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Benefits of Dual Credit for Homeschoolers

Dual credit for homeschoolers is the process of earning high school credit and college credit at the same time. Earning dual credit is like owning a credit card. It's not enough to simply possess the credit card; you have to know how to use it appropriately. Dual credit can save real cash on college expenses—without the ATM—if you know how to include it on your high school transcript.

Homeschool Transcripts are Vital 

Keeping a high school transcript is always important. It's not just brick and mortar schools that value a homeschool transcript. Employers may need a high school transcript, or they could ask about credits and grade point averages. Insurance companies may require a high school transcript so the child can get a "Good Student" discount on car insurance, which can save serious money. Summer camps and internships may require a high school transcript. Being prepared with this simple piece of paper that can make all the difference!

Track Dual Credits on the Transcript 

Homeschool parents can't give college credit, because a college or university is in charge of that. However, homeschool parents can give high school credit when a student earns college credits. College credits can be earned in a variety of ways: community college, online college credits through distance learning, or through tests like the AP® and CLEP®.

Dual credits can make your transcript a breeze. Collecting college credits through dual enrollment can tell you everything you need to know. A transcript requires course names, credit value, and grade. That's where the dual enrollment credits can help make your job easier.

Determining High School Credit 

Earning a college credit proves the student has learned enough material to put it on the high school transcript. Put every college level course on the transcript, no matter how you prove the class (community college, AP® or CLEP® exam, etc.). Add it to the high school transcript no matter how old the student might be. Whether 12 or 20 years old, if they are in high school, they can earn college school credits at the same time.

When determining high school credit, it does not matter how long it took the student to learn. Whether 2 weeks or 2 years, credit is determined by completion of the college class equivalent. Credit is not determined by the number of hours of study. Give one high school credit per AP® or CLEP®  exam, or dual enrollment course.

No Double Dipping 

When using AP® and CLEP® tests, don't give credit for study time AND the test completion. That would be double dipping. They only get one credit. Instead, consider the AP® or CLEP® more like the final exam. If they pass the final exam, they can get the high school credit. If they work all year long to study for the test, they don't get two credits (one for studying and one for taking the test).

When using college classes, don't confuse college credits with high school credits. When using dual enrollment college classes, either live or online, don't bother to count hours studying. This time credit is being given based on achievement—achievement within the college class. Generally speaking, each 3-4-5-6 credit course is equivalent to one high school credit. Each 1-2-3 credit class would be equivalent to one half of one high school credit.

Naming Courses 

Dual credits will name your classes for you. For each exam your student passes, put a class with the same title on the transcript. For example, the course title is the exact name of the CLEP® test, like "College Composition" or "Principals of Macroeconomics."

CLEP® exams are normally taken during high school and placed alongside other courses on the transcript. Normally you treat them just like any other class on your transcript. It's helpful to note "CLEP®" next to the title, so it is clearly a class tied to the CLEP® test and deserving of college credit.

AP® tests can earn college credits as well, and you can use the name of the AP® test to tell you the name of the course. However, you must use a College Board approved class in order to put AP® before the class name on the transcript. They have strict rules about what AP® classes include. If you do not use an AP® approved course, students can still take and pass the AP® test. Just leave off the title "AP®" before the class name if you didn't get your class College Board approved.

Deciding on Honors 

Since CLEP® represents college-level knowledge, then it truly would be an "Honors" class. When they pass a test, add "Honors" to the course designation. AP® classes or completing an AP® test indicates Honors level work as well.

AP® tests, CLEP® tests, and dual enrollment provide third-party proof of your student's success. These courses hold up to any scrutiny. By each CLEP® course, put a designation by the course title, showing that there is external documentation.

University Policy and Enrollment 

Not all colleges accept distance learning credits. Some may pick and choose which AP® or CLEP® exams they accept. Others may appreciate dual enrollment for outside documentation, but not allow students to skip entry level classes at the university. Always check with the individual college your child may want to attend. College policies vary widely.

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Friday, 07 October 2022

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