Posted in HS4CC

From Homeschool to Grad School

This post shares Adeline’s encouraging story from a Homeschooling for College Credit student in Ohio through today, where she’s paying cash for her Master’s Degree at Liberty University. You’re going to love this!

Adeline’s mom, Danielle, is a member of our Ohio Homeschooling for College Credit community where she has served as one of the HS4CC Facebook moderators for many years. In Ohio, the state allows homeschooled teens access to limited free dual enrollment (a few credits). They tempt families by giving them access to a LOT MORE free dual enrollment if they’re willing to enroll in the public school. Adeline’s story is especially encouraging because many of our Ohio families feel that it’s impossible to get through college without debt if they “miss out” on this public school award. Instead of taking the bait, Adeline told me she took a part time job to keep homeschooling and make up the difference in cost. When a young person shows that kind of determination and enthusiasm for homeschooling, I find that to be extraordinary!

In 2020, Adeline sent me an update on her HS4CC program. She was getting ready to graduate high school and was ready to enroll at Franklin University (Ohio) in the fall.

I just graduated from homeschool high school this year, and I wanted to let you know that there is, indeed, light at the end of the CCP (dual enrollment) tunnel! I started taking CCP classes when I was a junior, which is later than a lot of people, and I was never enrolled in public school to get more funding. Including classes that I am taking this summer, I have over 60 credit hours from online community college classes and have passed the three CLEP exams that I attempted. I was planning on taking about three more exams, but the testing labs closed when I was planning on taking them.

I was not given a more generous number of CCP credits than other homeschoolers. I worked for minimum wage through my junior and senior years to pay for my classes, and my family helped me carefully choose community colleges that offered reduced tuition rates for CCP students. My work paid off, because I just received word that Franklin University, where I will be getting an online bachelor’s degree in Management and Leadership, is accepted 69 of my credit hours! I only need 47 credit hours to graduate with a bachelor’s degree, and I could potentially get it done in about a year and a half, since Franklin runs by trimesters, not semesters.

Even though Franklin is substantially cheaper than most private schools, I have still saved about $40,000 by taking community college classes. I just wanted to let you guys know that, even though it is discouraging to not get as much funding as you were planning on (I only got about 24 usable credit hours for both years), it is still possible to get a degree without going into debt. I have always prioritized saving money because I desperately want to get at least one master’s degree.”

From very early in this process, I want to highlight how active Adeline was in her Homeschooling for College Credit planning. I think this is a key to her success. While it isn’t typical for a young teen to drive the HS4CC process in early high school, it’s going to make a huge difference as they near high school graduation if it’s “not just Mom” doing the planning and decision making. As she planned for her homeschool graduation and enrollment in her bachelor’s degree, Adeline outlines in a post in the HS4CC Ohio group how and why she took the ACT for funding opportunities.

“I took the ACT and got a decent score on it, and it has helped me in so many different ways, even though I am going to Franklin University, which does not require an ACT score for admission. I have received a university and a community scholarship, and my ACT score contributed to both…At Franklin, you have to meet an algebra competency requirement to get a bachelor’s degree. You have to take either a Fundamental Algebra class or Introductory Statistics and a lower level math class. Because I got over a 22 on my ACT, I didn’t have to spend an additional $1600 to take a basic algebra class.”

In October I received this fantastic update from Adeline. I know you’ll be as excited as I am to read how she is making this happen for her and her family without debt.

“I graduated from Franklin University in 2022. It only took me two years to get my online Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Franklin University, despite the fact that I took several extra classes and switched majors four times. I ended up transferring exactly 100 credit hours to Franklin University, and I completed 56 credit hours from the university. I transferred 12 credit hours from CLEP exams, 23 from Sophia, and 65 from online community college dual enrollment classes. I was able to complete some of my Sophia classes and Franklin University courses simultaneously. While Franklin University does not require the ACT, I still gave them my scores and received a half-tuition scholarship, which was a huge financial help!

I am now attending Liberty University online to pursue my Master of Arts in Geography and Urban Planning. I have been working at my parents’ restaurant since I started this degree. While Liberty University does not offer scholarships for master’s degrees, I was able to receive a 15% tuition discount for working at a small business. Also, I am preparing to start my new job at UPS in an entry-level management position, and they generously offer a $5,250 per year tuition discount for up to five years, which I will be taking full advantage of.

While I have not taken an orthodox approach to my education, it is working, and I am so happy not to have to worry about student loans as I start my career! Thank you, Jennifer, for working to make this information so much more accessible to students and their families!

While Adeline did not share the breakdown of costs for her Master’s degree, I wanted to do that for you since we all worry about the budget, especially for graduate school!

According to Liberty University’s website, the 2023-2024 tuition rate for students in the graduate degree program is $565 per credit. The master’s degree takes 36 credits, so an effective rack rate tuition of $20,340 total The small business discount (15%) brings the cost down to $17,289 total.

Pro Tip: always calculate the full cost of the degree before you start, not just 1 year.

Subtract 2 years of employer reimbursement funding ($5,250 x 2 = $10,500) and the total amount Adeline will have to come up with over the course of 2 years is $6,789 or just under $3,500 per year. I know her job will cover this, so she’s making it work!

Most of the time when I hear people say they are “doing whatever it takes” to go to college, they mean they’ve surrendered to borrowing the cost. Adeline’s creativity and resourcefulness are a shining example of what “doing whatever it takes” really looks like- and she didn’t even borrow a penny. Congratulations Adeline, we can’t wait to celebrate with you again when you finish your degree in a couple of years!


Executive Director of Homeschooling for College Credit

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