My Top 3 Paid Alternative College Sites

If you know nothing else, know these two things about me. I am broke. And I am cheap.

As is probably obvious by my site, earning my degree as affordably as possible was one of my very highest priorities going into “college”. Yet, there are a few things I paid for that… well, you should, too.

I only like to share and recommend what I have actually used myself, so the few paid sites I recommend to you, I recommend because they are worth it. If you, your sister, your son, your neighbor’s best friend—if anyone you know is starting out on an alternative college path, take a word from the wise: free is good, but sometimes cheap is better.

Sometimes you can get classes for free; sometimes you’ll be so frustrated with a certain class and spending weeks and months on something you could have finished with in just 2-3 weeks, if you’d have just spent the $15-20 to make it happen. This is something I had to learn the hard way. Even when money is tight, months and months of study time is worth more than $20. Spend the $20, master the subject now, and get on to the next thing.

1. Dual Credit at Home

Dual Credit at Home (DCAH) is how I first got into alternative college methods, back in 2014 when I was still a senior in high school! I would have never ever had the guts to try for my first CLEP exam without their instructions and patient coaching, and I highly recommend them to all homeschoolers out there wanting to incorporate some college work into their high school curriculum! See my full post on DCAH and “How I Got Into This Mess” here.

2. InstantCert

There are two flashcard websites built around helping students prepare for CLEP exams: InstantCert and SpeedyPrep. There has been quite a bit of discussion on which is better, but in the ranks of students who have used both and taken lots and lots of CLEP exams (now including me), I don’t know anyone who prefers SpeedyPrep. InstantCert is the WAY to study for CLEP exams, costs $20/month, offers a discount if you pay 6 months at a time, and if you’re a new user, you can save $5 off your first month by using my link!


For the $200/month membership fee, you can earn 6 college credits every month on (SDC)! They have a large variety of course options, and are accredited by ACE and NCCRS, which means they should transfer no problem into at least 1,500 US colleges and universities! I feel that you should look at your schedule before enrolling because to get the best bang for your buck, you want to be able to complete two full courses in four weeks. It can be a little hard if that month falls over holidays or vacations, so pick four weeks in a row where you can consistently have a couple hours a day to study, and you can have 6 credits by the end of the month!

These are my top three! And honestly, only three. These are the only sites I would say I would really recommend paying for, or would pay for myself if I had to do it all over again. Do you have anything you’d add to this list?

*Image source: Pinterest

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