Search - Contacts
Search - Content
Search - News Feeds
Search - Easy Blog
Search - Tags

CLEP, Community College Credits, and Scholarships

CLEP exams, Community College, and Scholarships can be confusing to sort out when homeschooling high school. Wouldn't it be nice if there was just one single source for information, so you could figure it all out easily? It seems like there is conflicting information out there!

scholarships



I attended your classes at the recent Homeschool Conference in Cincinnati. Just noticed your post on facebook and read the entire article (ReduceCollege Expenses with CLEP and CollegePlus! ) You mentioned your sons completed one year of college via clepping and one year via the local CC (community college). And, you mentioned full-tuition scholarships. I was told at the  conference (can't remember if it was a speaker or a homeschooling mom) that if your child attends a CC, that eliminates your opportunity/possibility for a scholarship. This obviously isn't true--at least, it wasn't in your sons' cases.  Please clarify this for me--thanks!
~Carol

Here is the big problem, universities are unique companies with their own policies; there isn't a single answer out there. Each college will handle things differently. Not all colleges have the same policies on accepting CLEP or community college credits for scholarships or credit. They may each decide whether or not to accept AP or CLEP tests and then decide if they will give credit, placement, or be used for outside  documentation only. Universities decide their policy on who gets scholarships as well; just those who demonstrate "need" or those who have superior test scores. These decisions are usually based on the bottom line; what will increase their ranking nationally, what is the best business decision for their company.

Meanwhile, their crazy and widely-varied policies can drive applicants CRAZY!! I would love to tell you that you can ALWAYS get scholarships  with CLEP or Community College courses, but that's not true. I would love to tell you that you will NEVER get scholarships if that were true (just to help with planning) but that's not true either!

If you know a college has one policy, it's tempting to assume ALL colleges have that policy. If only that were the case! To be honest, some colleges accept AP and some don't. Some accept CLEP and some don't. Some accept Community College and some don't. I'm sure that the speaker you heard honestly believed their experience would apply to all colleges, but it doesn't.

The university that my children went to had a unique policy.  They would allow 1 year by credit (CLEP or AP) and 1-2 years of community college. They would not allow more than two years of a combined experience and you had  to attend that university for a full 2 years in order to receive a degree from them. In my sons' situation, our CLEP and Community College credits all acted as outside documentation that our homeschool had been effective. They provided "data points" showing that my homeschool 4.0 was in fact accurate. It strengthened our overall college admission package, making us a better business investment for their scholarship money.

Your best plan is to check with your Number One college choice and find out their policy. If you don't have a first choice yet (unlikely for younger kids, I know!) then you may want to carefully read the policy on the four colleges where your child is most likely to apply.

I wish I could easily clarify the issue for you. The truth is that you'll just have to check with each individual university to see what policies they have.

Has your child received credit for CLEPs or community college courses, or did they help your child get scholarships? Please share!

homeschool-high-school.gif

Please note: This post was originally published in May 2010 and has been revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

For more information about marketing your child so they can compete for scholarships, you may want to check out my Getting the BIG Scholarships online class or Getting the BIG Scholarships DVD  For more information about Community College, you may want to read some stories about what community college is REALLY like.
3 Big Cures for Homeschool Burnout
Using Technology Addiction for Education
 

Comments 8

Guest - Nancy (website) on Thursday, 13 May 2010 07:43

Thanks for some great info and clarification. I posted this on facebook for my other homeschool parents.

Thanks for some great info and clarification. I posted this on facebook for my other homeschool parents.
Guest - Debby on Thursday, 13 May 2010 16:51

There is even changes in policies from year to year. Both my sons went to NC State in North Carolina. AP English was accepted when my oldest went but 4 years later portfolios were required on top of the AP Grade.
Scholarships were given three years and money was not available on of the years.
The other big issue is that many students are not able to keep their GPAs at the level required by the scholarship. ( usually between a 3 -3.5)They saw many students have to leave because of this.

There is even changes in policies from year to year. Both my sons went to NC State in North Carolina. AP English was accepted when my oldest went but 4 years later portfolios were required on top of the AP Grade. Scholarships were given three years and money was not available on of the years. The other big issue is that many students are not able to keep their GPAs at the level required by the scholarship. ( usually between a 3 -3.5)They saw many students have to leave because of this.
Guest - Audrey on Friday, 14 May 2010 04:10

Hi Lee!

I was a part of your Schoolhouse Expo session on Thursday! Thank you so much for the ticket!

I had a question about CLEP/Community College credit yesterday. Two of my children had violin lessons and we could not stay until the end of the session.

When colleges have different rules, how do you determine your plan of action?

One of my 11th grade son's (out of state)colleges has a whole sheet on AP/IB credits with a sentence about "taking one of their placement tests". At this point, the plan is to continue taking Community classes, perhaps take a CLEP or two, and take the college placement tests upon arrival.
Other (in state)schools he has on his list have charts linking their courses to the Community College to show how the credits compare/transfer/equate(???).

Another out-of-state school has told him, "We will let you know when you get here."

The bottom line for us is to design our high school program around what we want, not the colleges.

Any feedback is appreciated.

Hi Lee! I was a part of your Schoolhouse Expo session on Thursday! Thank you so much for the ticket! I had a question about CLEP/Community College credit yesterday. Two of my children had violin lessons and we could not stay until the end of the session. When colleges have different rules, how do you determine your plan of action? One of my 11th grade son's (out of state)colleges has a whole sheet on AP/IB credits with a sentence about "taking one of their placement tests". At this point, the plan is to continue taking Community classes, perhaps take a CLEP or two, and take the college placement tests upon arrival. Other (in state)schools he has on his list have charts linking their courses to the Community College to show how the credits compare/transfer/equate(???). Another out-of-state school has told him, "We will let you know when you get here." The bottom line for us is to design our high school program around what we want, not the colleges. Any feedback is appreciated.
Guest - Lee (website) on Friday, 14 May 2010 11:31

Every college has its own policy about CLEP and Community College and AP. It's really a moving target, and it's hard to determine in advance what will happen with each college. Each college may decide to use one method, or all three. It's impossible to guess on each policy.

College placement tests are usually quite different than CLEP or AP. They were developed for this generation of students that arrived at college with an accredited high school transcript but without the ability to do college level work. These placement tests are often given during or before the first week of college to determine whether students need remedial help in reading, writing, or math. They will assist the college in placing children in the proper level of foreign language or other subject area. Those placement tests usually do not include college credit or the financial benefit of speeding the college degree. On the other hand, extremely poor performance may lengthen the time in college if remedial help is required. Again, these tests have become common as the result of the poor quality of high schools in general. If your child is reasonably well educated, I don't think you will need to worry about that.

Colleges admissions should know their policy when you apply in the fall of senior year. If they continue to imply their policy may change, then save their current policy on the website. It may require you to take a screen image of their website, so chance are your teenager will need to help with those technical issues, LOL! But with that online policy saved, if the college changes their policy you may be able to convince them to apply their previous policy to you, since you have proof that you were attending college based on their stated policy. That's complicated, I know.

An easier method is to decide which college is your favorite, number one college. Then do what THEY want you to do. If they prefer AP, then give them AP. If they don't accept Community College, see if your child can pass and AP or CLEP after each community college class. Do what it takes to meet the requirements of only your number one college.

Another option is to search for a college specifically because it will meet your requirements for AP, CLEP, or community college. That's a helpful technique with money is the primary concern.

Blessings,
Lee

Every college has its own policy about CLEP and Community College and AP. It's really a moving target, and it's hard to determine in advance what will happen with each college. Each college may decide to use one method, or all three. It's impossible to guess on each policy. College placement tests are usually quite different than CLEP or AP. They were developed for this generation of students that arrived at college with an accredited high school transcript but without the ability to do college level work. These placement tests are often given during or before the first week of college to determine whether students need remedial help in reading, writing, or math. They will assist the college in placing children in the proper level of foreign language or other subject area. Those placement tests usually do not include college credit or the financial benefit of speeding the college degree. On the other hand, extremely poor performance may lengthen the time in college if remedial help is required. Again, these tests have become common as the result of the poor quality of high schools in general. If your child is reasonably well educated, I don't think you will need to worry about that. Colleges admissions should know their policy when you apply in the fall of senior year. If they continue to imply their policy may change, then save their current policy on the website. It may require you to take a screen image of their website, so chance are your teenager will need to help with those technical issues, LOL! But with that online policy saved, if the college changes their policy you may be able to convince them to apply their previous policy to you, since you have proof that you were attending college based on their stated policy. That's complicated, I know. An easier method is to decide which college is your favorite, number one college. Then do what THEY want you to do. If they prefer AP, then give them AP. If they don't accept Community College, see if your child can pass and AP or CLEP after each community college class. Do what it takes to meet the requirements of only your number one college. Another option is to search for a college specifically because it will meet your requirements for AP, CLEP, or community college. That's a helpful technique with money is the primary concern. Blessings, Lee
Guest - Edna on Tuesday, 12 August 2014 18:07

What does CC mean?

What does CC mean?
Guest - Assistant to The HomeScholar on Wednesday, 13 August 2014 13:39

Hi Edna,

That's an abbreviation Carol (the one asking Lee the question) used in reference to Community College.

Robin
Assistant to The HomeScholar

Hi Edna, That's an abbreviation Carol (the one asking Lee the question) used in reference to Community College. Robin Assistant to The HomeScholar
Guest - Ann on Tuesday, 19 May 2015 19:48

What we have found at many colleges is that the big scholarships go to incoming freshmen. This means that all of the college courses, CLEPs, or APs are considered to have happened during high school, and you check the box indicating that you are entering as a first time college student. Then after you have entered as a freshman, they will evaluate your records and award credit for any testing or college work done during high school.

I had one son who entered college as a freshman (with a big scholarship) and in December became a junior. I have not seen it to be a problem to have any of the testing, community college courses, or other college courses (we used a private college and a large state university, not a community college) as long as you report it as college work done DURING high school and don't try to apply as a transfer student. Yes, it varies, but at many schools the big scholarships and full rides are reserved for entering freshmen, not transfer students.

In particular, if your student qualifies for National Merit there are colleges that will offer them big scholarships. There are published lists of the number of freshman National Merit scholars who enroll at each institution. This is a feather in the college's cap, and some of them will "buy" those students with great scholarships. But you MUST check that box that you have not entered college early, even though you took college courses in high school. You are still entering as a freshman and you can get a great scholarship for four years of college (or sometimes five), even though you are bringing lots of credit with you. The student can then choose whether to finish college early, have time to double major, or whatever.

What we have found at many colleges is that the big scholarships go to incoming freshmen. This means that all of the college courses, CLEPs, or APs are considered to have happened during high school, and you check the box indicating that you are entering as a first time college student. Then after you have entered as a freshman, they will evaluate your records and award credit for any testing or college work done during high school. I had one son who entered college as a freshman (with a big scholarship) and in December became a junior. I have not seen it to be a problem to have any of the testing, community college courses, or other college courses (we used a private college and a large state university, not a community college) as long as you report it as college work done DURING high school and don't try to apply as a transfer student. Yes, it varies, but at many schools the big scholarships and full rides are reserved for entering freshmen, not transfer students. In particular, if your student qualifies for National Merit there are colleges that will offer them big scholarships. There are published lists of the number of freshman National Merit scholars who enroll at each institution. This is a feather in the college's cap, and some of them will "buy" those students with great scholarships. But you MUST check that box that you have not entered college early, even though you took college courses in high school. You are still entering as a freshman and you can get a great scholarship for four years of college (or sometimes five), even though you are bringing lots of credit with you. The student can then choose whether to finish college early, have time to double major, or whatever.
Guest - Assistant to The HomeScholar on Wednesday, 20 May 2015 14:40

Terrific information, Ann!
Thank you for sharing!
Robin
Assistant to The HomeScholar

Terrific information, Ann! Thank you for sharing! Robin Assistant to The HomeScholar
Already Registered? Login Here
Guest
Thursday, 19 September 2019

More Encouraging Posts

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
  • 11
  • 12
  • 13
  • 14
  • 15
  • 16
  • 17
  • 18
  • 19
  • 20
  • 21
  • 22
  • 23
  • 24
  • 25
  • 26
  • 27
  • 28
  • 29
  • 30
  • 31
  • 32
  • 33
  • 34
  • 35
  • 36
  • 37
  • 38
  • 39
  • 40
  • 41
  • 42
  • 43
  • 44
  • 45
  • 46
  • 47
  • 48
  • 49
  • 50
  • 51
  • 52
  • 53
  • 54
  • 55
  • 56