Frequently Asked Questions

Get your Dual Credit at Home questions answered.

Quickly summarize “Dual Credit at Home.”

    • Dual Credit at Home is a 49-week study program that prepares students to take and pass 13 CLEP and DSST exams. The program consists of weekly emails that contain two PDF downloads - a weekly Study Plan and the week's optional Extra-Mile Assignments. The Study Plans are the actual lesson plans we've used as our own teens have earned their accredited bachelor's degrees during high school. I put the lesson plans into an easy-to-follow format (called "Study Plans") in response to so many requests by parents wanting a written plan to follow.
    The concept of earning dual credit at home (instead of attending on-campus or online classes) is the process of using accredited college-level exam programs (such as CLEP, DSST, and GRE) to earn the same credits earned by students who pay for and physically attend class.

I want basic information. What is dual credit? And how does it work for homeschooled students?
Where can I get all of the details of how the Dual Credit at Home program works?
What exams (subjects) do students prepare for, and why did you choose these particular ones?

The 13 exams include all five CLEP General Exams (Social Sciences & History, Humanities, College Composition, College Mathematics, and Natural Sciences) along with the following CLEP subject exams:
U.S. History I and II
Analyzing & Interpreting Literature
American Government

Also included are the following DSST exams:
Human/Cultural Geography
Introduction to World Religions
Public Speaking
Business Ethics & Society

We selected these particular exams because they completely fulfill the General Education requirements for Charter Oak State College and are also compatible with many other colleges' core requirements.

Why Charter Oak State College?
Because Charter Oak State College is a regionally accredited institution that allows students to self-study and use accredited college-level exams to earn up to 114 credits of the necessary 120 credits for a BA or BS degree! This is how a student can accelerate their degree while saving a ton of money. Many of these exams transfer to the accredited colleges and universities for students that choose an on-campus route to a degree.

What are the “Study Plans” and “Extra Mile Assignments?”

The Study Plans are the actual daily lesson plans that your student will follow as they study 13 subjects and prepare to take the corresponding CLEP or DSST exam. The Extra-Mile Assignments are an optional part of the program. While the Study Plans are purely academic, this part of the program deals more with developing their character and personal growth. These assignments add about 30-45 minutes per day to school time and include a book list, following a couple of blogs of your choice, keeping up with current world events, etc.

Where are the exams taken?

Exams are taken at a testing center near you. Many 2-year and 4-year schools have open testing centers where your student will go to take their official exams. Locations are easily found by visiting to locate a testing center.

How many high school/college credits can be earned by taking these 13 exams?

Every college sets their own credit value of these exams, and at Charter Oak State College they total 51 college credits. You, as the parent, award the high school credit for your student’s studies of these subjects. Know your state’s home school requirements and keep within them. HSLDA (Home School Legal Defense Association) recommends one high school credit for a 3-credit college level exam and 2 high school credits for 6-credit exams. Following HSLDA's recommendation makes these 13 exams equal 17 high school credits, and this blog article contains suggestions on how to show these credits on your student's high school transcript.

How do I show the high school credits for these 13 subjects on my student’s high school transcript?
What about electives such as music, drama, sports, art, or foreign language?

These 13 subjects/exams cover a typical core curriculum. You can supplement with any electives that you’d like to include in your home school.

At what age can a student start this program?

Students can begin to study using the Study Plans at any age. However, a student has to be 13 years old in order to purchase and take a CLEP exam from CollegeBoard. There is no minimum age to purchase and take a DSST exam. Dual Credit at Home has students ranging from 11 to 52 years of age!

What does it cost, and what does that include?

The cost for the weekly emails, Study Plans, Extra-Mile Assignments, and personalized customer service while your student works through the program is $1096. You may also choose to pay in two installments. There is a Book List that you’ll receive in your Student Notebook which, if purchased used on Amazon, totals about $300. These books can be bought all at one time or spread over the period of time you spend completing the program. Students also purchase the official exams and pay a proctoring fee to their testing center – exams are $80 each and a testing center typically charges $15-$25 to administer each exam. Exam costs are spread over the time frame that your student spends completing the program. We also recommend that students utilize two online flashcard systems during their studies at a cost of approximately $18 and $9.99 a month each. If you include Charter Oak State College’s Cornerstone and Capstone courses and tuition, the entire cost of an accredited bachelor’s degree from Charter Oak State College is approximately $10,000 using the credit-by-exam method.

Can we use the program for each of our own kids?

Yes! The materials that you receive are copyrighted, but we give you permission to use them in your immediate family.

Will the CLEP and DSST credits transfer to any college?

You can easily check the policy of a particular school online. Simply search terms such as “name of school” and “incoming credit policy.” Over 2000 colleges and universities recognize the DSST program and award college credit for passing scores. CLEP credits are accepted by 2900 colleges and universities.

Can I receive all the Study Plans & Extra-Mile Assignments at once instead of weekly?

Yes, once you have completed payment, just let us know and we’ll send them all at once. This  way you can also change the order or choose only certain exams.

Do the Study Plans have to be completed in order?

No. However, we do recommend that these core exams be taken before taking other exams so that you earn the maximum number of credits available.

How flexible is the schedule? Can we speed it up or slow it down?

You decide how fast or slow to work through the Study Plans. Many students who are younger (ages 12-15) also go slower because you’re likely supplementing their dual credit studies with other subjects.

Once a student completes the Study Plans are they finished with high school?

That’s up to you as the parent to decide as you’re working within your state requirements. Typically parents include electives, foreign language, and other outside/extra curricular activities to their student's four-year plan.

What books do the students use to study, and where do we purchase them?

Reading assignments in the Study Plans are taken from a test preparation book along with a recommended textbook. We mail each student a book list inside of their student notebook.

Once I purchase the program, when do we receive Week 1?

While you receive your Student Notebook within 2-3 days, the first Study Plan is scheduled to arrive in your inbox on the first Monday 21 days after purchase. That gives you time to order and receive books. You can email us to start sooner if you’re ready!

How does my student complete their bachelor’s degree once they’ve finished these core subjects?

Your student will have learned how to study by taking these 13 core exams, and they’ll simply apply that method to additional exams in order to meet their degree requirements. However, if your student is pursuing a degree on-campus at a college or university, they’ll request that the transcripts of their tests be sent by Prometric (DSST) and CollegeBoard (CLEP) to the school they choose to attend. Every college will evaluate the credits and apply them, according to their policy, to the student’s degree plan.

When do we have to decide about a college?

There isn’t a need to enroll in college at this time. When purchasing an exam, your student will simply not have their scores sent a particular college. CollegeBoard and DSST will “bank” their scores until you request that a transcript of those scores be sent to a particular college.

Do you offer single subject Study Plans?

This program is only available for complete purchase.

What about science lab requirements?

Your student can choose to take an on-campus class to earn a science lab credit, or they can take Charter Oak State College’s accredited online science course (Earth Science) that includes one lab credit.

What about students who don’t test well, and what happens if a student doesn’t pass an exam?

Some students are more anxious about testing than others. However, students do get comfortable with the process as they get familiar with their testing center, the staff, etc. All it takes is one or two “passes” on exams! When a student doesn’t pass an exam, they can re-take it in three months. However, we’ve built into the Study Plans the ability to know whether a student is ready to test so that you don’t waste money or time.

Do students only do these Study Plans or do they have other school work that they do?

Many parents supplement their teen’s dual credit studies with a foreign language, music, sports, drama, band, speech & debate, etc. Often a student is still studying some early level math or English material also.

Do you provide support?

YES! It is our goal to help your student succeed, and we are available throughout the time that your student(s) spend completing the Study Plans. You can contact us by email or participate in our private Facebook group community.

Do you have an affiliate program?

Yes! Join our affiliate program and you can earn $100 for every family that you refer to Dual Credit at Home. Parents and students are our greatest advertisers, so we like to thank you for that!

What is your return policy?

For students who have received their Student Notebook containing the Exam Calendar and all Program Information, along with:
Week #1 - $200 refund
Week #2 - $150 refund
Week #3 - $100 refund
Week #4 - $50 refund
Week #5 - no refund
If a parent chose the 2-payment billing option and then requests a refund – the refund amount will be subtracted from the 2nd payment amount, which will be billed immediately. Refunds are made to the card on file. Any refund made will be taken from the total cost (before any promotional discount given).