Alternative Paths to College Education
Alternative vs. Traditional Education
Not sure if college, tech school, trade school, or even an apprenticeship is right for your teen? Did you know that you can even homeschool through college? Your teen can take the higher education courses they need online right at home. Another even more popular option is to start with dual enrollment before your teen even graduates from high school. There are many avenues your teen can travel to get to the career of their dreams.
In a culture of diversity of education, training, and career paths – higher education for homeschoolers can come in many different forms and Homeschool.com is here to help you find your perfect fit. Students may be interested in the traditional college or university path, however, there are many other forms of higher education that students may find more suitable to fit their needs. Scroll down to explore alternatives to traditional college-based options for higher education.
Dual Enrollment for Homeschoolers
College Credit Before High School Graduation?
Another even more popular option is to start with dual enrollment before your teen even graduates homeschool with their high school diploma. 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.
CLEP Testing for College Credit
College Credit by Testing?
The other option is the CLEP course. These tests are designed to help people receive college credit for what they already know. Students can purchase the CLEP test study guide which runs under $20 at Amazon.com, 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 offered more frequently than the AP tests.
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. These affordable tests offer your students to turn their homeschool courses into college credit. Tests are scored and students are assigned 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. 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 offered, when the CLEP test is offered, and pricing – visit the College Board.
For more information:
AP (Advanced Placement) Testing for College Credit
Take a Course, Pass an AP Exam?
An AP Exam is the test of all that you learn while in an AP class. 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. 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.
- It’s no surprise that 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:
Homeschool Athletes and the NCAA
Over the past decade, homeschoolers have had many additional opportunities open up to them including participation in the NCAA.
What is 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
- High School Requirements for College Education
- University of Nebraska High School: Resource for Homeschool Families
- Engineering Enrichment Courses for Homeschoolers
- Does My Homeschooler Need a High School Diploma?
- Homeschooling and College Admissions
- Homeschool Students Can Take Online Courses for College Credit
- College Admission and the NCAA
- College Prep