Outlier (Possible Credit Laundering)


Regionally Accredited (RA) Graded Credit has the highest level of transferability and acceptance. These credits result in a letter grade on a college transcript. Credit options in this section are solidly transferable into colleges that accept transfer credit.

Credit laundering is when credit earned from one source is intentionally changed to appear as if coming from a different source. Individuals can’t successfully launder their own credits, however, some companies have relationships with universities that allow credit laundering to take place.

Outlier (from the makers of MasterClass) has developed high-quality, university-level courses, taught online by some of the most celebrated educators in their respective fields. Outlier is not a college but credits from Outlier are recorded onto a University of Pittsburgh (PA) college transcript, thus offering a possible credit laundering experience.

UPDATE: PLEASE READ The following University of Pittsburgh transcript was shared by a parent. Note that the transcript DOES INDICATE “Outlier” as the program. Also note that the course numerical code “6010” is identified on the footer (page 2) as being “undergraduate general and career development” which is a code that will not transfer perfectly into every institution. You may download the file if you’re having trouble reading it on your device.

Homeschool High School Transcript

All Outlier courses are recorded by University of Pittsburgh as 3 graded credits. Homeschool parents will award and record 1 high school credit per course passed.

NOTE: if your teen needs 4 credits for Astronomy or Calculus, you can get 4 credits by going through ACE for their credits instead of University of Pittsburgh. Note that ACE credits don’t transfer well unless you’re attending a partner institution, so only proceed if you know you are using the courses at an ACE partner college. Read more

Outlier course credit will be recorded with a grade on an official college transcript at The University of Pittsburgh.  The credit will appear as OUTLIER credit.  In other words, your teen’s transcript will be similar to, but not identical to, that of a student that has taken the courses directly through The University of Pittsburgh. 

 The University of Pittsburgh is a well-respected and Regionally Accredited university, so these courses may transfer well into a college or university that accepts transfer credit, but the code they use is troubling.

Tuition Price: $597 per class.  Our promotional link takes $75 off, which brings the cost per course down to $522. ($174/credit). Click for $75 Coupon

Level of difficulty: Based on student feedback shared online, students rated these courses as hard or harder than AP high school courses but more entertaining than typical online courses since you have multiple teachers. One student remarked that Outlier recommends 25 hours per week per course, but he had to put in closer to 30 each week to earn an A (in Calculus).

Discounts: Use Jennifer’s promotion link to get $75 off your course.

Scholarship: not at this time

Schedule: Courses start and end with a calendar. These courses are not self-paced. Most courses allow you to choose between a 7 week accelerated option, or a 14 week traditionally paced option. Parents should note that a “typical” college class is 16 weeks, so even the longer option will be a bit fast for some students.

Extra Fees: None. BOOKS ARE INCLUDED, so there are no application fees, registration fees, textbooks, online access codes, etc. As such- it’s $400 per class total. (before coupon)

Placement Testing: No standardized testing is required (ACT, PSAT, SAT, etc.)  Placement into Calculus 1 is through their free online pretest. 

Testing Accommodations Yes.  See details on their website. 

Age / Grade: Age 13+

Paper Trail: Outlier courses, because they are being successfully credit laundered, will generate a paper trail (graded credit on a permanent record that must be disclosed to future colleges) Here are some things to keep in mind when you register.

  • dropping before deadline date When a student decides to exit a course BEFORE that course’s drop deadline date, there is no academic record, and students are eligible for a full refund.
  • dropping after deadline date If a student decides to exit from a course AFTER the drop deadline date, the student’s University of Pittsburgh transcript will show a grade of “W” which stands for withdrawal. (no GPA / no credit)
  • withdrawal deadline The last date a student can withdrawal from the course. After this date, the student will receive a letter grade for their course on their University of Pittsburgh transcript.

Degree Program: in Fall 2022, Outlier launched a new degree program partnership with Golden Gate University (CA) called Degrees+. This is a great new program that leads to one of 3 associate degrees. Students who pursue a degree through the Degrees+ program can be assured that proper credit transfer will occur.

I have written a Free High School Planner available for those who want to resourcefully plan to use Outlier courses in their homeschool or for an associate degree.

Course List (Fall 2022)

College Success noncredit

Intro to Financial Accounting 3 credits

College Writing I 3 credits

Computer Science I 3 credits

Intro to Statistics 3 credits

College Algebra 3 credits

Precalculus 3 credits

Calculus I 3 credits or 4 ACE credits

Principles of Economics 3 credits

Intro to Psychology 3 credits

Intro to Business 3 credits

Intro to Astronomy 3 credits or 4 ACE credits

Intro to Microeconomics 3 credits

Intro to Philosophy 3 credits

Intro to Sociology 3 credits

Intro to Macroeconomics 3 credits

College Writing II 3 credits

Professional Communication (coming soon)

Calculus II (coming soon)

Official Outlier Transfer Guide