Saylor Direct Credit

Saylor Direct Credit courses can help you complete your degree with significant tuition savings! We work with colleges and universities to provide zero-tuition transfer credit for many of our free, self-paced, online courses that are recommended for credit by the American Council on Education (ACE). Our Saylor Direct Credit courses help degree-seekers overcome barriers of cost, time, and location.

Please note: The credit recommendations for several courses expired at the end of 2023 and are no longer available:

  • CS101: Introduction to Computer Science I
  • CS102: Introduction to Computer Science II
  • ENVS203: Environmental Ethics, Justice and World Views
  • POLSC101: Introduction to Political Science
  • SOC101: Introduction to Sociology

For complete details on available courses and a link to current ACE recommendations, see

What does it mean to get credit?

Some Saylor Academy courses can be used to earn transfer credit toward degree programs at our Degree Completion Partners. Saylor Academy does not issue degrees. Read more about how to send a record of your completed Saylor Direct Credit course below in the Transcripts section. Please double-check with your school for details! Even if your school is not an official partner, they may still accept the ACE credit recommendation. If your school is not on our list of Degree Completion Partners, ask them to contact us about becoming a partner.  

What is ACE?

The American Council on Education (ACE) is a non-profit organization that represents the presidents of U.S. colleges and universities. It was founded in 1918 and is based in Washington, D.C., with a mission to provide leadership, advocacy, and support for higher education on a national level. ACE is known for its work on federal policy, education research, and student access and success. ACE provides various services and programs for its member institutions, including training and professional development, research and data analysis, and networking opportunities. It is also known for its Credit Recommendation Service, which evaluates courses and educational programs offered outside of traditional degree-granting institutions and makes recommendations for college credit. This service helps individuals and organizations enhance their education and professional development. The following Saylor Direct Credit courses are for transferable college credit.  

How much does it cost?

The only cost is for proctoring – each Saylor Direct Credit final exam attempt using our automated proctoring service will cost $5 USD. Read more below in the Proctoring section.  

How do I retake the test?

You can take any Saylor Direct Credit exam up to 3 times total. You must wait at least 14 days between any two attempts. You may only use 1 account to take your exam.

Ready? Here’s what to do:

  1. Find a recommended course.
  2. Double-check with your school that they will accept that course for credit! You can ask your advisor or registrar for more info.
  3. Take the course! Learn, study, and practice by taking the certificate exam.
  4. Pass the Saylor Direct Credit final exam in your chosen course – you can take it at any time with our automated proctor!
  5. For most partners, that’s it! You will be automatically issued a badge through ACE after passing a Saylor Direct Credit final exam. Check our transcripts information below for more details.


We are partnering with SmarterProctoring to help make proctoring more affordable and more accessible – the cost for each exam attempt is only $5, and you can attempt an exam whenever you like. No more scheduling an exam time! Whenever you are ready, click on the “Saylor Direct Credit Final Exam” in a Saylor Direct Credit Course and follow the instructions.

During the exam, we will be recording you, your screen, and the audio in your room. This is an automated proctoring service, but no decisions are automated; our staff only views recordings to make sure it is you taking the exam or to verify any questions about exam integrity. We understand that there are challenges with learning at home – we won’t invalidate your exam just because your child ran into the room!

SmarterProctoring has a good video and article to help you begin your proctored exam session: How do I start an Automated Proctoring Session? You can find comprehensive help for automated proctoring questions and issues in SmarterProctoring’s Automated Proctoring help topics.


  1. Desktop or Laptop Computer
  2. Chrome (v74+)
  3. Webcam + Microphone
  4. 5mbps+ Internet Connection


ACE works with the Credly service to provide records for passed Saylor Direct Credit courses, at no cost to students. Through Credly, you can send a consolidated transcript to your college or university that includes ACE credit recommendations for your completed Saylor Direct Credit courses.

You’ll receive an email each time you complete a credit course, once your course credential is available (typically within 3 business days). Your course badge is not the same as your transcript – when you wish to transfer your course(s), you should send your transcript via Credly.

If your college or university does not accept electronic ACE transcripts from Credly, you can request a paper or digital transcript from Saylor Academy here. Paper transcripts usually take approximately 7-10 business days to arrive, depending on your location. If you have any questions about proctoring, transcripts or Credly, contact us at [email protected].