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10 Online Courses for College Credit that Every High Schooler Should Check Out

Thinking about the college application process can be overwhelming and confusing. How do you set yourself apart in the crowd of applications that colleges are receiving? 


Getting a head start and earning college credits while you’re still in high school can be the perfect way to do that. Taking college courses that offer credit can help you challenge yourself and take your learning to the next level. At certain universities, taking courses that offer credit can even boost your chances of being accepted at that university!


To help you get started, we have compiled a list of the 10 online courses for college credit for high schoolers interested in various fields!


The Universal Learner Courses at Arizona State University allow you to gain college experience and earn credits that are widely transferable. They offer courses across various disciplines like sustainable engineering, astronomy, ethics in healthcare, organizational leadership, sociology, data visualization, and cloud foundations. To make sure that you’re only paying for the courses you actually like and want to retain college credit for, ASU gives you the option to pay the course fee if you pass the course and decide to transcript it for ASU or transfer it to a different university.


Cost: $25 enrollment fee, $400 per credit retained 

Program Dates: Courses open year-round

Application Deadline: Applications open year-round

Eligibility: Current high school students who are not more than 18 years old


Online High School at Stanford University gives you an innovative learning environment and rigorous curriculum that challenges you to reason analytically, think creatively, and argue persuasively. OHS offers a four-year interdisciplinary core sequence which includes Methodology of Science – Biology, History and Philosophy of Science, Democracy, Freedom, and the Rule of Law, and Critical Reading and Argumentation. The curriculum is designed to prepare high schoolers to thrive in academically challenging environments and students must take an equivalent of 20 full-year courses, or 200 credits, to receive an OHS diploma.


Cost: 

  • $5,970 for a Single Course

  • $17,910 for Part-Time enrollment (2-3 courses)

  • $29,850 for Full-Time enrollment (4 or more courses)

Program Dates: September to June

Application Deadline: January 2025

Eligibility: Applicant’s candidacy is evaluated in three areas:

  • Academic ability

  • Personal qualities

  • A good fit


Ecampus at Oregon State University offers over 100 courses for high school students seeking college credit. The classes offered cover subjects like anthropology, molecular biology, computer programming, psychology, and environmental sciences – creating the perfect stepping stone for high school students looking to get a head start on their college experience. With classes that run year round in a quarter system, the fully online Ecampus program offers a lot of flexibility when it comes to choosing your schedule. In addition, Ecampus also offers courses that can be taken asynchronously, allowing students even more flexibility over their schedule. 


Cost: $375 per credit

Program Dates: 

  • Fall Term: September 25 to December 13

  • Winter Term: January 6 to March 21

  • Spring Term: March 31 to June 13

  • Summer Term: June 24 to September 6

Application Deadline: 

  • Fall: September 11

  • Winter: December 22

  • Spring: March 18

  • Summer: June 1

Eligibility: Current high school students


The College Credit Plus (CCP) program is designed for ambitious and motivated high school students. The CCP program connects students in Grades 7 to 12 to online programs at public or private universities like Franklin University based on their needs and future college plans. Admittance to this program is based on college-readiness of students in one or more subject areas. As a bonus, some of the classes offered in the program will also be able to fulfill high school graduation requirements.


Cost: $398 per credit

Program Dates: 

  • Fall Trimester: August 14 to December 11

  • Winter Trimester: January 8 to May 6

  • Summer Trimester: May 20 to August 5

Application Deadline: 

  • Fall Trimester: June 1

  • Winter Trimester: November 1

  • Summer Trimester: March 1

Eligibility: All CCP applicants must take Franklin University placement examinations and place into WRIT 120, College Writing. If a CCP applicant wishes to take math courses or courses for which prior math credit is a prerequisite, students must achieve placement into MATH 150, Fundamental Algebra.


Precollege studies at Cornell University give high school students the opportunity to immerse themselves in an Ivy League experience from the comfort of their home, while earning college credits. With the opportunity to work closely with some of Cornell’s most distinguished professors, the program focuses on the development of critical thinking and writing skills essential for success in college. The courses offered range across architecture, international relations, medicine, social change, business management, and more. While most classes offered are asynchronous, there is an option to opt for some synchronous classes, based on availability. 


Cost: $1,750 per credit

Program Dates: 

  • Spring Term: January 22 to May 18

  • Summer Term: June 3 to August 6

  • Fall Term: August 21 to December 16

Application Deadline: 

  • Spring Term: January 8

  • Summer Term: May 5

  • Fall Term: July 31

Eligibility: Rising high school juniors & seniors, age 15+


Hoya Summer High School Sessions at Georgetown University prepare you to transition seamlessly into the college learning environment lectures, class discussions, and distinguished guest speakers. This program offers the unique opportunity of being able to take classes alongside current undergraduate students at Georgetown University. The eight-week intensive summer session includes courses in human machine interface, climate change, political theory, calculus, history, marketing, and more.  


Cost: $2,053 per credit

Program Dates: June 3 to July 26

Application Deadline: May 15

Eligibility: Current and rising high school freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors during the academic year prior to their summer program.


The College Preparation Program at Northwestern University gives you a taste of college life and academics at a prestigious institution, from the comfort of your home. Students who enroll in online credit courses during the summer also get special access to “Wildcat Connect: Get Ready Series,” a program that adds a robust co-curricular component to your schedule beyond the classroom and gives you an opportunity to connect with the Wildcat community! With the option to choose between synchronous and asynchronous formats and courses across the different schools, students are taught by the same faculty that teaches the undergraduates at Northwestern.  


Cost: $5,407 per class

Program Dates: June to August

Application Deadline: April 1

Eligibility: 

  • Cumulative GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale

  • 15 to 17 years of age at the start of the program (06/17/2024)

  • Completion of sophomore or junior year of high school by the commencement of program


The Summer Leaders Academy at Fordham University offers an immersive pre-college experience for high school students that goes beyond the classroom. In addition to a wide range of courses that span across STEM, humanities, social sciences, business, and the arts, students are given opportunities to participate in workshops that guide them on the college application process, career exploration services, and community building during their college experience. At SLA, the focus is on providing a well-rounded experience before you start college, which includes leadership, communication, and problem-solving skills. 


Cost: $4,800

Program Dates: July 2 to August 5

Application Deadline: April 15

Eligibility: Credit-bearing courses may be taken by rising seniors with a G.P.A. of 3.0 or better. 


Online Summer at Columbia University allows you to have an Ivy League experience from the comfort of your home. As part of the program, students join their virtual classrooms five days a week to develop their skills through a variety of activities like class discussions, debates, simulations, individual and group projects, student life workshops, and more. Through an interactive learning platform, students are able to connect with people from all over the world and have the chance to participate in the Columbia Writers Workshop, dedicated to helping students craft and perfect their college application essays.


Cost: 

  • Online Summer (1 Week): $2,810 per session

  • Online Summer (2 Weeks): $3,960 per session

Program Dates: 

  • Session A: July 1 to July 12

  • Session B: July 15 to July 26

  • Session C: August 5 to August 9

Application Deadline: April 1 for all sessions

Eligibility: Current high school students


The Pre-College Program at University of Pennsylvania gives high school students the unique opportunity to enroll in online courses alongside other UPenn undergraduate students. With a large variety of niche courses to choose from such as law and society, oceanography, sociolinguistics, international relations, and world film, this rigorous program is designed for high school students looking to upskill themselves before they start college. Based on a first come first serve basis, you should secure your seat at this top institution as soon as you can!


Cost: $8,000 per credit

Program Dates: July 5 to August 9

Application Deadline: December

Eligibility: Current high school students who have excellent writing skills and a minimum 3.3 GPA


One other option…

If you are interested in building a university-level research project this summer, you could also consider applying to the Lumiere Research Scholar Program, a selective online high school program for students founded with researchers at Harvard and Oxford. Last year, we had over 4000 students apply for 500 spots in the program! You can find the application form here.


Stephen is one of the founders of Lumiere and a Harvard College graduate. He founded Lumiere as a PhD student at Harvard Business School. Lumiere is a selective research program where students work 1-1 with a research mentor to develop an independent research paper.


Image Source: ASU logo


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