Posted in HS4CC

Parent Question: The college won’t tell me if our classes will transfer. I need help.

“I have 3 high schoolers who are taking Sophia classes that we want to transfer to Charter Oak State College but they won’t tell me which Sophia classes my kids should take. Obviously, I get why, but I still need help.”

You’re right, colleges won’t tell you how to avoid paying tuition, besides it not being in their best financial interest, it’s also typical for a college to only give advice to enrolled students. When we Homeschool for College Credit, we are bringing college credit into our homeschool a year or two in advance, and that requires some planning (and nerves of steel!)

Although you specifically asked about Charter Oak State College and Sophia, this technique will work for any college or type of alternative college credit, so it’s a good question to ask and I’m happy to help.

  1. Sophia and Charter Oak State College have a partnership. This is excellent because that means you can expect the Sophia credit to transfer. In the case of ACE credit products (Sophia, Studycom, Straighterline, and Saylor) a partnership is the MINIMUM starting point. If there isn’t a partnership, the odds of acceptance are almost zero, so always check for a partnership first. ACE Partnership List
    • Credit by exam products usually don’t have partnerships. CLEP, AP, DSST
    • 2-year colleges frequently have partnerships with 4-year colleges in the same state, which would cover dual enrollment courses. Search your college’s website using the phrase “articulation agreement.”
  2. Next is to find published lists of the exact equivalency. If you find on your college’s site AND your course provider’s website, the college list is high rank, use that. I’ve linked you to the list that appears on Sophia’s website. Notice that Sophia’s class called “College Algebra” will be accepted by Charter Oak as “MAT103 College Algebra.” A less specific entry is something like Sophia’s class “Art History I” which Charter Oak identifies as a “Fine Arts Elective.”
  3. Finally, you will use Charter Oak’s published degree requirements to help you select Sophia courses. For example, if your teen needs a speech class for her degree at Charter Oak (she will) then you can look on the list to see that Sophia’s class “Public Speaking” will meet COSC’s oral communication requirement.

A few other things to keep in mind:

  • All Sophia courses will come in as LOWER LEVEL credit (100-200). For an AA or AS degree this won’t matter, but for a bachelor’s degree you’ll need to find a different way to earn the UPPER LEVEL credits.
  • College policies are reviewed each academic year (at a minimum), so at the point that you’re 100% sure that your teen will pursue a degree at that college, you’ll want to work toward enrollment so you can “lock in” that year’s college catalog. “Locking in a catalog” means your teen has officially begun their degree under that year’s requirements and even if the requirements change, her requirements stay the same until she graduates.
  • The act that triggers enrollment can vary by college, but in this case, your teen has to graduate from high school first. Specifically at Charter Oak, your teen can apply and then enroll immediately after you’ve graduated her. Charter Oak has rolling admissions, so the date you choose for high school graduation isn’t important.
  • If you’ve outsourced all her credit prior to enrollment, it is possible to apply for admissions/send college transcripts, issue her high school diploma, take the Cornerstone (8 weeks), and graduate with her degree in 1 semester.

HS4CC Resources for Charter Oak State College

ASSOCIATE DEGREES What are Associate Degrees? In this presentation we’ll explore the various types of Associate Degrees and consider whether or not your teen should pursue one in high school. We’ll look at the situations where it is to your benefit as well as situations where it adds extra time and money to your teen’s college plan. We’ll discuss the times when they transfer perfectly and times when they don’t transfer at all. Watch Now (1 hour 15 minutes)

THE BIG 3: AFFORDABLE BACHELOR’S DEGREES Who are the Big 3 and why are so many people using them for their teen? In this session, you’ll learn about Charter Oak State College, Thomas Edison State University, and Excelsior College. This group, frequently called The Big 3, have unique transfer policies that allow you to DIY a bachelor’s degree in high school using alternative college credit for under $10,000. We’ll explore if these degrees and colleges are legit and when a degree from one of these universities is a great option or a bad idea. Watch Now (1 hour)

We Want the Cheapest Bachelor’s in Anything

This is a popular request! Sometimes, a teen doesn’t need a degree in something specific, rather they are just hoping to check the box without debt so they can get on with their next thing. Sometimes the next thing includes graduate school, military, trade school, or starting a business. If your teen’s situation allows for…


Executive Director of Homeschooling for College Credit