Alternative Paths to College Credit

Want an Alternative to Expensive College?

Did you know that you can homeschool through college? In fact, your teen can take the higher education courses they need online right at home.  College credit can come in different formats and is here to help you explore alternatives to traditional college-based credit for high school homeschool students. Let’s start!

Dual Enrollment Guide

College Credit Through CLEP Testing

Graduate Early with AP Exams

Internships and Apprenticeships

High School Homeschool Curriculum

College Credit Before High School Graduation?

can you homeschool collegeCertainly, a popular option is to start with dual enrollment before your teen even graduates from homeschool with their high school diploma. In fact, one of the most beneficial movements in the past ten years for the homeschooling world has been the growth of dual enrollment in the United States. Dual enrollment — also known by names such as “concurrent enrollment” or “dual credit” – – simply means the ability to take courses at a local college, community college, or via an online program that counts as credit for BOTH high school and college. 

Dual enrollment looks different in each state within the U.S. Make sure to check with a local college or your board of education for specifics on your state’s requirements.

Read our Homeschool High School Dual Enrollment Guide today!


College Credit by Testing?

Additionally, another option is the CLEP course. Historically, these tests are to help people receive college credit for what they already know. Students can purchase the CLEP test study guide which runs under $20 at, or can take practice tests online after taking a corresponding course. Testing centers are usually at 4-year institutions, cost less than $100, are a little cheaper (right now) than the AP test, and are available more frequently than the AP tests.

Of course, CLEP testing is a great way to turn your homeschool courses into college credit. If your teen is working through a college prep course in subjects like biology, history, or even a foreign language you can easily study for the CLEP test and take it at a local testing center. Also, these affordable tests offer your students to turn their homeschool courses into college credit. During the test scoring, students earn a certain number of credits based on their demonstrated knowledge of the subject matter. These credits are then “banked” until your student has enrolled in a community college or university and desires to transfer the credits in.

Check with your college to see how many CLEP credits they allow to transfer. Most colleges accept some CLEP transfer credit. However, there are some colleges that accept an extensive amount of CLEP credits. Particularly, this type of college allows students to do most of their college degree at home and through CLEP testing. For more information about what tests are available, times, and pricing –  visit the College Board.

For more information:

Using AP/CLEP Tests in Your Homeschool


Take a Course, Pass an AP Exam?

An AP Exam is the test of all that you learn while in an AP class. Also note, some students choose to skip the AP class and instead study for the AP exam itself, this is a good option for students that are self-starters.  You earn college credit if you pass the exam which is given at the end of the year in May with a score of at least 3 as the AP tests are scored between a 1 and 5. Of course, passing an AP course is a good indicator that a student is capable of handling college level classes.

Why should my student take an AP course?

  • If homeschoolers take and pass enough of them, they can sometimes skip a semester of college.
  • These courses can prepare students for college writing assignments.
  • Unsurprisingly, colleges are excited to enroll eager students and if you can show you’ve taken a difficult course it will be a sure sign that you are worth taking a second look at.
  • Homeschoolers who score well on AP exams before their senior year (the scores are not available until July, which is too late to help seniors) often get scholarship offers from colleges.
  • Taking an AP course and passing the test is a sign that you’re capable of handling college-level work, which will strengthen your college applications immensely.

For more information:

How to Graduate from High School Early

What is the NCAA?

Additionally, over the past decade, homeschoolers have had many additional opportunities open up to them including participation in the NCAA.

The NCAA is an acrostic for The National Collegiate Athletic Association. This association was founded in 1906 and consists of 964 different schools in three separate divisions. Division I consists of the larger schools, division II the intermediate schools, and division III the smaller schools which typically don’t offer NCAA scholarships.

The participating schools pay the NCAA to establish standards used in determining students’ academic eligibility.

Can Homeschoolers Qualify for NCAA scholarships?

Yes! And we are so excited that homeschool athletes now have this opportunity to work toward recognition of their achievements in college. Yet, being on the ball isn’t just for the game, homeschoolers need to be vigilant when it comes to academics. Keeping good records, maintaining course descriptions and clear and precise homeschool transcripts is the best place to start.

For more information on how to get started visit our article, Homeschool Athletes and the NCAA.

Tools for College-Bound High Schoolers

Visit Homeschooling for College Credit – one of our favorite alternative college credit websites!