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October 2014
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Three Ways To Get College Credit While Still Homeschooling


Like most homeschooling families, ours has always been on a tight budget. And after price-checking some of the colleges our oldest son was interested in attending, we succumbed to a bit of sticker shock. I immediately began exploring scholarships, state-school tuition reductions, financial aid, and other similar cost-cutting strategies. But my research led me toward one option that actually helped out more than almost anything else we tried -- having my son get some of his college credits before he even filled out his first application.

There are three options you should definitely explore if you are interested in knocking out some of those credits in high school:

  1. Dual enrollment allows a high schooler to take a course that counts both for high school credit AND college credit. Some states (thankfully ours is one of them!) even cover the tuition of these courses, which are often taken at local community colleges.
  2. The College Board's Advanced Placement program offers college-level courses to students in high school, and then allows them to take the AP exams for that course to prove college-level mastery of the subject, and thus earn college credit with a high enough score. Homeschoolers can either plan an AP course that follows the scope and sequence of the similar course taught at the public school, or they can purchase an AP test prep book.
  3. Also developed by the College Board, CLEP exams are designed to reward students with college credit for material they already have mastered. They aren't aligned with specific courses, but instead are fee-based exams that cover subjects college students often take as part of their general curriculum.

It's important to note with all of these options, that individual colleges and universities vary in which of these types of credits they will accept. Definitely check with the institutions you are most interested in applying to before deciding which cost-saving method is right for your student.

Kerry Jones, one of your Admins

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