Study.com offers a range of content, but their accelerated college options are likely to be of particular interest to homeschoolers. While the site offers lower-level coursework and helps students search for colleges that offer particular programs, it also offers hundreds of online courses that might result in transferable college credits, and it helps prepare students to take exams for college credit.
Many of the courses are approved by ACE, the American Council on Education, and/or NCCRS, the National College Credit Recommendation Service. These two organizations evaluate non-traditional forms of learning and make recommendations for those suitable for college credit. While more than 2,000 colleges accept ACE credit recommendations, and more than 1,500 accept NCCRS credit recommendations, some colleges grant very few credits for such courses, and the most prestigious colleges are unlikely to accept any. On the other hand, institutions such as Thomas Edison State University, Charter Oak State College, and Excelsior College, which many homeschoolers have used to obtain college degrees with non-traditional credits, do accept ACE and NCCRS credits. (Excelsior even offers discounts to Study.com members.)
Study.com offers four different membership plans: Study Premium, Test Prep, College Accelerator, and Teacher. I think the Test Prep and College Accelerator plans are the focus of this review. (Study.com also has two options specifically for homeschoolers: Basic and Homeschool.)
With the Test Prep plan, for $59.99 a month, students can access more than 30 CLEP prep courses plus the entire library of Study.com courses, CLEP study guides, and practice questions. Similarly, there are courses to prepare students to take any of the 30 DSST exams (formerly known as DANTES exams). DSST exams are available for more unusual subjects with exams such as Environmental Science, Statistics, Astronomy, Technical Writing, and Computing and Information Technology. Study.com has a helpful page that explains the differences between DSST and CLEP exams. Test prep is also available for other exams such as AP subject exams, the GED, and Praxis exams.
The College Accelerator program, for $199 a month, gives students access to more than 90 online college courses with video lessons, course transcripts, quizzes, and study tools. Video lessons are about five minutes each, so the course content is very manageable. Courses include online quizzes, and no textbooks are required. Students can complete courses as quickly as they are able, but they can take only two credit-earning, proctored exams per billing period without paying extra. (Additional exams cost $70 each.) Taking courses such as those offered by Study.com can help students get through courses quickly, but they might not be the best way to really learn a subject in depth.
I highly recommend reading a book such as Homeschooling for College Credit by Jennifer Cook-DeRosa to fully understand the ins and outs of earning non-traditional degrees. Students need to be fully aware of the transferability of credits and have an overall plan that leads toward the career or further education that they want to pursue. For students with such a plan, Study.com can be very helpful for earning a college degree at an accelerated pace at a fraction of the cost of traditional college.