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What is Straighterline?

I frequently get asked "What is Straighterline?" and "How can it get me college credits?" Well, Straighterline is a website that offers low-cost online courses which cover the first two years of most college degree plans. The courses are labelled as ACE credit (The American Council on Education) and are accepted at hundreds of colleges nationwide. When you enroll at one of their 100+ Partner Colleges, Straighterline guarantees that you will receive full course credit for the StraighterLine courses within your degree plan. (see Partner colleges here:​)

The best part of Straighterline courses (in my opinion) is that the courses are self-paced and you can take an unlimited amount of courses at a time. This enables you to work as quickly or slowly as you want through the classes. Plus the costs are very reasonable (most classes are $59.00) and the membership fee is $99.00/month. But, again, there is no limit to the amount of classes you can take in a month, so if you are a quick learner, you can get through multiple courses in one month! Even the eTextbooks are now included for FREE in StraighterLine courses and of which you have unlimited access to throughout the duration of your course.

Though the grading varies from course to course, most of them typically include a mixture of exams, quizzes, and essays. It's also common for courses to include a series of ungraded assignments. StraighterLine provides a letter and number grade for each course, but to be ACE approved a student needs a grade of at least 70% for credit recognition at most StraighterLine partner colleges. This can be quite easily accomplished since the grade is not determined on one final test (like CLEP or DSST), but rather on the cumulated scores of all the assignments, quizzes, and exams throughout the course. Plus you are able to retake the courses as many times as you choose, though you will be charged for each new time. But even if you need to retake a course two or three times this is still less expensive than getting your credits the traditional way.

Most of the final exams are done through ProctorU which connects your computer and webcam to their website while the exam is being proctored. Many of the exams are open book while some allow one sheet of 8 ½ X 11 paper (front and back) of prepared notes, blank scratch paper, and/or a calculator (for math and science courses requiring calculations only). Several composition courses, such as English Composition I and Lab Sciences, do not have final exams, so there's no need for proctoring.

To earn your credits through ACE:

  • Be sure the college you've selected accepts ACE-recommended courses. If not, consider one of StraighterLine's partner colleges.

  • Successfully complete a StraighterLine course, earning a 70% or higher final average.

  • Request an ACE transcript through your StraighterLine account.

  • ACE will send you a confirmation email with a link for you to follow to log in. If you don't already have an ACE account, StraighterLine will provide you with a student ID that you'll use to log in. ACE charges $20 to create an account. If you already have an ACE account, you'll need to provide a Student Advisor with your account number to have your course completion information sent to ACE.

Overall, my son enjoyed the classes he took through Straighterline and mentioned that this was a great alternative to CLEP and DSST tests, especially if your student is not a great test taker. As with any college credit you are trying to earn, make sure you check with the college of your choice to verify if these particular credits will be accepted first. But if so, this may be a great option for your student!

Check out this article on the pros and cons of Straighterline:

Or go directly to the Straighterline website here:

For other methods to earning your college credits in less time, for less money, and with NO student debt, be sure to check out College Out of the Box (website, Facebook page, You Tube video, and EBook).