Posted in HS4CC

Ella earned her Bachelor’s in Mathematics at 16

Thank you to HS4CC parent Pam S. for sharing her daughter’s happy HS4CC celebration story! We are so proud of her smart and resourceful high school planning! Read her story below.

“On May 1st, a day before her 17th birthday, Ella, our youngest daughter, graduated Summa Cum Laude with a 4.0 GPA, earning her bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from Southern New Hampshire University. This Fall, Ella will pursue her Master’s degree from Texas Woman’s University, which she should earn the week she turns 19.

While the total cost of her undergraduate degree (including tuition, books, and fees) was $11,039.96, not one penny came from our family’s pockets. Ella is funding her educational pursuits through merit awards, grants, and scholarships. She currently has over $29,000 in excess scholarship funds, which she will use towards her future degrees, and she is applying for more scholarships.

Jennifer adds: This strategy is a super-smart one! When a student is still living at home and has limited expenses, save all that overage and use it for the plans after graduation. This might include graduate school, an apartment, starting a business, or even buying a house.

While pursuing her degree, Ella gained induction into Mu Alpha Theta, Phi Theta Kappa, and the National Society of Leadership and Success. Acceptance into the Dallas College Honors Program and STEM League at 14 was an exhilarating feat. Earning the bronze, silver, and gold President’s Volunteer Service Awards was also worthwhile. Although lofty accomplishments make Ella stand out, her compassion distinguishes her. With over 2,000 hours of volunteerism in the past five years, tutoring refugee students has been her most impactful leadership project.

In the Fall of 2019, while searching online for scholarships, I came across Jennifer Cook DeRosa’s book. At that time, my oldest child was a public school senior and was on track to graduate high school with 37 RA college credits. With her path already determined, I read Homeschooling for College Credit: A Parent’s Guide to Resourceful High School Planning with my youngest daughter, Ella, in mind. Although I earned CLEP credits in college, and my oldest child earned dual credits, I did not realize the many different ways to earn college credits. I devoured the book and HS4CC’s online content. Then I started thinking even further outside the box.

Jennifer adds: HS4CC Academy is our teaching platform with a rotating schedule of classes for parents. You can see our current catalog here: HS4CC Academy Some of the classes and strategies you’re about to read about have changed due to the ever-changing world of higher education, but our resources are always aligned to the most up–to-date opportunities.

During HS4CC Academy‘s 2019 Black Friday sale, I purchased the Degree Planning Masterclass and Private Coaching. The information I gained from Jennifer and Danika was invaluable. While I designed a plan for Ella to earn a degree from Liberty University, thanks to my private coaching, Danika helped me see my blind spots. The degree I planned from Liberty University would not give Ella the desired outcome she was seeking. I learned that one should begin with the end in mind when degree planning. So that is what we did. Working with Jennifer and Danika, we resourcefully planned Ella’s degree in Mathematics. The number of schools offering a Bachelor’s in Mathematics and accepting ACE credits was somewhat limited, but Danika helped us find some great options. We selected Southern New Hampshire University, one of the “Next-9” universities on Jennifer’s list. SNHU is a Transfer Partner with our local community college, so before taking a course at the community college, Ella would get it approved by SNHU to ensure it would count toward her degree plan. We also liked that SNHU offers 8-week terms, allowing Ella to earn her degree faster. Immensely transfer-friendly, SNHU lists over 100 ways to gain life experience credits on their transfer page and even tells you what class your experience will count towards.

Ella started earning credits at 13 1/2. The first three were free ACE credits through the Institutes. We then incorporated Jennifer’s Sophia Strategy and purchased six courses for $594. Then the pandemic hit. Many within education responded to the pandemic with immense generosity. Sophia opened up all of their courses at no charge. Arizona State University offered their Earned Admissions Program (now called Universal Learners Program) classes for free and charged only $99 to add it to the transcript. Ella also studied for her first CLEP exam and passed it as soon as testing centers in our area reopened. We took advantage of these opportunities and others. Ella also started taking 8-week courses through our local community college. By 15, Ella had earned 88 college credits that cost $1223, less than $14/credit. In the fall of 2021, she enrolled at Southern New Hampshire University to complete the final 11 courses her degree required. Courses at SNHU are $320/credit. Ella’s membership in Phi Theta Kappa provided her with a 10% merit discount at SNHU. Her time at SNHU was rigorous yet rewarding and has prepared her for the next stage in her education. The support Ella has received from her many scholarship donors is greatly appreciated. We are beyond grateful for HS4CC, which showed us how to open up doors in Ella’s education that we would have never thought possible. Most importantly, we give glory to the Lord, most high, for gifting Ella as he has, giving her a heart for Him, and providing this path.”

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4 thoughts on “Ella earned her Bachelor’s in Mathematics at 16

  1. Wow! Congratulations!
    Is SNHU an online school? Did she live in a dorm or school from home? Is she officially a high school graduate as well or do you consider still homeschooling?

    I would love to hear more about the scholarships, too. Besides for the merit discount, what else did she apply to? Any advice would be appreciated.

    1. Southern New Hampshire offers both online and on-campus, but Homeschooling for College Credit helps teens who are being homeschooled (k-12) earn college credit. Motivated teens and parents can really bring in a lot of college credit, and some even earn a degree. All of this is done DURING high school while homeschooling. Families use college classes as their homeschool classes, getting double credit. So, as an example, instead of taking 12th-grade English, you could have your teen take English 101. Since tuition is usually VERY reduced or even free when you’re in high school, this strategy redirects you away from scholarships and loans. If you start in high school, your teen can finish 1-3 years of college for about $1,000 per year compared to $30,000 per year that you might pay after high school. At the top of this website, click on “Start Here” to learn how you can do this too.

    2. Lots of great information. I have the book already too! I have lots of tabs, there’s so much good stuff in there. My oldest is going into 8th grade and we are definitely going to incorporate some college credit into his high school track.

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