Posted in HS4CC

Jaela’s HS4CC Graduation Story MN

Thank you to Minnesota HS4CC parent Jean D. for allowing us to celebrate with her family! Her daughter Jaela hit the trifecta: earning her homeschool diploma, associate degree, and bachelor’s degree all without debt and during high school!

HS4CC MN parent Jean writes

“Hoping I can brag for a moment and it encourage you that we really can help our homeschooled high schoolers take the road less traveled! Forever grateful for learning about this pathway to a degree about 7 years ago. This girl crossed the finish line Monday night when she graduated homeschool high school with her Associates done in 11th grade through the local community college, and her Bachelor’s through Charter Oak State College. “

Notice Jaela’s Phi Beta Kappa pin? Phi Beta Kappa is the oldest academic honor society in the United States. Read More.

Charter Oak State College (COSC) is a popular choice by HS4CC families who want to use a lot of alternative college credits in high school and send them to a college that is very generous in their acceptance policy. COSC is one of the “Big 3” universities in the United States that have a very low residency requirement- meaning you only have to take 2 classes with them, and those 2 classes can be done online. The remaining credits can be carefully planned and earned during high school and then sent to the college when you’re close to graduation. As such, doing this approach means applying for college admissions and college graduation in the same semester.

Planning a degree like that is without question an “advanced” HS4CC skill, but at the heart of the approach, you’re simply looking at the degree requirements and then choosing classes and CLEP exams that match. When resourcefully planned, and when done carefully, you can cash-flow the process over several years using the most affordable (and sometimes free) sources of college credit. Jean shares that her daughter used mainly PSEO (free Postsecondary Enrollment Option aka Dual Enrollment) and CLEP (free for anyone who picks up a voucher from Modern States). When done this way, the actual costs are very minimal! This parent COULD have spent about $54,000 for this bachelor’s degree but instead spent about $4,000.

This type of degree is not a good fit for everyone, especially if they want to “go” to college, live on campus in a dorm, or need a lot of special classes. But, for many, this type of degree checks a box that allows the student to move forward onto their next big thing. For some, it’s graduate school, for others it may be opening a business, travel abroad, service or ministry, or even military. Of course there is no such thing as a “one size fits all” college degree, but having one of my own sons earn his two degrees this way too, it can be exactly the right degree(s) for some students.

Jean continues…

“NO debt!!!! Used mainly CLEPs and the Minnesota PSEO dual enrollment program, along with other non-traditional credit options. So keep on keepin’ on Mommas (and Dads!). Get ‘er done! ❤
P.S. Admittedly a bit biased, but she gave a “knock it out of the park”commencement speech that night. I might be a wee bit proud of her. Lol…
One other thing.. Etsy. ‘Cuz I know someone’s going to ask where I got the cool graduation stole. You’re welcome. 🙂

I’ve written a lot about The Big 3 through the years, here are a few of my favorites.


Executive Director of Homeschooling for College Credit