Getting College Credit While Homeschooling

Save money and time by getting college credit while homeschooling high school

My oldest daughter is graduating this year, and I must admit that it has me a little on edge. I want to make sure that she has everything she needs to get the job that she wants. However, my second daughter is just beginning her high school journey. College is something that they both are wanting to do. Yet, we are on a tight budget and college is not an easy addition. I so appreciate finding any information I can on homeschooling – from homeschooling high school blogs to homeschooling curriculum sites.

That’s why I was thrilled when I found Home school College USA. It gave me  great ideas on how to home school through high school, and get college credit at the same time. In fact, I am using their ideas and many of their links for our high school homeschool schedule right now.

I started this fall by looking up the general core curriculum info that would be required for the college degree in which my daughter is interested. I then took some of those courses, and translated them into a homeschool high school schedule. The courses that she is taking this year, are all online based using free courseware from colleges such as Purdue and MIT. She takes notes and studies with these free college courses, and then when we reach spring she will take the final exam as a CLEP, AP or DSST test. I also purchased her the CLEP study book, and for other classes such as Biology I purchased the AP study guide.

Almost Universal Acceptance of Testing Credit

The nice thing about using the testing method for college credit is that almost every college and university accepts these credits. There is actual less room for worry that a course would be non-transferable. As she accumulates these credits and completes her other home school high school courses, I will construct a transcript that reflects these courses as well as the tests that she has taken.

Limitations to Homeschool High School Credit by Testing

There are many colleges that will accept test credits, but will have a maximum limit. Some limit credit by testing to 90 college credits, others are 75 credits, and still others limit it to just a few.. Finding the colleges that your homeschooler is interested in is vital to your planning. You will need to model the credits by testing to resemble what your student would be taking if they were actually attending their college. This ensures that they don’t have overlap or have courses that they don’t need. While your student is taking credit by testing and working through homeschooling high school and college they should apply to their desired college. This allows them to open up dialogue with their college and even understand what they will be able to do. As they achieve their maximum transferable credits by testing they should speak with a counselor and enroll in classes. For the most part, they should have only those classes left that are most specific to their degree.

This is definitely a first time for me… but I believe that this system can work. In fact, using open course ware from Yale, Notre Dame, and MIT will give her a better education than the local community college and at a fraction of the price! I’m excited about this opportunity… what do you think about it?


Jamie Gaddy, B.S., M.Ed., Ed.D. has been a college education professor for over 17 years. Education has been an integral part of her life in both the classroom and as a principal. Six children later found her dissatisfied with traditional schooling and homeschooling became the better fit. She is also a pastor’s wife, remote project manager, and entrepreneur who now homeschools four of her six children (ages 11-17) in southern Georgia. Jamie loves to share about her homeschool experience and help other homeschoolers find success. Connect with her at [email protected]

October 17, 2012


  1. Kevin says:
    Posted November 9, 2013 3:37 pm

    Hi Jamie, thanks for your site, good job. Planning the high school years is tough. My wife and I have 7 kids, two of whom are almost finished with their college degrees using the CollegePlus approach (CLEPs, DANTES, Thomas Edison State College, etc.). It's saved a ton of money--both are under 21 and will be graduating next year debt free with their Bachelor's degrees.

    We did something similar with them in their high school years to what you outlined here, although I wish we had some of the organizational tools back then! The good news is that I have three more in the high school years right now, and will be checking out your site for more tips! :-)

  2. Jamie says:
    Posted March 13, 2013 1:49 am

    Hi Jennifer... thanks for the comment... and wow...I am a fan of your site! It has really helped us plan better!

  3. jennifer says:
    Posted November 9, 2012 2:58 am

    Hi! Just wanted to give a plug for Carnegie Mellon University's open courses, too. These are DEFINITELY worth the look for anyone who wants to use open courseware for learning. Some of the other schools rely more on lecture videos only, but CMU's Open Learning Initiative has online courses with activities and such.

    (Disclaimer: I am not in any way associated with Carnegie Mellon. I'm actually the mom behind Homeschool College USA.)

  4. Chris says:
    Posted October 18, 2012 2:21 pm

    I too am starting homeschooling with a 9th grader. This is great information and again using the open coursework is where we are heading a well as AP work.
    Keep us updated

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