There are so many ways for kids to earn free college credits! My kids are in 7th, 9th and 12th grade so we are always learning about all the opportunities they have available so they can decide what they want to do after they graduate from high school.
It’s really hard to believe that I will have a senior in high school. It feels like I just graduated from high school! So we have been doing a lot of research about how we can make college more affordable.
I am sure a lot of this stuff was available when I was in high school but I never knew about it! I may have tried harder to get better grades, take AP and dual enrollment classes, and search for more scholarships.
I want my kids to have the opportunity to have a college education without going into debt. So as I learn more – I will definitely share so that you can help your kids save money in college!
Here are a few things he has done to get free college credits:
Throughout high school, he has been taking AP and Dual Enrollment classes. I think dual enrollment is a better option. The courses are a little harder but as long as you get a “C” you get high school and college credit.
Some high schools offer these classes on campus or you go to a local college campus to take the classes.
Another option is online dual enrollment classes. During my son’s senior year he will be taking 1 dual enrollment class at his high school and he will be taking 3 online classes from the local state college.
The AP test is a little more stressful because you take the class and at the end of the year you take an exam. If you don’t pass the exam – you don’t get college credit. (But you still get high school credit as long as you pass the class.)
#1 Tip For Free College Credit…ModernStates.org
Their goal is to help you get your Freshman year for free! They have a ton of classes and you can probably get more than just Freshman year credits!
This is NOT a sponsored post – I have used this website to get free college credits and as a mom, I want to share these resources with you to help make things more affordable.
How it works:
- Create an account at ModernStates.org and pick the classes you want to take. The courses are taught by professors from Universities and Colleges across the US. Take the classes at your pace – so you can get it done as quick as you want or take your time getting through the material.
- Once you complete the online course you register at a local school to take a CLEP test. You pay for it and then submit your receipt to be reimbursed.
- Take the test and your scores will be sent to your preferred university/college.
- Take as many classes as you want and keep earning college credit!
Courses prepare you for widely accepted CLEP exams already accepted for credit by more than 2,900 colleges and universities. Click here to explore the courses they offer.
Below are just a few of the classes they offer to give you free college credit.
Everything is free including the courses, textbooks, and materials! You only need internet access and a desire to learn. They even offer links to tutoring and mentoring.
Make sure the college you eventually want to attend accepts CLEP test results and will give you the credit.
You don’t have to be a high school student or a recent graduate to take advantage of the classes and college credit that is offered from ModernStates.org – anyone can take these classes and earn credits.
What is a CLEP Test?
Basically, a CLEP test allows you to take a test to see if you know the material about the class so you can earn credit easier.
For example, we lived in Mexico City for 12 years – so I wanted to CLEP Spanish to add it to my college transcripts. I took the online class offered via ModernStates.org and paid for the exam. They refunded my exam fee pretty quickly.
I took the exam when we lived in Louisville so I went to the University of Louisville and took the CLEP exam. All my credits were at a state college in Florida so I just had the college credits added to those transcripts.
Not all universities/colleges give you the same credit based on the CLEP test scores. Based on my CLEP score for the Spanish exam, I would have received credit for Spanish 1 & 2 from the University of Louisville, but that same score only got me credit for Spanish 1 from the local state college. So do a little research about where you want your CLEP scores to go.
Scholarships for College
Our school has a counselor that is there to help the kids figure out what they want to do after high school. Do they want to go to community college, a university, technical school, military or take a gap year. Plus she gives them advice on how to apply for scholarships and fill out college applications.
In Florida, we have a really great scholarship called the Florida Bright Future Scholarship. Based on your GPA and SAT/ACT scores, kids can get 100% or 75% of their tuition paid for at a public Florida University.
Your state may have a scholarship program that is based on grades and test scores, so do some research before your kids start high school.
Bonus tip – my kids have the option to take high school classes in middle school. Make sure they get good grades in those classes because they will count towards their high school GPA.
Additional Resources for Free College Credits and Scholarships
Your local high school should have some resources to help you find scholarships. They will also help your students take assessment exams to help them figure out what kinds of things they want to do when they graduate.
Here is a list of some resources for scholarships. Have your student create a new email that is just for signing up for scholarship! They will get a lot of emails! (Some of these are Florida based and other’s are national scholarships.)
Not all kids need to go to college – take advantage of trade schools and technical colleges. We have a local high school that offers technical programs and when they graduate from college they can start working at places like HVAC, plumbing, hospitality, cosmetology, and more!
Once your kids are in high school – contact their guidance counselor to start the conversation about things that are available.
My oldest son has been taking AP and dual enrollment classes and he plans on taking some college courses during his senior year so that he can graduate with his AA degree and his High School diploma. When your student takes college classes while in high school the course and books are FREE! So take advantage of this!
They can take dual enrollment classes for English, Math, Science, etc and they will get high school and college credits for these classes. It saves them so much time and money!
All kids should have the opportunity to have a college education without going into debt. Please let me know if any other resources that can help kids make college more affordable!