College Credit for Homeschooled Students?

College While In High School?

Yes, this is possible – even for homeschooled high school students. And, what's more, some of these options include tuition-free courses.

Let us help you sort through the different options for post-secondary coursework that is available to your home-educated high school student.

Keep in mind that there can be filing and signup deadlines involved when accessing these options.

Often, initial preparations must be made many months before the actual coursework begins.

Options for College Credits

Independently Accessed College Courses

Of course, homeschooling parents can enroll their students in college courses, in either public or private colleges, and pay for the tuition costs themselves. This arrangement allows for the highest level of independence.

Advanced Placement Courses

Advance Placement (AP) courses are available through public and private universities and colleges. High school students complete the courses and then have the option to take an AP test. If their test score is high enough, they can earn college credit.

Post-Secondary Enrollment Option Courses

Post-Secondary Enrollment Option (PSEO) courses were instituted by the Iowa Legislature in 1987. After a period of time in which homeschooled students were excluded from PSEO, the Stone family and Home School Legal Defense Association succeeded in their efforts to overturn this and open the option to home-educated students.

PSEO allows for students to enroll in the actual courses offered to regularly enrolled college students.

However, the Iowa Department of Education has interpreted legislation passed in 2016 to make community college courses ineligible as PSEO options if the resident school district has a contractual agreement with the community college to deliver those courses via concurrent enrollment. In those cases, students must access those courses via concurrent enrollment, not PSEO.

Concurrent Enrollment Courses 

Individual Iowa school districts contract with Iowa community colleges to provide a list of courses to enrolled students.

Through dual enrollment, homeschooled students can access specific community college courses that their resident school districts offers through concurrent enrollment contracts.

Other Courses 

Additional options for college credits while in high school include career academy and Project Lead the Way coursework.

Quick-View Options Chart

Check out our overview chart presenting the various college credit options. (Click for larger view.)


Step-by-Step Guidance

If you are considering Senior Year Plus options provided by the State of Iowa (e.g., Post-Secondary Enrollment, concurrent enrollment, and career academies), you'll want to know the steps you need to complete in order to access them.

Click the button below for the information and forms you'll need to proceed with your plans.

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