Capturing CLEP Credit on a Homeschool Transcript

A CLEP Exam is a college level test that measures college level knowledge in a specific subject area. If a child takes and passes a CLEP test in ANYTHING then it goes on the high school transcript.

CLEP

When determining high school credit for CLEP, it does not matter how long it took the student to learn the material. Whether it was 2 weeks or 2 years, credit is not determined by the hours of study. With CLEP, you give 1 high school credit for each test they pass with a score of 50 or more. Don't bother to count hours studying. This time, credit is being given based on achievement on the test itself.

The grade can always be an "A" or "4.0" regardless of the test score. Your child has taken and passed a college level course! This is much more difficult than a simple high school course, which is what you are grading. The course title will be the exact name of the CLEP Test, such as "College Composition" or "Principals of Macroeconomics."

CLEP Exams are normally taken during the high school years and placed alongside other courses on the transcript. Normally you treat it 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.

If these tests are done during middle school, you can record these credits in a few different ways. 

1. You can record them as "Early High School Credits" as I often suggest putting early credits there. However, that may minimize the fact that these are actually dual enrollment college level classes, so I don't recommend doing that with CLEP scores. 

2. You can create a transcript that groups classes by subject (rather than by year) and put these credits within subject areas like English or Social Studies. 

3. You can create an area on the transcript for credits that are beyond high school. You might call it something like "CLEP Courses" or "Credit by Exam" or "College Equivalency" or "Dual Enrollment." That will highlight the fact these are COLLEGE level courses, not high school level courses taken in junior high.



Please note: This post was originally published in January 2011 and has been revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

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Comments 13

Guest - Kim Allen on Friday, 21 January 2011 19:44

Just an alert to other "home-educating parents: look closely aqt potential colleges to see exactly what kind of credit they apply to college and college-equivalent courses.

My daughter applied to six universities, all within our state system, and one would think the credit policies as all pretty much the same. Well! We learned that one of the colleges--not even the top school--gives only .5 additional credit (weight) for any dual enrollment courses taken in high school, and it would not accept CLEP credits to fulfill required core subjects. All other universities, including the top school, weight the dual-enrollment classes an extra 1.0 credit, and also give credit for CLEP courses to fulfill required core subjects.

Just an alert to other "home-educating parents: look closely aqt potential colleges to see exactly what kind of credit they apply to college and college-equivalent courses. My daughter applied to six universities, all within our state system, and one would think the credit policies as all pretty much the same. Well! We learned that one of the colleges--not even the top school--gives only .5 additional credit (weight) for any dual enrollment courses taken in high school, and it would not accept CLEP credits to fulfill required core subjects. All other universities, including the top school, weight the dual-enrollment classes an extra 1.0 credit, and also give credit for CLEP courses to fulfill required core subjects.
Guest - Lee (website) on Monday, 24 January 2011 12:02

So true, Kim! Always check with the individual college, because policies vary WIDELY - oceans and oceans wide, it seems!
Blessings,
Lee

So true, Kim! Always check with the individual college, because policies vary WIDELY - oceans and oceans wide, it seems! Blessings, Lee
Guest - Wendy on Thursday, 27 October 2011 08:22

So, even if a college doesn't accept CLEP courses as fulfillment of a college class, will they recognize it as fulfillment of the high school course?

And will this make the student's college application more competitive?

And not to hijack the post, but will organizations like National Homeschool Honor Society and other "honor" societies make a student's college application more competitive?

So, even if a college doesn't accept CLEP courses as fulfillment of a college class, will they recognize it as fulfillment of the high school course? And will this make the student's college application more competitive? And not to hijack the post, but will organizations like National Homeschool Honor Society and other "honor" societies make a student's college application more competitive?
Guest - Lee (website) on Thursday, 27 October 2011 08:37

Dear Wendy,

Colleges each have their own policy about CLEP and other things. The best answer is to find out what YOUR colleges want, and then GIVE them what they want to the best of your ability. However, CLEP is outside documentation of your homeschool, just like AP, SAT Subject Tests, SAT and ACT provide outside documentation. Using CLEP as a way to document what they learn will provide additional weight to your transcript. That doesn't mean a college will necessarily prefer your student over another, however. When you are homeschooling independently, you can teach a class in your own way. You can evaluate in your own way. If you teach the content of a CLEP exam, and then evaluate the success of your class with a CLEP exam, it will certainly not be any LESS recognized as a homeschool class. Instead, the outside documentation of the test can demonstrate that your child knows the material.

If you are applying to very competitive schools, find out what they want and give it to them. Our first choice schools accepted CLEP, so we used that for our outside documentation. Some other schools we applied to did not recognize CLEP in their admission policy, but it did improve their position for admission.

If you have a high school student who has taken the PSAT or SAT or ACT, you may get some offers to join an honor society. Some are legitimate and some are not. Try to determine if the honor society is tied to some sort of actual “honor” like GPA or SAT scores. Then look to see if it is a money-making organization or a charitable organization offering the award. A legitimate honor society may make a college application more competitive, but not necessarily any more than the GPA and SAT score required to receive the award.

Blessings,
Lee

Dear Wendy, Colleges each have their own policy about CLEP and other things. The best answer is to find out what YOUR colleges want, and then GIVE them what they want to the best of your ability. However, CLEP is outside documentation of your homeschool, just like AP, SAT Subject Tests, SAT and ACT provide outside documentation. Using CLEP as a way to document what they learn will provide additional weight to your transcript. That doesn't mean a college will necessarily prefer your student over another, however. When you are homeschooling independently, you can teach a class in your own way. You can evaluate in your own way. If you teach the content of a CLEP exam, and then evaluate the success of your class with a CLEP exam, it will certainly not be any LESS recognized as a homeschool class. Instead, the outside documentation of the test can demonstrate that your child knows the material. If you are applying to very competitive schools, find out what they want and give it to them. Our first choice schools accepted CLEP, so we used that for our outside documentation. Some other schools we applied to did not recognize CLEP in their admission policy, but it did improve their position for admission. If you have a high school student who has taken the PSAT or SAT or ACT, you may get some offers to join an honor society. Some are legitimate and some are not. Try to determine if the honor society is tied to some sort of actual “honor” like GPA or SAT scores. Then look to see if it is a money-making organization or a charitable organization offering the award. A legitimate honor society may make a college application more competitive, but not necessarily any more than the GPA and SAT score required to receive the award. Blessings, Lee
Guest - Tony on Monday, 26 December 2011 23:49

You recommend one high school credit for a passed CLEP test. I'm not sure which credit system you use. For s, one credit represents one high school semester. Is it the same for Lee's posts?

You recommend one high school credit for a passed CLEP test. I'm not sure which credit system you use. For s, one credit represents one high school semester. Is it the same for Lee's posts?
Guest - Katelyn on Monday, 12 March 2012 19:45

I'm actually a student, not a parent, but I have a question. The article says to give 1 credit for each CLEP test passed, but the CLEP test for Spanish is the equivalent of 2 years (4 semesters) of college level Spanish, which is usually 4 years of high school Spanish. How many credits does this count for? I learned the material in about 2 years on my own just because I love learning languages, but I never kept track of hours.

I'm actually a student, not a parent, but I have a question. The article says to give 1 credit for each CLEP test passed, but the CLEP test for Spanish is the equivalent of 2 years (4 semesters) of college level Spanish, which is usually 4 years of high school Spanish. How many credits does this count for? I learned the material in about 2 years on my own just because I love learning languages, but I never kept track of hours.
Guest - Lee (website) on Tuesday, 13 March 2012 08:38

For specific test-related questions, here are three big ideas to help:
1. Ask the university where you hope to attend and give 1 high school credit per class they equate to that CLEP.
2. Look at the "sample CLEP policy" from the CollegeBoard to estimate. Each equivalent college class could be one high school credit. http://clep.collegeboard.org/develop/sample-policy.
3. Remember, it all depends on where you end up, and the CLEP policy for that university.
Blessings,
Lee

For specific test-related questions, here are three big ideas to help: 1. Ask the university where you hope to attend and give 1 high school credit per class they equate to that CLEP. 2. Look at the "sample CLEP policy" from the CollegeBoard to estimate. Each equivalent college class could be one high school credit. http://clep.collegeboard.org/develop/sample-policy. 3. Remember, it all depends on where you end up, and the CLEP policy for that university. Blessings, Lee
Guest - Elena (website) on Tuesday, 24 April 2012 19:01

What about a kid who studies for a CLEP and then misses it by that much (picture thumb and index finger about an inch apart!) My son studied for two CLEP tests and missed by a few points. I gave him a B because of the time and also because the material was college level. What say you Lee? ; )

What about a kid who studies for a CLEP and then misses it by that much (picture thumb and index finger about an inch apart!) My son studied for two CLEP tests and missed by a few points. I gave him a B because of the time and also because the material was college level. What say you Lee? ; )
Guest - Lee (website) on Tuesday, 24 April 2012 19:07

Elena,
You could ignore the CLEP scores altogether, and just grade his work in the "class." Or you could give him a B, as you suggested. Or you could allow him to continue to study and take the test again. Lots of options, and it depends on the situation.
Blessings,
Lee

Elena, You could ignore the CLEP scores altogether, and just grade his work in the "class." Or you could give him a B, as you suggested. Or you could allow him to continue to study and take the test again. Lots of options, and it depends on the situation. Blessings, Lee
Guest - Julia on Thursday, 26 July 2012 07:55

My daughter studied Apologia's Biology last year and got an A. Then she took the CLEP (6 college credits) for outside documentation and potential college credit. How do I record this information on her transcript? I'm confused.

My daughter studied Apologia's Biology last year and got an A. Then she took the CLEP (6 college credits) for outside documentation and potential college credit. How do I record this information on her transcript? I'm confused.
Guest - Assistant to The HomeScholar (website) on Thursday, 26 July 2012 22:06

Julia,
You might find Lee's article: Homeschooling College with CLEP helpful. Especially the step entitled, "Add to Transcript " Here's the link: http://www.thehomescholar.com/recent-articles/homeschool-college-clep.php
I hope this helps! Keep up the good work!
Robin

Julia, You might find Lee's article: Homeschooling College with CLEP helpful. Especially the step entitled, "Add to Transcript " Here's the link: http://www.thehomescholar.com/recent-articles/homeschool-college-clep.php I hope this helps! Keep up the good work! Robin
Guest - Nita on Wednesday, 01 October 2014 04:38

In my dd's case we put the CLEP course as a class. Also, we didn't even start taking the CLEPs until we identified that our local Community College would accept it. My dd got her AA degree at the CC then transfered (luckily as planned) to a reputable state college that accepted her CLEPs and all her credits which only meant she needed just 10 classes for her BS degree. So it can be done if well planned.

In my dd's case we put the CLEP course as a class. Also, we didn't even start taking the CLEPs until we identified that our local Community College would accept it. My dd got her AA degree at the CC then transfered (luckily as planned) to a reputable state college that accepted her CLEPs and all her credits which only meant she needed just 10 classes for her BS degree. So it can be done if well planned.
Guest - Assistant to The HomeScholar on Wednesday, 01 October 2014 20:52

Well done, Nita!
It's so important to do the "leg work" first to see what the community college and universities are looking for! Lee talks about that all the time!
Robin

Well done, Nita! It's so important to do the "leg work" first to see what the community college and universities are looking for! Lee talks about that all the time! Robin
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