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 Saylor Direct Credit works
- Checklist: what to do
- List of credit-recommended courses
- Credit transfer to colleges and universities
- Preparing for your exam
- Exam proctoring
- Taking your exam
- Ordering your transcript
- Frequently Asked Questions
How Saylor Direct Credit 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 this page carefully and let us know your questions!
Watch this video for an overview of the Saylor Direct credit program:
Checklist: What to Do
1. Get to know the Saylor Direct Credit program
- Read through this guide and ask us your questions
- Choose the Saylor Direct Credit courses you hope to take for credit
- Make sure that your school will give credit for your courses and find out how your courses will fit into your degree program
2. Prepare for your exam
- Study the course materials
- Take the non-credit exam at least once for practice and review
3. Schedule and take your Saylor Direct Credit Final Exam*
- Familiarize yourself with the proctoring options and choose a proctor
- Schedule your exam with your proctor
- Take the Saylor Direct Credit Final Exam for your course
4. Order your transcript
- See instructions for how to send transcripts for your course(s)
* To earn the recommendation of credit, you must take the password-protected “Saylor Direct Credit Final Exam” with a proctor.
Saylor Direct Credit Courses
Credit Transfer to Colleges and Universities
Saylor Direct Credit courses are recommended for credit by ACE and NCCRS — earning transfer credit depends on your school accepting these recommendations. Students can earn credit through our Credit Transfer Partners and through the networks of colleges/universities maintained by ACE and NCCRS. 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. It might be helpful to reference specific details on course credit recommendations when talking with your schools:
- ACE National Guide: Saylor Academy course recommendations
- NCCRS: Saylor Academy course recommendations
Preparing for Your Exam
The best way to prepare for a Saylor Direct Credit exam is to work through all the course materials. You can work at your own pace and take as long as you need. Saylor Academy courses and learning materials are free to use. We recommend taking a course’s non-credit certificate exam at least once to help you prepare (especially if you do not have time to work through the full course). Although the non-credit exams use a different bank of questions than the credit exams, both are similar. You can take a non-credit exam as many times as you like but must wait 7 days between consecutive attempts. We offer some tips on how to study for our exams. You will need a Saylor Academy account to take a final exam. If you do not yet have an account, you can create one using the link at the top of any course or the “log in or sign up” link at the top of the page. You should also familiarize yourself with the Saylor Direct Credit final exam. Some exams allow for special materials (like calculators and formula sheets). Visit the exam page (linked at the end of your course) and read through the details there.
Important: Although it might be tempting, do not create more than one Saylor Academy account or circumvent exam waiting periods (7 days after an attempt for non-credit exams, 14 days for Saylor Direct Credit exams) or other restrictions. We have these rules to keep our exams secure and ensure that all students have fair access to our college credit opportunities. Violations can result in delay or denial of your transcript, among other possible consequences.
We use an online proctoring service called ProctorU. Your proctor will unlock your exam and maintain a secure testing environment.
ProctorU offers the convenience of online proctoring, open scheduling, and a fast set-up. Students usually take the exam at home.
See ProctorU’s video Online Proctoring: How it works to better understand their process.
See our complete instructions to get set up with ProctorU.
If you are unable to use ProctorU, local proctoring through a testing center is also possible. This option takes some more time and effort to set up, so please plan ahead! See complete details on the In-Person Proctoring page.
Taking Your Exam
On test day, your proctor will unlock your exam and you will have two hours to complete it. You will receive your results immediately after submitting your answers. Be sure to read through the exam details ahead of time and familiarize yourself with any allowed materials, etc. Remember that you should have only one Saylor Academy account — using multiple accounts or other violations could invalidate your exam. If you have any concerns or questions, let us know before you take your exam!
Ordering a Transcript
Transcripts are sent by ACE or by Saylor Academy. If your course is recommended for credit only by NCCRS, you should request the Saylor Academy transcript.
- Some schools might prefer an ACE transcript over a Saylor Academy transcript.
- The Saylor Academy transcript is a paper transcript sent by mail.
- The ACE transcript can be paper or electronic and might be received and processed more quickly by your school.
Option 1: ACE Transcript
- Log in to your account or create an account at the ACE CREDIT Transcript Service website. Note that you are not required to supply your SSN or a student ID number; you can leave those fields blank if you wish. 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.
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: Saylor Academy Transcript
- Complete this transcript request form. We ask for either the last four digits of your Social Security Number or for your Date of Birth to help identify you to colleges/universities. If your choose to use your date of birth as part of your identification, 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.
Option 3: Unofficial Transcript
You can view or print your unofficial transcript at any time through the site that hosts our course completion certificates.
Frequently Asked Questions
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:
What are the costs/fees?
Although Saylor Academy courses are free, you may be charged for proctoring and for transcripts. We do not charge those fees, 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 might 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.
My school isn’t one of your partners. Will I get credit for my course?
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.
My course isn’t listed on this page. Can I get credit for it?
The only Saylor Academy courses that are recommended for college credit by ACE and NCCRS are the ones listed on this page. In most cases, Saylor Academy courses not listed on this page will not connect to college credit.
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 Saylor Direct Credit final exam.
How many times can I take the exam?
There is no absolute limit, but we have these restrictions: Saylor Direct Credit final exams can be taken 3 times in a row, with a minimum 14-day waiting period between consecutive attempts. After a third attempt, you must wait at least 30 days before being able to make 3 additional attempts, each with a minimum 14 day wait between consecutive attempts. Because of how our system works, you must contact Saylor Academy to be able to unlock additional attempts after your initial set of 3. If an exam is currently closed to you, sign in to your account and visit the Saylor Direct Credit Final Exam page to find out the date and time the exam will re-open.
What are the Saylor Direct Credit final exams like?
Credit and non-credit exams are similar but not identical. See our help center article about final exams for details on what to expect.
What is a passing score on the exam?
Like our certificate exams, a passing score is 70%. Some colleges and universities might 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 or point 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.
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.