Here is our big, up-front disclaimer: Saylor Academy is not an accredited institution, and we can neither grant credit nor guarantee that you will receive credit for our courses.
Some of our courses are explicitly connected to college credit opportunities; most of our courses are not.
You should always confirm with your school that you will be able to receive credit for work you do through Saylor Academy. The Registrar and Admissions offices are a great place to inquire.
Saylor Academy courses can possibly connect to college credit in the ways below. The first method is your most sure path to college credit through Saylor Academy courses.
1. Credit-recommended Saylor Academy exams
The thirty-one (as of February 2017) courses on our Earn College Credit page that are recommended for credit by NCCRS or by ACE will generally earn you credit at our partner schools (click on each school's logo to see more information). These courses may also earn credit with the large college/university networks, mostly in the United States and Canada, that both ACE and NCCRS maintain. Be sure to click on the "more information" links on the earn college credit page to find out what you need to do to earn the credit recommendation (among other things, these exams must be proctored/invigilated). Be aware if a course does not fit into your chosen degree program at a school, you might not receive credit for it.
2. Third-party exams
The remainder of our courses on the Earn College Credit page are aligned to third-party exams. What this means is that we have worked, usually with the exam provider, to make sure our course covers the information you will need to do well on the provider's exam. We do not create or administer third party exams, and you do not have to take our courses in order to take these exams. You should check with your school and/or with the exam providers to learn whether you will be able to earn credit for the exams.
3. Partner programs
The schools on our Partner Programs page will grant college credit for Saylor Academy coursework. Generally speaking, though, credit is only available to students who are in these programs or plan to join these programs. For instance, in partnership with Thomas Edison State University, we offer an "open course option" for an Associate of Science in Business Administration. TESU ultimately issues that degree and students will have to matriculate at TESU to take full advantage of the program. You are certainly able to get a head-start on the program by jumping into Saylor Academy courses, but you should carefully explore the program, get in touch with TESU, and form a plan for how you will complete the degree.
4. Prior Learning Assessment (PLA), including portfolio assessment and credit by exam
Many schools have programs for recognizing non-traditional credit and other kinds of transfer credit. You can learn about what a given school offers by exploring their website and by getting in touch with the school's Admissions office.
Schools may allow a student to assemble a portfolio that demonstrates knowledge and abilities or provide exams that can equate to college credit. Examples include SUNY Empire State College, which maintains an "Evaluation of Prior College-Level Learning" page, and both Thomas Edison State University and Excelsior College, which will grant college credit for students who pass their proprietary exams. These examples are far from exclusive! Most of our partner schools and many others besides have alternative pathways to college credit.
5. Direct recognition of credit for Saylor Academy certificate exams
While unlikely, it is possible that a school will grant credit to students who demonstrate that they have passed a Saylor Academy exam. Note that for non-proctored exams we do not provide paper transcripts, which many colleges require. The college has no meaningful way of knowing that you passed our exam under appropriate conditions. It is more likely that a school would allow you to bypass prerequisite or otherwise required courses with Saylor Academy certificates -- not earning credit, but getting you access to higher level courses or different courses at your school.
Ultimately, again, it never hurts to ask questions and investigate alternative credit options with your school. It is important to note again that Saylor Academy is not accredited and we only issue paper transcripts for proctored courses.
The above options are presented as a help and guide. If you have questions, get in touch with us! If you hear favorably back from a school that will grant you credit for your Saylor Academy coursework, especially for options 2 through 5, let us know!