Posted in Big 3, College Majors, Curriculum, HS4CC

Parent Question: My daughter is interested in ethnobotany, herbalism, Chinese medicine. Do you happen to know of anywhere offering anything along those lines?

Yes! I have some suggestions for high school and college options.

Continue reading “Parent Question: My daughter is interested in ethnobotany, herbalism, Chinese medicine. Do you happen to know of anywhere offering anything along those lines?”
Posted in Big 3, College Majors, Common Sense College Planning, Debt Free Degree, Distance Learning, HS4CC

We Want the Cheapest Bachelor’s in Anything

This is a popular request! Sometimes, a teen doesn’t need a degree in something specific, rather they are just hoping to check the box without debt so they can get on with their next thing. Sometimes the next thing includes graduate school, military, trade school, or starting a business. If your teen’s situation allows for an accredited degree without a specific major, there are 3 colleges that fit this request better than any others.

Continue reading “We Want the Cheapest Bachelor’s in Anything”
Posted in Career Planning, College Majors, HS4CC, Resources

I Need How Much Education?

Earning college credit in high school tends to keep our discussions centered around associate and bachelor’s degrees, but sometimes a teen is shocked to learn that their degree won’t prepare them for the job they want. Did you know a bachelor’s degree in psychology doesn’t qualify you to be a psychologist? In this post, we’ll look at jobs that require an additional degree higher than a bachelor’s degree as the minimum educational credential needed to get work.

Continue reading “I Need How Much Education?”
Posted in College Majors, Common Sense College Planning, Debt Free Degree, HS4CC

Liberty University’s Interdisciplinary Degree

Liberty University is a HS4CC favorite because it allows parents to get a really big head start in high school (up to 90 college credits) for super low cost. This post will highlight one of their most flexible options, the Interdisciplinary Studies bachelor’s degree.

Continue reading “Liberty University’s Interdisciplinary Degree”
Posted in College Majors, Curriculum, Distance Learning, High School, HS4CC, Self-Paced Learning

Fall HS Online Course: Forensic and Investigative Science

Aspiring forensic scientist at home? Here’s a great option that is open enrollment for any teen. No high school transcript required, no placement testing, and no calendar. All fully self-paced courses you can plug into your teen’s fall schedule. These courses are approved by the International Association for Identification (IAI) and International Association of Bloodstain Pattern Analysts (IABPA) and accredited by the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement (TCOLE) and are open to teens in all 50 states.

Continue reading “Fall HS Online Course: Forensic and Investigative Science”
Posted in College Majors, Common Sense College Planning, Community college, Computer Science, Dual Enrollment

Lisa’s Story: Son with Autism

I received this message from Lisa F. through our Facebook page…

I just wanted to share my Homeschooling for College Credit stories with two different children.

My older son is 21 and a junior in college. He was diagnosed with high-functioning autism finally at age 18. This diagnosis afforded him accommodations as a college student, including a reduced course load (18 hours per year versus 30) requirement that allowed him to still keep his state and university scholarships. However, the scholarships are still only valid for four years (8 semesters). We didn’t know when he started taking dual enrollment classes back in high school that he would eventually need this accommodation, but it has honestly been the most useful one for him. He earned 34 credit hours in high school taking college classes at the local technical college. So, even though he has not taken over 12 hours any single semester, and only 9 in several semesters, he is still on track to graduate on time. All of his dual enrollment fees and books cost me less than $700. He should graduate college with less than $10k in student loans.

Normally these scholarships wouldn’t be enough to cover two majors, but because he did so much credit in high school, he will finish both degrees in five semesters.

Lisa F.

My younger son is neurotypical but he’s your typical second kid who only works hard if it’s something that interests him, and the one I had to beg and plead and threaten to get to do his schoolwork. He started taking dual enrollment classes in 10th grade and surprise surprise he worked much harder for those college professors than he ever did for me. By the end of 10th grade, he already had earned almost enough high school credits to graduate, so he decided to graduate high school early (this year). This past year he has taken a full college course load plus completed two homeschool classes he still needed for high school graduation. He is already in the computer science program at the local university and will be a “freshman” there this coming fall. He has been asked to work as a Teaching Assistant and tutor in the computer science department this coming year. He graduated high school with 45 credit hours. He has decided to dual major in computer science and mathematics and has the same scholarships as his older brother. Normally these scholarships wouldn’t be enough to cover two majors, but because he did so much credit in high school, he will finish both degrees in five semesters. All of his dual enrollment fees and books cost me no more than $1000. He should graduate college with less than $5000 in student loan debt (and I’m hoping he’ll pay those back as he goes.)

Thank you for sharing Lisa! We love hearing how Homeschooling for College Credit worked for your family. If you have a story to share, you can email it to Jennifer at

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?

Sean’s Story: CLEP was a Game-changer

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 Career Planning, College Majors, Common Sense College Planning, High School, HS4CC, Tuition

Educational Value

“Pursuing high-quality postsecondary education is one of the most important investments a student can make, and is the surest path to the middle class in our country.” The U.S. Department of Education says so, therefore, it must be true. We think it’s true. Well, it’s probably true, right? What’s the alternative? NOT going to college? Too risky. But what if that statement makes assumptions about students that aren’t true?

Continue reading “Educational Value”
Posted in Career Planning, College Majors, High School

Unlimited Time, Talent, and Resources

The motivational/inspirational quote always goes something like this:

“What would you do if you had unlimited time, talent, or resources?  Do that!” 

If you love that quote, you’re not alone. But you might not appreciate this post very much, and I want to talk to you about how time, talent, and resources fit into the homeschooling for college credit journey. Continue reading “Unlimited Time, Talent, and Resources”

Posted in College Majors, Sophia,

Hospitality Degree for Under 10k


One of my sons is graduating from Charter Oak State College in a few weeks with a Bachelor of Science degree. His concentration is in “Hospitality & Management”  by taking advantage of their “Individualized Studies” option. Since Hospitality degrees are always expensive, I wanted to share how he earned this degree for under $10,000. Continue reading “Hospitality Degree for Under 10k”

Posted in College Admission, College Majors, Computer Science, Distance Learning, Free Tuition

University of the People

I have 1 over-reaching principle that guides what type of college content I share with you, and the University of the People breaks my rule.

(1)  Colleges I share must be Regionally Accredited – this one isn’t.

So, why keep reading?  Because this college is worth knowing about, even if it isn’t the right fit for your teen.  In this post, I want to make a case for the University of the People. You probably know someone who would love to attend college if cost weren’t a barrier. Perhaps this IS a degree your teen would consider?   University of the People is a university doing amazing things, and they’re worth considering.


I have to go there, just for a minute.  My first rule, that colleges mentioned must be Regionally Accredited (RA), is important within the context of what we do here because many careers and professions won’t acknowledge a degree that isn’t RA. Nursing, Medicine, Pharmacy, Accounting, public school K-12 teaching, Engineering, college teaching, Dietetics, Social Work, Architecture, and many others – including those that require a state license, almost always specify a “Regionally Accredited” degree.  Being “accredited” without the word “Regional” is not the same thing.    If your teen earns non-RA college credit, it will almost never transfer into an RA college (all community colleges and public universities are RA), while RA college credit readily transfers into other RA colleges.  So, as you can see, you can’t go wrong choosing RA.

Let me also add that when I tell you a handful of careers specify an RA degree, there are twice as many careers that don’t/won’t.  For instance, careers in business, computers, fire science, technology, military, ministry, drama, music, management, law enforcement, and numerous vocational programs (culinary arts, cosmetology, automotive, plus others) don’t care.  In fact, within certain fields, accredited is accredited; there is no distinction.   I am quite comfortable suggesting non-RA colleges to mid-career adults who are already in their career and simply need to check the box with an accredited degree in something.  I’m usually quiet when it comes to non-RA degrees for teens since there is usually so much uncertainty, but in this post, I’ll let you decide.

University of the People is accredited, but they are not Regionally Accredited.

Quick Back Story

In 2009, UoP was a tuition-free startup in California that nobody heard of and a guy surrounded by a few volunteers.  They offered one or two degrees initially, and since the college wasn’t accredited, they launched without much love from the higher education community.  In addition, they only accepted a handful of students (mostly non-American), so even if you didn’t mind their lack of accreditation, you still might not get in.  If you got in, you couldn’t transfer in ANY of your previous credit, they didn’t accept CLEP, and it was a little disorganized.  An early argument against their initiative is that it’s just as much work to earn an unaccredited degree as an accredited one.   I got the impression that they were a MOOC that wanted to be a college, and that they would fizzle out shortly (or start charging tuition).  If you’d like to see what the NY Times had to say about UoP in 2009, you’ll enjoy this story from their archives.

But then….

February 2014 UoPeople received accreditation from the Accreditation Commission of the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC), a U.S. Department of Education authorized accrediting agency. This can be verified at

So, this got people’s attention.  In addition, they started getting a lot of support in the university community.  Their list of volunteer university leadership includes:

In addition to the added credibility of a real leadership team and accreditation, they expanded their degree offerings to their current menu:boy3.jpg

Business Administration

  • Associate
  • Bachelor
  • Master

Computer Science

  • Associate
  • Bachelor

Community Health Science

  • Associate
  • Bachelor

For those who don’t need a Regionally Accredited degree, this university just got real. University of the People is now considered a legitimate online university and is listed in the US Department of Education Database as accredited.  Wow!


University of the People is the first worldwide tuition-free university.  They are totally online (no room and board cost), provide your textbooks (electronically, so no shipping or rental fees), and don’t charge tuition. But, they do charge a test proctor fee ($100) at the end of each course for the final exam.  In addition, if $100 is a financial hardship, they also offer scholarships!  From their website:

It is the University’s mission to provide affordable, tuition-free education for everybody. UoPeople is tuition-free, not free. You will never be asked to pay for courses, course material or annual enrollment fees. There is a nominal $60 Application Processing Fee for all applicants as well as a $100 Exam Processing Fee for each exam ($200 for the MBA). Based on this, an associate’s degree can be completed in 2 years for $2060,  a bachelor degree can be completed in 4 years for $4060, and an MBA can be completed in 15 months for $2460. UoPeople will never request these amounts upfront, but rather students will pay each Exam Processing Fee by the end of each exam period. These modest fees ensure that the University remains sustainable and can continue to provide quality education for everybody.

There are scholarships available for those students who cannot afford the nominal processing fees of the University. It is the University’s belief that everyone deserves the right to an education, and that no one should be left behind due to financial constraints.

Transfer Credit

(from UoPeople website)  What Credits Are Accepted at UoPeople?

University of the People will consider transferring credits earned at accredited US universities and accredited universities outside of the U.S. UoPeople will also consider credits earned from College Board AP tests or evaluated by ACE (including CLEP).

UoPeople will consider accepting transfer credit for a course in any instance in which the course content is equivalent to that of one of UoPeople’s courses or in which the course may be used towards an elective credit in a UoPeople degree program. UoPeople may award the transfer of up to 50% of the required program credits.

Ok – so, let’s talk about transfer credit, and how this applies to my second rule:

Colleges I share must be open to high school homeschooled students – this one isn’t.

It’s true that as a homeschooled high school student, you wouldn’t be eligible for admission.  (18 years old and a High School Diploma are required for admission) but with their new transfer credit acceptance policy, you can DIY 50% of this degree while you’re still in high school.  For those seeking an Associate’s Degree, that allows for 30 credits of transfer, and for those seeking a Bachelor’s Degree, you’ll be allowed to transfer in 60 credits.

Let me add, that while they will accept credit into their program, it is unlikely that you’d get to transfer course credit out of their program into a different program. In other words, if you start there, finish there.

Last comment:  this is not a self-paced independent study program.  They have 3 terms per year, an academic calendar, application and graduation cycles – the whole thing.  So, if you’re considering the program, you’ll have to verify the application period in advance.

DIY 30 or 60 credit transfer plans by request:  I want to extend an offer to help any parent or teen match up the correct CLEP, AP, DSST, or ACE credits to align with the max allowable credit accepted by University of the People.

If you or your teen plans to attend, email me at or send me a message and we’ll get started.

Any degree plans we create will be shared here to help others.

If you’d like to hear from someone much smarter than I am, the founder of Univerity of the People, Shai Reshef, gives a TED talk about how higher education is changing “from being a privilege for the few to a basic right, affordable and accessible for all.”