Dual Credits: What they are and how to earn them.

Dual credits can seem confusing for some homeschoolers, but it is really simple. Dual credit is a two-for-one deal and means your child receives both high school and college credit for the same course. This is a great option for a child that is college bound because it will take them less time to complete their degree because they earned college credits in high school.

Dual credits are a great way to not only keep your high schooler focused on a larger goal but also teaches them to better utilize their time and will leave them less frustrated once they transition into college. Here are a few interesting facts about dual credits:

  • Most college courses for English, math, science, history, and government are repeat high school courses.
  • A one-semester college course (or exam) is equal to a one-year high school course.
  • The more dual credits your child earns the less they (or you) will pay for college.

How does your high schooler earn dual credits:

Take an on-campus course: Your high schooler can enroll in a college course and take the course at their local college. Courses available for high schoolers are typically taken at a community college and then transferred to a 4-year college once they graduate. Be sure to work with the admissions department and know what credits can transfer.  

Take an online course: There are literally hundreds of online college courses available for your high schooler to choose from. A simple search for online college courses will give hundreds of results. Once your high schooler completes any online courses the college they attended through online will then transfer their transcript credits to the 4-year college they will attend. Be sure in this case to work with the admissions department to ensure the courses your high schooler is taking will transfer to a 4-year college.

Take a college exam: Taking (and passing) a college exam such as the CLEP or DSST exam will count as college credit (and high school credit). The nice thing about the exam option is that your high schooler can study for the tests at home and then go to a proctoring center (most universities offer the testing) and pay to take the tests. Tests range in price from $70-80.

Dual credits are great for any high schooler but work especially well for high schoolers looking to attend college after graduation. Most high schoolers will not have a solid career plan at graduation, therefore, incorporating dual credits into any high schoolers education leaves the door open for college at any time after graduation.

More and more high schoolers are opting to incorporate dual credits into their learning plan, teens as young as 13 can begin to earn dual credits. Be sure to record dual credits on to your high schoolers transcript using the unschool high school tracking system. If your student opts to take the exam for credit, their passing score will count towards one year of high school credit.