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 including Post Secondary Enrollment Option (PSEO), concurrent enrollment, and career academies. NICHE (Homeschool Iowa) provides answers to homeschooling families on the how this option can be accessed.

© 2017 Network of Iowa Christian Home Educators & Julie Naberhaus adapted from "The ABC's of Homeschooling in Iowa" by Julie Naberhaus

What Is Senior Year Plus?
Enacted by the legislature in 2008, SYP was created to provide increased and more equal access to college credit and advanced placement courses. Courses delivered through SYP provide 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 Items #1, #2, & #9 are required -- & no additional legal requirements apply).
  • Be prepared to present eligibility documentation [use this NICHE 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 document in March of 2016 providing clarification and guidance for school districts regarding dual enrolled students under Competent Private Instruction (CPI) accessing Senior Year Plus programs.

While no specified protocol is offered by the Iowa Department of Education to guide parents of students under Independent Private Instruction (IPI) who desire access to concurrent enrollment courses, we recommend the same procedures outlined above, without the filing of a CPI form with dual enrollment request, of course.

Also, please note that legislation passed in 2016 now makes community college courses ineligible to be offered 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.

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 cause 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.


Network of Iowa Christian Home Educators 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 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.

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