Saylor Direct College Credit
Saylor Direct college credit courses can help you complete your degree with substantial tuition savings. We work directly with colleges and universities to provide zero-tuition transfer credit for more than 30 of our free, self-paced, online courses, helping degree-seekers overcome barriers of cost, time, and location.
How it Works
- Saylor Direct courses have been evaluated and recommended for transferable college credit by two organizations, ACE CREDIT and NCCRS.
- Based on those recommendations, you can earn transfer credit when you enroll at one of our partner schools or, potentially, at hundreds of other colleges and universities that have partnered with ACE or NCCRS.
- For each course you want to transfer, you must pass a Saylor Direct Credit Final Exam under the supervision of an exam proctor and request that a transcript be sent to your school(s).
- This page contains details that are essential to earning credit for your work. Read through this page and let us know your questions!
Watch this video for an overview of the Saylor Direct credit program:
Checklist: Steps for earning college credit
1. Explore the Saylor Direct Credit program
- Read through this guide and let us know your questions
- Choose the Saylor Direct courses you hope to take for credit
- Confirm that your school will give credit for your courses and how your courses will fit into your degree program
2. Prepare for your exam
- Study the course materials to prepare for your exam
- Take the non-credit exam at least once for practice and review
3. Get a proctor and take your Saylor Direct Credit Final Exam*
- Familiarize yourself with the proctoring options and choose a proctor
- Schedule your exam with your proctor – your proctor will unlock your exam when you are ready to start your test
- Take the Saylor Direct Credit Final Exam for your course
4. Send your transcript to schools
- See instructions for how to send transcripts for your course(s)
▸ Save or print this checklist * To earn the recommendation of credit, you must take the password-protected “Saylor Direct Credit Final Exam”.
Saylor Direct Credit Courses
Credit acceptance: confirm that your college/university will give credit
The two main ways that our courses can be recognized for credit are through our Credit Transfer Partners and through the networks of colleges/universities maintained by ACE and NCCRS. Note that Saylor Direct college credit courses are recommended for credit by ACE and NCCRS, meaning that earning transfer credit depends on your school accepting those recommendations. We have signed agreements with our Credit Transfer Partners to make this process as dependable and streamlined as possible. Always check with your school for current policies about earning transfer credit for courses recommended by ACE and NCCRS.
Saylor Academy Credit Transfer Partners Our partner colleges and universities will guarantee recognition for some or all of our Saylor Direct credit courses. See individual partner pages for details (where available) on how our courses can transfer.
ACE and NCCRS networks Search the networks linked below to see if your school(s) will consider ACE or NCCRS credit recommendations:
If your school is not listed, talk to your advisor or the Admissions department about their transfer credit policies.
Set Up a Proctor
Your exam must be monitored by a proctor, who will unlock the exam and maintain a secure testing environment. There are two options for proctoring: you can use an online service called ProctorU or set up your own in-person proctor.
- Using ProctorU (preferred)
ProctorU is already familiar with Saylor Direct credit exams and offers the convenience of online proctoring, open scheduling, and a fast set-up. You should take the exam in a secure, quiet place with a dependable network connection. Students often take the exam at home.
See ProctorU’s video Online Proctoring: How it works to better understand their process.
To choose ProctorU for your exam, see our complete instructions.
- Using an in-person proctor
If you are unable or prefer not to use ProctorU, alternative arrangements with an in-person proctor or a testing center are possible. This option takes some more time and effort to set up, so please plan ahead and read our Instructions for using your own exam proctor carefully.
Order a Transcript
There are two types of transcripts, relating to which organization (ACE or NCCRS) has recommended a course for credit. If a course is recommended only by ACE, you must use option 1; if a course is recommended only by NCCRS, you must use option two; if a course is recommended by both organizations, you may choose either option. Keep in mind that, depending which courses you have taken for transfer credit, you might need to order both types of transcripts.
Option 1: Courses recommended by ACE
- Create an account at the ACE CREDIT Transcript Service website, if you do not already have one. Note that you do not need to supply a student ID number – you can leave that field blank. ACE charges a $20 fee to register and establish a record, which also includes one free transcript request.
- Search for your Saylor Academy course(s) using the ACE course number (given in the course list on this page) or using our provider page.
- Add your Saylor Academy course(s) to your ACE CREDIT record. ACE will ask us to confirm.
- Once your record is confirmed, any transcripts you request will be processed and released by ACE. Additional transcripts after your first cost $15.
The ACE Transcript Service provides a lifelong record of learning that has been evaluated and recommended for credit by ACE, including from many providers other than Saylor Academy. Please note that the fees above are set by ACE and could change.
Option 2: Courses recommended by NCCRS
- Complete this transcript request form. If requested, send ID confirmation using our secure form.
- Saylor Academy will create a transcript and send it by USPS First Class mail. We usually process and mail transcripts on Tuesdays and Fridays, so please note that it can take several days for your transcript to be processed and to arrive at its destination.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I have to take the entire course? Can I just take the exam? Taking the course is very much recommended, but not required – your recommendation for college credit is based entirely on passing the proctored exam.
What does it cost? Taking our courses is completely free. Saylor Academy charges no fees directly, so the costs below are subject to change without our immediate knowledge. Proctoring:
- ProctorU charges $25 USD for each session/attempt.
- Fees for the alternative option, In-person proctoring, will vary.
- Your first ACE transcript costs $20 USD; additional transcripts from ACE are $15 USD.
- Saylor Academy transcripts are free.
- Your college/university may charge fees to transfer credit.
For example, if you were to take and pass two exams with ProctorU and order your transcript through ACE, you would most likely pay $70 – $25 (x2) for proctoring and $20 for your transcript.
What are NCCRS and ACE? These are the independent organizations that recommend our courses for college credit. Both have long histories and widespread recognition among colleges and universities. Since 1974, the American Council on Education’s College Credit Recommendation Service (ACE CREDIT®) has connected learning obtained outside the classroom to college credit in partnership with colleges and universities. NCCRS (National College Credit Recommendation Service) is a program under the University of the State of New York Board of Regents that helps “working adults and other students earn credit for learning acquired outside of the college classroom”. See also:
My school isn’t one of your partners. How can I find out if my school will give credit for your courses? Both NCCRS and ACE have large networks of colleges and universities that have agreed to consider their recommendations in granting credit for students. Contact your advisor or the Admissions office at your college/university to find out their policies about ACE, NCCRS and transfer credit.
What is proctoring? Proctoring means that your exam will be monitored, just as if you were in a classroom or physical testing center. Your proctor is there to help facilitate your exam, report any problems, and let us know that everything went according to plan.
What is ProctorU? ProctorU is our default proctoring service. They are able to monitor your exam session remotely through a webcam and microphone. This video shows how it works.
I don’t know the password to unlock the exam The password to open a Saylor Direct Credit exam must be entered by your proctor.
How can I confirm that a course is recommended for credit? We have pages on both the ACE and NCCRS websites that provide descriptions of each course and dates of validity.
Saylor Academy’s organization page on the ACE CREDIT website lists courses that have been recommended for college credit.
Saylor Academy’s provider page on the NCCRS website offers details including course length, dates of validity, learning outcomes, area of recommendation, and current contact information.
Do I have to take a proctored exam? Yes. The recommendation of credit is based on confirming a test-taker’s identity and ensuring the exam took place in a secure environment.
Can I take the exam more than once? Yes. Most exams have a limit of three attempts (noted on the entrance page for the exam). There is a 14-day waiting period between two consecutive attempts.
I see more than one exam – which one do I take? The credit-recommended exams are labeled “Saylor Direct Credit Final Exam” to distinguish them from our regular certificate exams.
Will the proctored exam be the same as the regular certificate exam? The two exams will be similar but not identical. Each exam is built to test the same learning outcomes and Each attempt of either exam will be different from other attempts.
What should I expect the day of the test? When you are ready to start your exam, after connecting with your proctor, you will log into the Saylor Academy site and navigate to the exam. Proctored exams are password protected; when prompted, your proctor will enter the password. Once you have started the exam, you have two hours to complete and submit your answers. You will find out your score immediately.
What is a passing score on the exam? Like our certificate exams, a passing score is 70%. Some colleges and universities may require a higher score. We recommend that you take the certificate exam one or more times as preparation and so that you will better know what to expect from the proctored exam.
Will I get a letter grade? No. Your Saylor Academy transcript will include your final exam score as a percent grade. Your ACE transcript will not show a grade at all. Often, transfer credit will be recorded without a specific grade – check with your college/university to find out their policies.
How long will it take for my school to receive my transcript? We usually mail Saylor Academy transcripts on Tuesday and Friday. Depending on when you submit your request, please plan for up to 7 days for your school to receive your transcript and additional time for your school to process the transcript. When you order a transcript through the ACE transcript service, you have the option to send an electronic transcript, which might be the quickest option.
Can I get credit for […] course? Are all Saylor Academy courses available for college credit? The only courses that we have definitely connected to college credit are those listed on this page. Getting credit depends on a decision by your college or university.
Other useful resources Active and knowledgeable communities exist around affordable credit options, such as DegreeForum and DegreeInfo – browse these forums to find tips and answers from many people who are pursuing low-cost degrees.
My question isn’t answered here!
Our Help Center might have what you need, but you can also get in touch with us.