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Online AP Courses for Homeschoolers: Public or Private?

written by: Nicole Prasch • edited by: Amy Carson • updated: 9/11/2012

Do you think your student is ready for AP courses online? Homeschoolers need to impress colleges and these difficult but rewarding classes are the perfect way to show off a serious student. There are options available from free to quite expensive. Which fits your situation?

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    Online AP courses are a great way for homeschoolers to prove that they are ready for college level work. Students take a College Board approved course designed to prepare them for the Advanced Placement test for each course. If they score well on the test they receive college credits. Courses must be administered by a teacher to be approved. The National Repository of Online Courses and HippoCampus offer free online material for AP courses, but without a teacher to administer the class, credits are not earned if the student passes the AP test. Luckily there are many organizations that use this material to teach approved classes for high school students.

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    State AP Options

    What could be better than free? Many AP classes online are offered through Virtual Schools sponsored by each state. These states offer students online courses including AP and are paid for by the states. Check with your state for what the requirements are for these programs. Not all states offer them, but they are becoming increasingly popular. These options provide your students with an excellent opportunity to excel and you don't have to provide the materials and instruction.

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    Private Options

    If your state doesn't offer this option or you don't want to participate in a state sponsored program there are some private options available. Pennsylvania Homeschooler offers online AP courses. Tuition costs for their classes range from $400 to almost $700 plus the cost of materials and textbooks. Stanford University's Online High School offers a program for gifted students. It is very expensive but does offer financial aid. APEX learning, a Seattle based company that also partners with many school districts, may offer private options in states that do not offer a state sponsored program. Popular Laurel Springs School offers some AP distance learning courses in their catalog. Another online private school, Advantages, offers twenty AP classes. These AP classes cost $650 for semester or $1000 for full year courses. The University of Missouri offers AP courses, some as low as $295 plus the cost of textbooks. K12, a major provider of state sponsored curriculum, also offers classes that you can take without state involvement. They charge a per semester, full time or a per course tuition. They also give discounts for siblings. Connections Academy offers a private school option that costs per course, per semester, or per year and offers monthly payments. Look for private distance education schools and ask if they offer AP classes. Some want you to contact them for information and may not include all options on their websites.

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    Whatever option you choose, look for College Board approval, and a teacher led class that offers your student support and help for these challenging but rewarding classes. You can find AP courses online for homeschoolers that will give your child an advantage when they are ready to take on the challenge of Advanced Placement testing for college credits. Since many colleges are now offering some online options, having experience with online AP courses demonstrates that the student is motivated and familiar with learning online at a college level.

    References:

    http://www.montereyinstitute.org/nroc/nrocdemos.html

    http://apguide.edutools.info/item_list.jsp?pj=2

    http://www.pahomeschoolers.com/

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