I was contacted by Ed4Credit and Study.com to write a review of their products. Usually I turn down such requests, but as there aren’t really a lot of free college options out there for me to offer you, I wanted to learn about these online low-cost options. I told them we’d have to try them. Ed4Credit gave a free course to two of my children. Study.com gave us one month. That’s a big difference between these options. For the same price you get one course and four months, or one month and unlimited courses. My kids got one course done in that month (and barely — stress producing!)
Summary: Ed4Credit is the better option if you are looking for a low-cost college option. These would transfer likely to your community college and certainly would be taken by an online school like Thomas Edison State University to finish off the degree. Study.com seems like the cheaper option if you are taking EP’s courses. I describe below one idea for how to use them together.
For under $200, you get a college course along with all materials. In this way, it’s cheaper than community college, even with discounts for high schoolers. It’s in some ways like EP, just not as fun. It’s online readings, videos, quizlets. You go through the online course at your own pace over four months. At the end you take a test and get approved for ACE credit if you get just 50% on the test. You can even retake the test. Our experience is that it’s basically full-proof to get the credit if you put any effort into the course. My 11th grader did his course in a month. My 8th grader took the full four months. They had no trouble with the final. The one older son knew every answer and finished in minutes! The final is taken AT HOME! They were proctored online.
This is basically teaching to the test, which isn’t what you want if you are seeking a career that’s really based on a college education. If you are looking for quick, easy, cheap college credit, this is a great way to go. It’s not a college. It just gives you credit, like taking a CLEP test. They list on their site the colleges that guarantee that they accept these credits, though some may only accept certain courses.
For the same price as Ed4Credit you get just ONE MONTH instead of four months to complete a course and take the test for credit (ACE credit). It can be done. My 17-year-old had no trouble doing that. It was very STRESSFUL fitting in the course for my 13-year-old. We had it planned out and then he realized it said you can’t take the final during the last three days of your time! BE WARNED! He squeezed it in, but the month-long time limit is a lot more stressful than having four months through Ed4Credit to complete a course at your leisure (for the same price). The lessons on this site are based on videos and follow-up quizzes. There are placement tests that are supposed to show you what you already know, but you can’t skip lessons. You have to pass each quiz before it lets you take the final exam. One benefit of these ACE credits is that you get to take the final exam at home! It is proctored online.
There is another option with Study.com. They have CLEP prep materials. You then take the test elsewhere when you are done. This is cheaper. We have an Easy Peasy discount for just the first three months. Our coupon code is All-In-One-Homeschool. It’s good on the CLEP and DSST membership of $60 a month and is good for 20% off. (so $48 a month).
The CLEP test itself may cost $85 to take. This is the cheaper option (around $135 for a course). One course of action to consider: at the end of each high school year, buy a membership and focus full time on studying for these tests, using the placement test to just study what you need to and taking the tests for each core high school course you took, hopefully taking all the tests within a month. This would involve cramming, but would be the cheapest course of action. Each summer you could pay around $500 total for 12 college credits.
I got so frustrated with Study.com’s pricing that I looked into what it would take to have EP be a place like these! The answer is a lot, but I am going to continue to look into it.
The Ed4Credit link is an affiliate link.
Hello. I have a few things to point out.
ModernStates.org is offering free Clep vouchers if you complete their free Clep preparation courses. You take the course at modern states, screenshot your score of 50% or more, and request a voucher. The voucher is good to purchase one Clep test free. If you pass the Clep test, you can also request a reimbursement for the testing center fee and they send you a check in the mail. This makes Clep tests completely free. *** Warning – the modern states courses do not adequately prepare you for a Clep test. They are best used as review. ***
It would be great if you got some of your courses ACE approved.
I know it would! The cost for ACE approval is the same for one to six courses, so it’s more cost effective to have the six courses. We have a few that I think would be on track to get ACE credit. This is something my husband could work on if he works for EP. There’s so much we could do!
I LOVE this idea!! Good luck!!
The coupon code did not work for me. Is it “All-In-One-Homeschool” correct? I copied and pasted, and it wouldn’t work.
Thanks for letting me know. I emailed them to ask about it. I’ll reply here when I hear back.
The coupon code is working. Make sure you are trying it to order CLEP, DSST, or Premium accounts.
Hi. It would be great if Easy Peasy could have a section with information low-cost college options. DegreeForum.net has that.
For CLEPs, like mentioned above, ModernStates provides free vouchers if you go through their course, and they send test center fee reimbursements if you pass. Most people study elsewhere and then go through the course for the voucher. Easy Peasy courses and then a book geared towards that course (like an REA book) are good options for preparation — unless and until EasyPeasy might want to offer courses directed especially towards passing a CLEP.
The official CLEP book offers one sample test for each of the CLEP exams and is good for practice. It is not necessary to get a new book every year since many tests are not updated from year to year – so even used older ones are acceptable. The web site “http://www.free-clep-prep.com/” is also a good resource. It has a few free practice clep exams, but I don’t think it’s being updated anymore.
ALEKS has a subscription for $20 a month. You can get ACE-approved credit for College Algebra, Trigonometry, and Statistics. Other options duplicate. Some people find it very hard to learn the material through them, but others find it suits them quite well. Again, it is good to learn the material elsewhere and then use your month to complete all three courses for college credit in as little time as possible.
There are also 10 free credits in Cybersecurity available through the Texas Engineering Extension Service. I do not recommend Cyber Law for high school students considering the material.
We have actually had good experience with Study.com. At $200 a month, that includes all the courses you’d like to work on and two proctored exams (for college credit). They have referral codes so you can sometimes get the first month for $180. Additional proctored exams can be purchased for $70 in that same month. You can pause your membership and they will save your progress for when you pay again. Progress in one course that overlaps with another course will show up in the new course as ‘completed progress’. So, for example, one student went through several courses and had a different, but related course, show up as 30% complete. Again, if you study the material elsewhere, you can easily complete multiple courses in one month. My student who has graduated from high school using much of Easy Peasy actually completed six courses working on it full-time. That included Calculus, (which she had completed in Saxon and then reviewed in Khan Academy), two additional lower level courses and three higher level courses. I like the structure where students can re-take quizzes as well as re-submit projects after receiving feedback. This seems more encouraging to learn and improve than just completing a project once. I believe you can submit projects (like essays) up to three times, receiving feedback after the first two submissions. In that way, it mimics Easy Peasy. I can definitely say that all of the writing (which is a lot) in the high school Easy Peasy courses definitely prepared my child for the essays and she was able to produce those quickly and easily. The courses are pass/fail, which means they only require a 70% grade to pass. Since you can retake quizzes, students can easily get a high score (close to 100%) on that portion of the grade. That leaves any projects, which can be re-submitted, and then the final. With a 100% on the quizzes, less than 70% is often required on the projects and final in order to pass. Not that I recommend that, but it’s the case.
Another provider is Sophia.org. They have two free courses (1 credit each) and another 1 credit course that is free with the coupon you get while working through the free courses. That makes 3 free credits. Sophia.org has more courses at $330 dollars a course, but there are coupons that come around fairly regularly allow you to get three courses for $100 dollars each. You have 2 months to complete a course once you start it, and you can get a free 1 month extension if needed. This gives you three months to complete each course, for you can schedule each course to start as far as 6 months out. I completed my courses with them in a much shorter time, but it is nice to have more time if needed.
Some of these places require a proctored exam (like study.com) and some do not (aleks). The proctored exam does not work if your internet access is satellite, so take that into consideration.
Also, make sure the college you are interested in attending will accept the courses you are considering. Or, if you aren’t particular, choose one of the “Big Three” online colleges that will accept almost any CLEP or ACE-approved course. You still have to make sure you are filling their requirements and not duplicating credits, though. The “Big Three” are Thomas Edison State University, Charter Oak State College, and Excelsior College. They accept the most amount of credits by testing.
Thanks for all the great info!