I find encouragement from others accomplishing the things I’m trying to accomplish, and I have no doubt you’ll love these stories sent into me by members of our HS4CC community! They’ve sent me their stories to encourage and share with each of you. I hope you enjoy reading their stories, and that you’ll eventually have a story of your own to share!
Adeline M. of Ohio
“Including my in-progress summer classes, I have taken over 60 credit hours of community college classes, and I have passed three CLEPs. I just received notification from Franklin University that I need only 47 credit hours to graduate with a Bachelor’s Degree in Management and Leadership.
Taking [dual enrollment] classes put me on a wonderful path to graduate college in much less time than four years. I have saved approximately $40,000 by taking community college classes. I have always prioritized saving money because I desperately want to get at least one master’s degree.
I appreciate that you have dedicated so much of your time to helping families get their kids through college without debt, so I wanted to let you know that I have found great success with the methods that you have shared. I am so excited to see what the next chapter of my education brings!”
Jennifer’s comment: Adeline’s state (Ohio) allows limited free dual enrollment if you homeschool, but tempts you with a LOT MORE free dual enrollment if you’re willing to enroll in the public school. Instead of taking the bait, Adeline told me she took a part time job to keep homeschooling and make up the difference in cost. When a young person shows that kind of deterimnation and enthusiasm for homeschooling, I find that to be extraordinary! Way to go Adeline!!
“There’s a few people in life that you encounter that you’re pretty sure are angels sent from God. You’re one of them, Jennifer! Thank you for all that you’re doing! We’re all so blessed by the knowledge you’re sharing with us. ❤️” -Jamie G. North Carolina HS4CC
Sent in by the “M” Family
Here’s our family’s Homeschooling for College Credit success story: We’ve always been a homeschooling family who pieced together our own curriculum, and took it one year at a time. In May 2015, toward the end of my eldest son’s 8th grade year, a friend had casually mentioned Jennifer Cook DeRosa’s book. I ordered the first edition of that book, read it, and instantly had a clear vision of how I would plan out my son’s 9th-grade year.
I had taken a few CLEP exams myself years ago but had forgotten about them and certainly had not thought of incorporating them into my homeschool plan. Using Jennifer’s 6 layers of curriculum approach I planned out my son’s 9th grade curriculum. By the end of 9th grade he had successfully passed 4 CLEP exams. By the end of 10th grade he had completed another 3. Free community college dual enrollment was available to him starting in 11th grade so those CLEP exams he had taken came in as 32 credits at the local community college. He took dual enrollment classes and two more CLEP exams while in 11th and by the end of 11th grade had more than enough credits to complete the AA. So, I graduated him from my homeschool at the end of 11th grade while he simultaneously earned his AA and we watched with pride as his community college graduation ceremony became his high school graduation ceremony in our eyes too.
He used the articulation agreement in our state to transfer 70 credits into one of our public state universities and what would have been his 12th grade year became his junior year at the university. He enrolled as an online student and continued living at home. He was able to take a lighter class load and still complete his bachelor’s degree in 2 years making our total cost at the university (including book fees) under $8,000 not counting a $500 grant he received.
He just graduated now in 2020 with his BS at the age of 19. We are so pleased that I found Jennifer’s book when I did, that my curriculum planning came together so well, that the overall cost was affordable to us, and that my son did all of the hard work required of him. Mostly we’re proud that our son has had the opportunity to flourish in other ways that the traditional pursuit of higher education often interferes with. He’s a spiritual-minded young man and the words of Proverbs 16:3 have proved true for him: “Commit to God whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.”
Heather W. of North Carolina
Midway through my son’s sophomore year, we made the decision to homeschool which was a tough and unexpected change of plans for his high school journey. I was super anxious since he had never homeschooled before and I had no prior personal experience with homeschooling at all… but it has been the best decision we ever made. I never could have predicted how awesome it would be and I only regret not having done it years earlier.
This Facebook group was my LIFELINE with unlimited resources and support that got us through all decision points along the way! I am really proud to say that when he graduates this may he will have 37 hours of college credit done! ✅ I am super proud mama…. this has been quite a journey to get to this moment in my son’s homeschool high school life, but then he got the best news last night, hearing that he was accepted to his number one school choice, Appalachian State University!! My heart is full… THANK YOU
Misti Clark Konsavage
My daughter is an official college graduate! Her Bachelor of Arts in English from Thomas Edison State University was conferred today! She got her first 3 credits 5 yrs ago the day before she turned 14 from a CLEP test. That motivated her to keep going! She’s our 2nd child to graduate from Thomas Edison State University at 18. Take the leap with your first CLEP/DSST or dual credit class. You can do it too!!
Both kids graduated debt-free.
When asked about career opportunities, Misti replied
“My older son got a BA from TESU and then was accepted into a Master’s Degree program at Bellevue University in Cybersecurity. He was immediately offered a job in a computer security/auditing firm upon graduation. My daughter wanted the degree because it opens doors for her and gives her credentials to teach. She would like to teach classes online/in person to homeschoolers in writing, or possibly even VIP Kids (English to Chinese children) which requires a BA. In our county, you can be a substitute teacher with a Bachelors as well. So she has a lot of opportunities just because of having this degree.”
Misti’s daughter is also a published author and writes a weekly blog for young ladies. http://havingaheartlikehis.blogspot.com/
Our daughter completed the first two years of a four-year degree while still in high school. Ohio College Credit Plus (Ohio’s dual enrollment program) paid for some of the university classes and helped us get a reduced rate on many others. We were also able to spread the reduced cost of the first two years of college over her last three years of high school. We targeted her college classes to meet the university degree requirements as well as high school graduation requirements. With dual enrollment and scholarships, we reduced the cost of her degree dramatically and she is on track to graduate from a private university with no student loans!
“Make scholarships a priority. Even those small, local scholarships add up!” -Leigh
This is our daughter! Graduating high school a year early 3.9 GPA with 39 college credits. You can do this! She is not naturally brilliant. She worked hard– prioritized— waited to take the SAT/ACT so she could focus on her grades and dual enrollment classes through Belhaven University.
Theresa’s daughter plans to take a gap year and use it to focus on developing her charity organization LifeBoxes. LifeBoxes on Facebook.
We don’t live in a state with free or even discounted dual enrollment.
Just want to say THANK YOU!! Without your guidance, we wouldn’t have achieved what we have. My oldest is 3 classes away from her associate’s degree (she walked in the ceremony a few weeks ago).
She CLEP’d five classes, saving us over $1900! We don’t live in a state with free or even discounted dual enrollment so this was huge.
On top of that, we only looked at colleges willing to accept CLEP. My daughter is transferring for her bachelors and they have put 40 credits towards her bachelor’s in the transfer. So thankful for your guidance!
Victoria Van Horn
My personal success with Homeschooling for College Credit: My daughter graduated last night from our local community college (MCC-Longview), thanks to CLEPs and dual enrollment. And today is her official high school graduation date. Homeschooling for College Credit for the win! She’s going to Truman State in the fall.
She was 16 when she started. She took the Accuplacer, and there were no other requirements. She didn’t go to campus full time — some of her classes were online and CLEP credit made up about 1/3 of her degree.
She still qualifies as a freshman since she graduated before I issued her high school diploma.
Jennifer Cook DeRosa, thank you for sharing your wealth of information with us in 2014.
We started dual enrollment in 10th grade at a local private college…it wasn’t free but not too bad…then in 11th and 12th, he took exclusively dual enrollment classes at local community college.
He only took 1 CLEP and 90% were sit in regular brick and mortar classes or a hybrid.
He has also a side business of landscaping and lawn maintenance so he was pretty busy but was able to work around that schedule for classes.
Associate in Science at the age of 17!
He graduated with High Honors and is headed to North Carolina State University.
My daughter Conner graduated with 2 Bachelors Degrees! A Bachelor of Arts in English, Emphasis in Creative Writing, Minor In Professional Writing, and a Bachelor of Arts in Communications, Emphasis in Non-Profit Leadership from Carson-Newman University in Tennessee.
The school accepted 89 of her various forms of 110 college credits she earned in high school. A few CLEPS she passed were not accepted because they weren’t on the college CLEP list as ones the school accepted. She attended 4 years and switched her major after her freshman year.
My biggest takeaway advice is if you are doing a large amount of Dual Enrollment, plan for credits from 2 and 4-year schools. Community College credits can be limited to a certain amount, and the Department heads scoured over course descriptions and books used. The 4-year college’s dual enrollment credits didn’t seem scrutinized as much.
Jude’s daughter also earned an Associate Degree in high school from Charter Oak State College. She used CLEP, DSST, ACE, and dual enrollment credits.
I have a 20-year-old chemical engineer graduating from the University of Minnesota today. They don’t accept CLEPs but he graduated high school with 73 college credits through PSEO (dual enrollment). This is my second kid graduating with no debt.
Jackie Williford Peterson
Both of my sons graduated from college, both with honors and both as outstanding students. My oldest was accepted into the (dual enrollment) program at Sampson Community College his senior year and graduated last night with his Associates of Applied Science degree in Building Construction Technology. He will be moving on to study at Montgomery Community College this fall to earn his Associates of Applied Science degree in Gunsmithing.
My youngest entered dual enrollment after his Sophomore year and completed high school in 3 years. At 18 he graduated last night with his Associates of Applied Science degree in Information Computer Technology. He will be entering Eastern Carolina University in the fall as a Junior to continue his Bachelor of Science in Industrial Technology for Information Computer Technology degree.
I have homeschooled these amazing young men since they were born. We started using Easy Peasy as soon as Lee Giles generously made this amazing FREE curriculum available. What a blessing Easy Peasy has been for our family.
Are you enough? Absolutely! You love them unconditionally, want only the best for them, and let’s face it, all we really do is teach them to read and count. We give them the wings and they fly!!!!
Mother & Daughter (Karen & Katie P.)
I am so happy to share our story. We started the Homeschooling for College Credit journey only to demonstrate that our homeschool was equivalent to the requirements of a state diploma. Thanks to Jennifer’s book, those credits were not lost, but instead, ended in multiple degrees and acceptance into my daughter’s dream school in New York. I was so inspired by Jennifer’s personal story I, too, completed a college degree alongside my daughter. Jennifer’s work literally changed the trajectory of our lives.
In the 8th grade, my daughter decided she wanted to go to college in New York. We were living in Oklahoma at the time. I began investigating the school’s admissions requirements for homeschoolers. For the next 3 years, when we finished a subject in homeschooling, my daughter would go take the CLEP exam. She exceeded the minimum score, testing in the 70s on most of the exams.
My daughter had 69 CLEP credits by the time she was at the end of the 10th grade. I received some great info from Jennifer about Thomas Edison State University via Facebook and I confirmed with the NY school that an AA would actually be an advantage for my daughter’s application. For the next year, my daughter continued to take exams. She acquired ACE credits and dual enrollment credits until she met the requirements to enroll at TESU and take the two final courses. After checking into TESU I realized that I could also complete a degree at the same time as my daughter. After all, I had helped her study and drilled her for all of the CLEP exams. My daughter graduated with her Bachelors in English two weeks before her 18th birthday and we walked side by side in commencement in September. My daughter was accepted to her dream school in New York and is working on a second degree that she will finish next spring. I completed a BA in Liberal Studies.
I forgot to post an important fact. We have no college debt thanks to being resourcefully planned using Jennifer’s book. Most courses/exams were under $100 each. My degree cost was $7,099 for 122 credits and my daughter’s degree was $8,100 for 120 credits.
If I were homeschooling another child (I only have one), I would only plan curriculum in grades 8-12 that ended in some sort of CLEP/ACE credit.
My 14-year-old son completed 19 credits of DE this semester. Computer Science I, Computer Science 2, Precalc Trig, English 1, Chemistry 1, and Western Civ 1. Still holding on to the 4.0. Monday starts a new semester. -Rachel P
Susan Stuart Peterson
This photo is from last month when my son (firstborn of seven) graduated from law school at age 21. Law school was the first time he ever set foot in a classroom! Using the methods that we learn about here in Homeschooling for College Credit, my son completed his bachelor’s degree from Thomas Edison State University at age 18. He was a history major at Thomas Edison, and in addition to his classes there, he obtained credit through very cheap community college classes, CLEP tests, DSST tests, and FEMA classes. After Thomas Edison and scoring well on the LSAT, my son was offered full scholarships from three law schools. He chose the offer from our home state (at Case Western) and thoroughly enjoyed his time there. He wanted to marry young, and that was a big motivator for his hard work during high school. He and his wife were able to marry at age 19, just three weeks before law school started, and I’m so glad that he didn’t have to go off to school alone! Completing college during high school isn’t for everyone, but it was just the ticket for my son, and I’m grateful for Jennifer’s advice along the way.
“Freshman daughter completed 6 credit hours finishing with a 4.0. Might be the scariest moments of my life up until now 😂😂” Chris-Caycee C.
HS4CC and Jennifer have been a huge blessing during our family’s educational journey! The information shared has benefited our middle school-aged children and our high schoolers with earning college credit during their Jr. High & High School years, as well as enabling me (mom) to finally complete my BA after 20+ years. Utilizing methods gleaned from Jennifer’s books and HS4CC posts has made dual-enrollment a much less scary prospect, and allowed 4 of our older children to have college credits at homeschool high school graduation. I am continually thankful for Jennifer’s sharing heart as she walks thousands of families through the world of “Home Schooling for College Credit!” I highly recommend taking a look at the information and suggestions she has shared.
“Mine earned 11 college credits and graduated high school with 39 college credits. I’m so thankful for your help and advice! You’ve helped me to help her” -Kristen P
I have a full heart. In about 12 days the family is off to see my oldest Addison graduate from the Harvard University Extension School. This simply would never have happened without the early positive feedback from Jennifer. It was really a dream come true.
She graduates with honors ALB in English with dual minors in Government and Management.
Harvard’s degrees are written in Latin, which makes them appear “backwards” in their letters. ALB is Harvard’s Bachelor of Liberal Arts degree.
My smart little girl is already working as an intern with the local Emergency Medical Services Medical Directors’ office, a calling she hopes to make a career. It would not have been possible without her taking CLEP, excelling at the Community College level (which earned her a Phi Theta Kappa scholarship which covered most of her Harvard education), and always following through with her studies. I guess that I might have spent $5,000 on her entire college education over time. $1,000 of that was for those CLEP exams (only 3 of which Harvard ended up accepting, but they gave her 4 credits each). They were generous with her financial aid. That is all, just a little bragging…yet hopefully encouraging…and with a lot of thanks to my very good friend Jennifer.
Yes!! Both of my teenagers took the Information Systems CLEP yesterday and passed it. They used Modern States to supplement their studying so they could take advantage of the vouchers for the testing fees. Six more college credits in the house. -Danielle M.
Dr. Shawn Ambrose
I have been a Homeschooling Dad for 20 years. During our homeschooling career, our four oldest children have all earned a large number of college credit while in homeschool, with one child earning an Associate’s Degree at home at the age of 17. In addition, I work in Higher Education. I’m an Associate Professor of Organization and Management and serve as a Peer Reviewer for the Higher Learning Commission and the American Council on Education. These qualifications put me in a position as an evaluator of Higher Education. In my professional opinion, Jennifer Cook DeRosa is THE foremost authority on Homeschooling for College Credit in the United States. The website Homeschool For College Credit, along with the associated book and social media sites, are the most complete resources for anyone…new homeschooler or very experienced, to receive the most up to date information on earning college credit while homeschooling. Shawn Ambrose, Ph.D
“Our daughter age 13 just finished her second semester of courses at the community college (11 units of English: Literature of Science Fiction, Psychology, Mythology) which brings her total community college units to 22 plus an additional 8 units earned at Oregon State University. She is scheduled for another 11 units in the spring (Chemistry, Abnormal Psychology, and Philosophy). So…we have added 30 units to her high school transcript so far,”
(from May 2017) “It’s so important for kids with learning disorders to try different paths to success. First, we signed her up for a CLEP test, with accommodations, but she became too stressed out about it. We canceled that. Then, we got her signed up for the ACT with accommodations, but then she also became way too stressed out for that. I’ve postponed that, indefinitely.
Accomplishing the Sophia 1 credit free business course gave her the courage and self-esteem to begin and finish the two ALEKS Algebra courses. It took her a few weeks to do the College Algebra course, but once she got the rhythm going, she started flying through it. Also, a new, uncomplicated calculator from the Rainbow Sciences website and graphing paper helped tremendously. She, also, just knocked out the Intermediate College assessment in about 20 minutes, this morning!!! Not too bad 16-year-old with a history of Dyslexia, Dysgraphia and a touch of Dyscalculia and severe test-taking anxiety. I’m so proud of her!!!
Now that she realizes college work is doable….she plans to register for Straighterline courses and work on college credit during her Junior and Senior years of high school! I’ve already discussed accommodations with them for extra time for her testing. I’m beginning the process of getting documentation to them to support her Learning disorders and health issues, now. She also has 1credit from the free Sophia business course that she finished this past April. 7 college credits for $40!!!!! She has begun her journey! I’m so proud of her.
We aren’t shooting for high ACT scores for full-ride scholarships. I feel that would put too much pressure on her, due to her poor health and anxiety. Right now, one class for credit at a time, as she feels like it, is going to be perfect for her and affordable for us. Again, I’m so thankful for your books and direction. With her many learning challenges and health issues, this is the perfect path for her future. I’m so glad I found your books, website and FB page!
UPDATE June 2, 2019, My daughter graduated high school with 70+ ACE credits!🎉🎉🎉
I ❤ Happy Posts
Courtney B. We used the Sophia coupon as well. 14-year-old son earned 6 credits in September- Environmental Science and US History 1. $100 each course, so $200 for 6 credits! He starts Intro to Computers next week. He’s also racing through the two free Sophia courses (1 credit each).
Joshua took his first CLEP test when he was 12 years old. After that first one, the summer before 8th grade, he continued with CLEP and DSST exams thru 9th grade accumulating 36 credits. At that point, he started attending the local community college which offered a 60% tuition deduction for high school students. At the time, his major was engineering. In the middle of his senior year, with 90 credits towards a bachelor’s degree in engineering Joshua felt called to change his major. His two passions were science and the Bible, and he wanted to study scientific apologetics. The problem was that transferring his mostly science and math credits into a biblical degree would result in him losing most of his college credits.
Joshua knew God doesn’t waste and so he kept searching programs until he found a Master’s of Divinity three year degree in scientific apologetics at Southern Evangelical Seminary (SES). This was his degree, he knew it, but waiting to start until he finished a bachelor’s degree was not what he had really hoped to do. He sent multiple schools his transcripts with instructions that they figure out whatever degree he was closest to attaining at their institution. Excelsior College came back with a degree in Natural Sciences that only one of the classes on his transcript would not transfer into. But that was not the end of it. He then contacted both Excelsior and Southern Evangelical Seminary. He received permission to start master’s level classes without his bachelor’s degree, by enrolling in a certificate program whose classes overlapped with their MDiv degree. He also received permission from both schools to backfill those master’s level classes into his bachelors degree. Joshua finished his bachelor’s degree in Natural Sciences at Excelsior by taking Excelsior courses and SES courses simultaneously each semester. In total he only took 6 classes at Excelsior for his bachelor’s degree, while completing 5 classes at SES towards his master’s. He double dipped those master’s level courses, being able to apply them towards his bachelor’s degree and his master’s degree. He now has an associate degree in engineering, a bachelor’s degree in natural sciences and more than one semester of his master’s degree completed at the age of 19.
And yes, he is debt free, having received no scholarships or financial aid. His CLEP and DSST credits were significantly cheaper than regular college credit. The 60% tuition deduction reduced his community college bill substantially. But Excelsior was close to $1,500.00 a class. Given that the cheaper schools would have made him take a considerable number of additional credits, this was still our cheapest option. SES was just over $1,000.00 a class. As soon as Joshua knew these costs, he quit his job at an ice cream truck and became employed at Chipotle. Within months, he was able to start receiving tuition reimbursement. The $5,500 a year reimbursement removed a sizeable amount of that bill and the rest he paid for with his paychecks from that job.
Joshua’s sister is right behind him; 18 years old, a senior in college and also debt free. She too changed her major more than halfway through. The change in major can be expected given that they are choosing their majors at such a young age. It was truly mom’s biggest fear and now 2 of my 3 have done it and besides some stressful moments, it truly wasn’t all that my fears made it out to be. This can be done, and it can be done with changes in majors, a global pandemic, as well as a move across the country in the middle of it.
Maxing out his CLEP
My son finished his Modern States CLEP voucher program yesterday! Our community college accepts 30 CLEP credits towards graduation and this test was the last one of 8 to earn him those credits. This saved him $4,500 in tuition. Spread out over 11 months, the CLEP exams he took for credit at our community college were: College Algebra, Pre-Calculus, History of the US 1 & 2, American Government, American Literature, Analyzing & Interpreting Literature, and (yesterday’s CLEP) Sociology. He also took College Math and College Comp Modular, but the school doesn’t accept those. He has been taking classes there part time since Fall 2019 and if all goes well, he’ll graduate in May with an AA and a high school diploma. He’s likely going to Western Illinois University in the fall. -Sara (IL)