Post Secondary
& Concurrent Enrollment

Senior Year Plus Programs

Your homeschooled high school student can be eligible to earn college credits through Senior Year Plus Programs. These include Post Secondary Enrollment Option (PSEO), concurrent enrollment, and career academies.

Homeschool Iowa provides answers to homeschooling families on the how these options can be accessed.

What Is Senior Year Plus?

Enacted by the legislature in 2008, SYP was created to provide improved high school student access to college credit and advanced placement courses.

Courses delivered through SYP offer students the opportunity to take a rigorous college curriculum and receive, in many cases, both high school and college credit concurrently.

Who is Eligible?

11th & 12th grade students are eligible–as well as 9th & 10th grade students who are identified as gifted & talented by their local district.

Homeschooled students must be dual-enrolled through CPI form filing for SYP programs, except for concurrent enrollment courses, which can be accessed by IPI students, too.
Eligibility Requirements

What Programs Are Available?
  • Post Secondary Enrollment Option (PSEO): Individual Student enrollment in eligible college courses, with tuition reimbursed by school

  • Concurrent Enrollment and Career Academies: Student enrollment in community college courses available via contracts with the public school

  • Advanced Placement: Student enrollment in high school classes providing preparation for AP college credit exams

  • and more!
Start Senior Year Plus Preparations Early for a Successful Experience
  • Begin your efforts during the school year before you want your student to access SYP programs(s).

  • Contact the school guidance counselor to introduce yourself & your student and to provide notice of your intentions.

  • Identify SYP program(s) in which you are interested and start searching the course offerings.

  • Determine which option you'll use to demonstrate your student's SYP eligibility and prepare documentation that your student meets that eligibility requirement.

  • Keep the communications channels open with your resident school guidance counselor - especially if you want your student to take SYP courses right away in the fall (enrollment deadlines come early and arrangements often need to be made well before the public school year commences).

  • If you are accessing SYP via dual enrollment through CPI, and your student is age 16 or older, make sure you file an abbreviated CPI Form with the dual enrollment option selected and "Senior Year Plus" written under that selection (only the student, filer, and dual enrollment items completed (on the current form: #2, #3 & #10).

  • Be prepared to present eligibility documentation [use this Homeschool Iowa form, if desired].

  • Submit a list of desired courses to the school guidance counselor
    so that your student can be included on the student roster presented to the school district's school board for SYP approval.

  • Be aware you must provide any needed transportation and, if your student fails to complete PSEO course(s) or doesn't receive passing grades, you are responsible for the cost of the PSEO course(s) and textbooks.

Additional Guidance


The Iowa Department of Education released a clarifying document in March of 2016. It provided guidance for school districts regarding students using Competent Private Instruction (CPI) to access Senior Year Plus programs through dual enrollment.

The Iowa Department of Education does not offer specific protocol to guide parents of students under Independent Private Instruction (IPI) who want access to concurrent enrollment courses. We recommend the same procedures outlined above, without the filing of a CPI form containing a dual enrollment request.

Also, please note that legislation passed in 2016 limited access to community college courses through PSEO under certain circumstances.

If the resident school district has a contractual agreement with a community college to deliver courses through concurrent enrollment, students in that district must access those courses through concurrent enrollment – not PSEO.

See our Homeschooling High School webpage for a helpful chart containing information on supplemental options for homeschooled high school students.

A Brief History of Iowa Homeschool Students and the PSEO Option
(later expanded into the current Senior Year Plus programs)


The Post Secondary Enrollment Option was established.


The Iowa Department of Education issued "Ruling No. 44" declaring that homeschooled students were not allowed to participate in PSEO under any circumstances.

Spring of 2000

Homeschooled Ankeny student Meggan Stone requested PSEO access for a music appreciation course & a human biology course at Des Moines Area Community College. The Ankeny school district received $4,100 for Meggan's dual enrollment and the PSEO courses would have cost the district $500, but nevertheless the superintendent denied her request claiming it caused the district financial hardship. Meggan's parents appealed to the school board, but their appeal was rejected due to "Ruling No. 44".

Fall 2000

The Stone family, with the assistance of HSLDA, appealed to the State Board of Education.

December 10, 2000

The State Board of Education overruled "Ruling No. 44". This action opened PSEO to Iowa homeschooled students.

Spring 2008

HF 2679 was enacted into law which replaced the old PSEO section in the Iowa Code with a new section called Senior Year Plus (SYP) which detailed a number of post secondary options for Iowa high school students. HF 2679 and the Department of Education's rules implementing it included new eligibility requirements for participating students.


NICHE (now Homeschool Iowa) petitioned the DE for added provisions to allow alternative proficiency demonstration tools for homeschooled students. These provisions became effective in November of 2009.


Senator Herman Quirmbach filed SF 423 expanding eligibility tools for CPI students to include adequate ACT, SAT or PSAT scores. NICHE (now Homeschool Iowa) worked with Senator Quirmbach to also insert the alternative proficiency tools included in the updated 2009 DE rules into a new bill, HF 645.

July 27, 2011

Governor Terry Branstad signed HF 645 into law allowing homeschooled students to use one of five methods to demonstrate academic proficiency for SYP.

July 1, 2020

Legislation passed during the 2020 legislative session, 2020 Iowa Acts chapter 1117, amended provisions of the Senior Year Plus (SYP) program by eliminating references and provisions relating to full-time and part-time postsecondary enrollment. Previously, students were eligible to enroll in no more than 23 credits in an academic year at any one postsecondary institution. As a result of these legislative changes, there is no longer a statutory limit on the number of credits in which a student may enroll. These statutory changes took effect on July 1, 2020. However, the Department of Education continues to apply a 1993 Declaratory Ruling to roadblock dual-enrolled homeschooled students from eligibility for full-time postsecondary SYP programs.

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