10 months ago
Admissions Advice

How do I take advanced college online courses?

HI! I'm a sophomore and currently going to a private school. My school is very small, and I wanted to take some online college courses and I talked with the counselor- and she said she doesn't know or will not put college courses(which she consider outside courses), nor dual enrollment.

I bombed my AP world GPA in the first semester, so I want to take college-level world history classes, and kind of appeal that I wanted to save my grade. I also want to take business classes, Spanish, and French that I couldn't take because of school schedules.

I am planning to take Coursera courses, but if I take those courses and put them on my resume, will the admission officers be able to look at my grades that I put on my resume? Then how do I prove that I actually took the classes?

(Also, any recommendations for the college courses website?)

@crazyblob10 months ago

Have you checked your local community college? Mine is offering remote classes over the summer, perhaps yours is too.

[🎤 AUTHOR]@chae012310 months ago

If I take classes from a local community college, then will the admission officers able to look at it even though my school doesn't participate or doesn't care about stuff that I do outside of the school?

@crazyblob10 months ago

You'll have to check the specific colleges you want to go to, but generally they will accept community college classes you took in high school. I believe you just need to save the transcript (hopefully someone else can elaborate more on this.) It's definitely possible though. It's not really about whether if it was in school or not, you'll just have to list it in the extra classes or something like that in the commonapp.

@crazyblob10 months ago

For example duel enrollment classes are something you take in school, but even then they may not be accepted by every college.

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2 answers

10 months ago

Hi there! Good for you for taking the initiative on advancing your education and addressing the places you struggled. I would start by going back to your guidance counselor and asking her to look into dual enrollment programs; she is likely the best source/has the best access to information about any partnerships your school has with local or online universities. If your school does have dual enrollment relationships, there may be certain requirements you need to meet (e.g. minimum GPA) in order to enroll, but it's certainly worth exploring a bit more. I'm focusing on dual enrollment because it's the most robust way to get your college-level coursework onto your application in an official capacity. There's some more information about dual enrollment on the CollegeVine blog if you want to learn more about what it is and how it works:


If you do some online courses through services like Coursera, there aren't a ton of options in terms of getting those grades on your application; your best bet is probably to address it in the additional information section of the Common App (or if you got a certificate for completing a certain number or something, you might consider putting it under the awards/honors heading). Unfortunately, these grades likely won't appear on your transcript, so they can't directly affect your GPA, but by explaining your process and your growth through these classes, you can add balance to your application even if they aren't weighted as strongly as official coursework.

There are plenty of online resources for learning subjects and skills, so if you're looking to expand your exploration beyond Coursera, here's a link to a CollegeVine blog post about other online programs that you might want to take advantage of:


Best of luck to you!

10 months ago

Over the summer there are many places you can take courses for college credits, and other that are "exploration" opportunities that do not get you credit, but can help you prepare for college and you can explore some of your interests.

For these, I would look into local community colleges and any university you would want to attend. You can reach out to admission counselors or another contact listed on the website. I know some schools are canceling their summer opportunities, but others are holding them online (this means you could take classes at a school you would not otherwise be able to attend).

On college applications there is usually a section where you can put courses taken at other institutions (so you could put these here).

Additionally, there are summer camps that partner with universities to provide programs with credits, however these can be quite costly.

Another option is to self study for AP exams. For this, you most likely will not get a GPA boost, but you will be able to take the exams and possibly earn credits. You would have to check with your school for specifics, but keep in mind, it will be a lot of work to do this.

College Board also offers CLEP exams, which can also transfer as college credit. There are a wide variety of subjects, including Business courses. You can look on the College Board CLEP website for more information. Note: not all schools accept these transfer credits so be sure to look at school's individual policy to see if this would be beneficial for you.

Coursera courses are an option to explore your interests, however the chance of actually getting credits that will transfer is slim. I know for many of these courses you can purchase a certificate of completion (for about $50) this can prove that you took the course, but I am unsure about other specifics. But anyway you are exploring your interests will show colleges you value those subjects.

Remember colleges consider offerings at your school, so if you cannot take many APs because they are not offered, colleges will not mark that against you. It is important to challenge yourself in your studies, but also choosing a level that you can be successful in is just as important.


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