Advanced High School at Home Program for Homeschooling Teens

Under the guidance of their parents, homeschooling teens have proven they can learn and excel independently, outside of a traditional classroom.

Meeting the needs or interests of the student and meeting the requirements of the education system can be done efficiently and to the benefit of all.

Additionally, homeschool families have demonstrated their ability to accomplish multiple goals through creative planning and utilization of opportunity.

One example is this: it is possible homeschooling teens could "attend" high school and be earning college credit.

Cutting College Costs

Credit by examination or, more commonly called, “testing out” is a way students can self-study to prepare to pass tests for which the result is college credit.

Over 3800 colleges and universities give credit for passing CLEP or DSST/DANTES proficiency exams; that is, you take the test, you get the credit, whether you’ve attended a class or not. This allows students to earn credit for what they already know or to self study in some area and bypass classroom time.

The idea of testing out of class has been available for decades at most traditional schools. As an example, if you were planning to earn a degree in Michigan, over 80 colleges allow some credit to be earned this way.

A partial list includes: schools such as:

  • Calvin College
  • Lake Superior State University
  • Michigan State University
  • Michigan Technological University
  • Reformed Bible College
  • Rochester College
  • University of Michigan
  • and more (pdf doc)

As non-traditional, online programs have flourished, schools have developed new methods of granting college credit, primarily to meet the needs of working adults who are pursuing degrees. For example, Excelsior College, Thomas Edison State College, and Capella University offer accredited programs available online.

Excelsior has developed their own exams (ECE), which allow students to test out of Excelsior College courses. If you have enough knowledge to pass the ECE exam, you earn credit. Homeschooling teens can self-study, schedule an exam at a testing center and transfer passing scores as credit earned.

Although it sounds easy, these are college-level exams and require college-level study and work.

Credits Earned

How many credits can be earned this way?

The number varies from college to college and sometimes by department within a college, but the average is 30 credit hours. This allows students to save mandatory fees associated with on-campus attendance of class.

If you’re interested in this option for your high school at home program, you should check with admissions and ask these questions:

  • Do you accept credit by examination?
  • Do you only accept certain exams?
  • What are the passing scores?
  • Is there a transfer fee for these credits?
  • Do I need to be enrolled before taking the tests?

Test Costs

The fees for taking CLEP or DSST tests are generally between $70 and $100, which includes the actual fee for the test and an administrative fee charged by the testing center.

(For more information about testing centers or fees, visit the website for DSST, or CLEP, If you are interested in ECE exams, contact Excelsior College,

Taking the Exam

How do homeschooling teens ready for such an exam?

There are companies that sell test prep materials. Some of these guides are simply outlines and some, like those developed by, are in-depth materials.

In addition, the websites for ECE, DSST or CLEP exams have information about the exam with outlines that include information about what percentage of the test is related to particular topics.

( has been preparing study materials since 1986 and is the only company that has met Excelsior College’s "Best Practices for Test Preparation Providers" and is recommended by Prometric, the administrators of DSST exams... if you know anything about college-level exams, you'll know that is quite an honor!)

Once someone feels they are ready to take the exam, they locate a testing site near them and schedule a time to take the exam.

Exams are administered via computer and are multiple choice. Upon arriving at the test center, some form of ID is required. Additionally, test-takers are not allowed to take cell phones, books, bags, etc. into the testing area.

So, What's the catch?

Self study requires some discipline.

It can be extremely difficult to sit and study when the sun is shining or something fun is waiting. This is a place where homeschooling teens have an advantage. They've already demonstrated their ability to self-study.

Students can challenge (test out of) an introductory college course or general education credits and save money. You save the cost of sitting in class, not only in tuition fees, but in the costs of attending class, such as gas costs, student activity fees, etc.

Investment in the Future

Studies have shown overwhelmingly that people who earn college degrees earn more money.

College degrees have such value in the workplace, thousands of working adults have gone back to school. So many students are now "non-traditional" that the average college student is no longer 19 years old and on campus. The average college student is in his late 20’s and attends class in an accelerated program online or that meets at nights or on weekends.

Another investment for the future is that if your high school student passes CLEP, DSST or Excelsior College exams, your student is demonstrating to college admissions counselors their ability to work successfully through college-level material.

Because these tests are standardized and widely recognized by colleges and universities, there is no questioning the level of work achieved. Credit by exam gives homeschooling teens the opportunity to work today in order to get ahead tomorrow.

Oh, by the way, homeschooling teens are not the only ones who can benefit by credit by examination... you can too! Homeschool parents can study right alongside their children and earn a degree too! :)

Learn More About Credit By Examination...

Maximize time and reduce college expenses while working on your high school diploma at home!

Download your free Credit By Examination and Distance Learning Guide, to learn more about earning college credit through examination or how your students can save 50-80% on college tuition costs while completing their high school homeschool education!

Our High School at Home Story...

Learn how average homeschoolers maximize time and cut college expenses when earning a high school diploma at home. Enjoy money-saving benefits while earning your high school diploma at home!

Return from Homeschooling Teens to Homeschool High School

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