Posted in HS4CC

Credit Laundering CLEP & Core Complete in Texas!

This post is celebrating the resourceful planning of our Texas HS4CC moderator Drew Floyd Pinion who successfully credit laundered her son’s CLEP exams into the “we don’t accept much CLEP” University of Texas! This strategy can work in other states with careful planning and research.

Before reading Drew’s story, parents should understand what is meant by “credit laundering” at Homeschooling for College Credit. Credit laundering is the term I use when someone attempts to get their college credit accepted at a college that doesn’t normally accept that kind of credit. There is nothing illegal about it, but it usually doesn’t work because colleges always return college credits back to their original form. In a practical sense, simply having college credit recorded by College A on a transcript won’t change how that credit is received at College B. In other words, the end-point-college is always going to unpack your teen’s alternative credits and reevaluate them…. except when they can’t. There are a small number of very special and very unique rules that prevent some colleges from doing so! To understand more about credit laundering, why Drew’s situation is so special, and if there are opportunities for you to try this with your own teen, read Credit Laundering.

Drew Floyd Pinion, HS4CC Texas Moderator writes:

My son got his acceptance to the University of Texas today! He was also accepted into the Polymathic Scholars Honor Program (they only take 50 students per year). He has been invited to apply for the 40 acres scholarship ($128k). UT is accepting AT LEAST 42 of the college credits earned in high school. He takes his last CLEP test tomorrow. He is finished with his AS degree already. The last CLEP (biology) is for fun. In two weeks he leaves for an international internship for 4 months. He will come back in May to graduate from HS and CC. Whew! I am almost done!!!!!!

  • 4.0 GPA unweighted, 4.55 GPA weighted
  • National merit commended
  • National Hispanic Scholar
  • 3 AP classes (calculus, chemistry, world history)
  • 1470 SAT
  • Pharmacy internship
  • International internship
  • Associate Science degree (completed in high school)
  • 72 college credits

My son has a total of 72 college credits earned in various ways, 22 credits were earned through CLEP.

In Texas, the 42-credit “Core Complete” status is transferable to any in-state public university. (Google Texas Core Complete for a quick guide). But in a nutshell: these 42 core credits are required for graduation from any public Texas University. They might be called slightly different things (ie English 1301 vs English 101) but they will transfer. It is virtually guaranteed with a passing grade. (check to see what your intended University considers passing) We focused on CLEP tests that would be part of that Core. He took History I and II (both core classes) Biology (can count toward core) and Spanish (not part of core BUT can get you that language credit necessary for graduation at many Liberal Arts colleges in Texas).

Once the CLEP tests were passed, we sent the score to his community college. In our case, it was Collin College. When he finished all 42 hours of the Core, some through CLEP some though regular dual credit classes, we requested that his transcript receive the “Core Complete” status. This was more difficult that I expected only because most of the advisors did not understand our goals.

Jennifer’s comment: A college’s goals are always the same “use us/pay us” and the nuances of a transfer strategy are not part of the norm, so it’s likely that your student is attempting something that advisor has never experienced.

Now that he is core complete, any public Texas university must accept him as “Core Complete.” We basically laundered his CLEP credits into Core classes that must be accepted. Now….. they could require he take Biology in an actual classroom but they can never take away his core complete status. UT will be accepting at least 42 hours (of his 72). Most likely they will accept more. Our case is a little different because he was accepted into an honors program and their requirements are a bit different.

University of Texas CLEP list of their 9 “accepted” exams

SAT Testing Tips used with Drew’s Son

1. He reads for pleasure at least 30 minutes per day from an actual book not electronic book. We felt like this prepared his eyes and brain for reading passages. (I know the test is going electronic soon so this tip may not stand the test of time)

2. He has never had a math break. We do math year round and study to excellence not just understanding.

3. We do not use Khan Academy of other types of apps. We use the practice tests in college board and dissect every question to understand why it was asked, what they are looking for and the skill/knowledge to successfully answer the question.

4. He always does the free response questions first. His thought process is that if he got behind in his time management, he still have a 25% chance of guessing correctly in multiple choice but virtually no chance at guessing the free response correctly in a rush.


Executive Director of Homeschooling for College Credit