Saylor Academy Basics

In case you missed it, you can read an earlier blog post I wrote about Saylor here.

Disclaimer:  The content of this blog is not endorsed, evaluated, or approved by Saylor Academy in any way.

Official Website:

What:  501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that offers free and open online courses.

Who authorizes the credit? Some of their courses have been evaluated by the American Council on Education as college credit eligible, some are evaluated by NCCRS as college credit eligible, and some are NOT worth college credit.

Who accepts the credit?  Saylor has a direct partnership with 18 partner colleges that have formal credit arrangements.  Not all of their partners accept all of their courses for credit. Furthermore, the course equivalency list may be one or more semesters old.  Confirm that your target college awards credit before enrolling.   Interesting point:  Saylor participates in a program called the Alternative Credit Project that extends their partnership to an additional 40 colleges. 

How it works:  I suggest visiting their official website for a detailed overview, but I’ll give you the quick version.  You pay NOTHING to take these courses.  They are completely free to start and stop on demand.  Textbook passages are accessible through links in the class, so the program is completely free.  There is no homework, no attendance verification, and no teacher. Quizzes, exams, homework, and midterm exams are open book.  You can take some or all of the units, and you are free to jump around.

When ready, you have the option to take a proctored final exam via webcam on your home computer.  If you do not wish to pursue college credit, you simply stop the class at that time. Since there is no grade or credit awarded, you technically don’t have to complete the class; you can go straight to the final exam.  As such, the exam alone determines whether or not you earn college credit in the course.

Proctoring:  Saylor uses a third party proctor company called ProctorU to monitor you during your test, and the cost for the proctoring is $25.  Note, to earn college credit, you must pass the proctored final exam with a score of 70% or better.  If you passed the exam, you must complete the final step of getting your course onto your ACE transcript.

What is an ACE transcript?  Create an ACE account  Each of your homeschooled students needs their own ACE account with individual email addresses.  Creating a transcript is free but not so easy.  I’ve made a short Youtube Video to walk you through the process.  Save their login information, they’ll keep the same account for life.

Courses:  Currently, Saylor Academy offers 31 courses for college credit.

Potential:  91 college credits at a total cost of $775

Available Courses

Course NCCRS ACE # Credits
BIO101: Introduction to Molecular and Cellular Biology ACPE-0023 3
BUS101: Introduction to Business ACPE-0107 3
BUS103: Introduction to Financial Accounting ACPE-0113 3
BUS105: Managerial Accounting SAYA-0009 3
BUS203: Principles of Marketing ACPE-0127 3
BUS204: Business Statistics 3
BUS205: Business Law and Ethics ACPE-0099 3
BUS206: Management Information Systems SAYA-0013 3
BUS208: Principles of Management ACPE-0123 3
BUS210: Corporate Communication ACPE-0006 3
BUS303: Strategic Information Technology SAYA-0014 3
CHEM101: General Chemistry I ACPE-0034 3
COMM001: Principles Of Human Communication SAYA-0010 3
CS101: Introduction to Computer Science I 3
CS102: Introduction to Computer Science II SAYA-0015 3
CS302: Software Engineering SAYA-0018 3
CS402: Computer Communications and Networks SAYA-0016 3
ECON101: Principles of Microeconomics SAYA-0005 3
ECON102: Principles of Macroeconomics SAYA-0006 3
ENVS203: Environmental Ethics, Justice & World Views SAYA-0004 3
MA001: College Algebra ACPE-0016 3
MA005: Calculus I ACPE-0015 4
MA121: Introduction to Statistics ACPE-0017 3
PHIL103: Moral and Political Philosophy SAYA-0011 3
PHYS101: Introduction to Mechanics ACPE-0008 3
PHYS102: Introduction to Electromagnetism ACPE-0007 3
POLSC101: Introduction to Political Science SAYA-0012 3
POLSC201 Introduction to Western Political Thought 3
POLSC221: Introduction to Comparative Politics ACPE-0071 3
PSYCH101: Introduction to Psychology SAYA-0007 2
SOC101: Introduction to Sociology SAYA-0008 1