and legal dependents. Continue reading “Federal Employee? College Discount!”

Posted in College Admission, Debt Free Degree, High School, Scholarships

Stupid Girl – What Was She Thinking?

Nine out of ten families decide that their children are college material as early as the day they sign up for preschool. In 2014, a kindergarten play was shelved so the 5-year olds could prep for college.  We’ve created a sense of urgency around college admissions and attendance at all costs. Continue reading “Stupid Girl – What Was She Thinking?”

Posted in College Admission, Debt Free Degree, financial aid, HS4CC

Colleges That Don’t Allow Student Loans

The college tuition funding nut is a tough one to crack.  You could be super rich with a fully stocked college fund for all of your kids (yeah!) or you could be like me, trying to cash flow college for 4 kids on 1 income.  If you’re somewhere in the middle, you might be considering student loans- but what if your teen attends a college that doesn’t allow student loans? Can that help you or hurt you? Continue reading “Colleges That Don’t Allow Student Loans”

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

$2000 Bachelor’s Degrees in North Carolina

“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. Continue reading “$2000 Bachelor’s Degrees in North Carolina”