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College credit options in Texas???

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My son is 13 and getting very close to finishing highschool courses. He's getting ready to take his SAT. What options do we have for college credit without him going off to school every day, specifically in the state of Texas....at a community college? Should we do CLEP testing? Dual credits? AP testing? I don't even know what these things are, really. I've just heard them mentioned. If anyone can give me a little synopsis of each one and what might be the best and least expensive, I would appreciate it. Or if you can direct me to the best place to get this information. Should I maybe just go to the college and ask a counselor what our options are? Thanks.



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Since he is so young I can understand why you would hesitate to have him attend a university full time...


You will need to call a few universities/colleges/community colleges to find out their admitting policies for 'young' students. I know that most universities have age requirements--but it is possible to earn an exception--you will need LOTS of documentation to prove your son has completed 4 years of high school level work. After you get past those hurdles you will find some options.


Most will offer 'distance ed' classes that he could take from home--most are computer based, some have a live interface with an instructor. This option is becoming VERY popular--it saves the university/college $$$ by saving building/parking space and it is convenient for the students too! He could take distance-ed courses for his first 2 years and then attend on campus for his Jr and Sr year. In some cases it is possible to earn a degree by only taking distance-ed courses--but I'm not sure if any of the major Texas universities have this option.


Another option would be for him to take more 'advanced' courses at home. AP is one way--but make sure any potential universities will accept/give credits--it is NOT a given. CLEP is not as popular as it once was--again you need to check it out to see if it is in your son's best interest.


This is a great time of year to start talking with university counselors!

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