Am I a crazy nazi homeschooling mom? Mm, I don’t think so, but I suppose I haven’t been judged by a jury of my peers at this point. What I’m talking about is using college level tests such as CLEP and DSST as early as your student is ready in order to earn college credit.
We had been planning to use AP classes and exams in order to earn some college credit during the high school years, but I found out at this Credits Before College workshop that unlike the AP exams, not all exams have to be taken during the high school years! Wow, this opens up the time frame for kids, and they don’t have to crunch in as many tests as they can during their short high school years! Specifically, the CLEP and DSST can be taken any time, even as an adult, to earn credits and help move your child through college at a fraction of the price.
As a Muslim, I’m game for anything that can help us avoid taking out student loans (outside of Care Bear taking 20 years to finish college by paying it out of pocket!) since we avoid interest based loans. There are costs with each exam, but at roughly $100 per exam plus study materials, I think we can handle that, inshaAllah! Care Bear covered Astronomy last year in her homeschool co-op science class, so we are starting with the DSST Astronomy exam, then I purchased the books to study for the World Religions DSST exam.
I was able to find what each test translates to at a specific college using transfer.org, and it also includes what classes transfer to other colleges. Their database is not complete, but it is a great start! This way I can plan out what classes we will work towards a test, and prepare her for finishing up her generals at a state college. Why take the generals twice, anyway? We may as well do them at a slightly higher difficulty the first time and test out of it at the college level.
To say I’m excited is definitely an understatement, and it seems that Care Bear is equally excited! InshaAllah we’ll keep updating on our progress, and I encourage everyone to look into these options for themselves as well!
Here, high school students can attend community college free of charge for dual credit. I was aware that younger students could test out. I’ll have to look into it.
We have that also, for the 11th and 12th grade year. It is possible that we could finish the freshman and sophomore year of college before then, and inshaAllah, finish high school with a bachelor’s degree. We’ll see how it pans out!