StraighterLine.com is a website that allows you to earn college credits at thousands of colleges with their online, self-paced college courses, with nearly 40 courses in Sciences, Humanities, English, Math and Business.
Members must first sign up to take courses from StraighterLine, then apply to a partner college where you will be able to transfer the course/courses for credit. StraighterLine has a list of partner colleges that will automatically accept transfers for full credit, or you can check into another college of interest to insure that credits will transfer.
The website states that courses are evaluated and recommended by The American Council on Education’s College credit recommendation service (ACE credit).
Membership at StraighterLine has 3 price options: $99/month plus $39 for every course started, $399 per course, or freshman year of college for $999. This includes free live, on demand instruction but students have to purchase books separately.
If you enroll in StraighterLine for $99/month you can take as many 3-4 credit hour classes that you want. You will be automatically billed once per month but can cancel at any time. If you chose the $399 option you will have six months to complete each course.
21 ‘StraighterLine’ Reviews
Excellent way to get credit fast
Straighterline is an excellent resource if you have some prior knowledge in the course you are taking. I took Prep Algebra as a refresher and than Algebra because my previous Algebra had expired. Because I used it as a refresher, I got through each in 1 months time. During my time with them I was constantly receiving coupons for free or reduced courses.
Usually starting costs are the price if the course- 49.00, a monthly fee of 99.00, and the cost if a book which can usually be found used online for less then 100.00. No other college course will cost you less then 250.00. If you think you can finish the course quickly it is well worth it and very inexpensive. If you think it is going to take you more then 3 months to finish a course you may as well take it at a regular college because you will get killed with the 99.00 a month fee. This program is only inexpensive if you can get through it quickly. If used this way it's a huge benefit.
I'm currently taking there intro to algebra course. I watch the lessons several times each and read and study all reading assignments several times. When I go to take there test there's about 5 questions out of 12 on material that wasn't covered anywhere in the lesson. So I'm very frustrated I do very well on the material that's covered but it's a guessing game on the other questions, and half the time I can't find any reference about the question in the index of the book to look up the information on how to figure out the problem.
Courses that involve lots of math should state that math is a prerequesite.
I started the chemistry course. I got through the first few chapters @ attempted the first graded test. None of the test questions seemed to be based on ANYTHING I read in those first few chapters and more than half of the questions seemed to involved complicated math equations. As a returning adult student who has not done ANY math in years, I was not prepared to take this course. The course advertised that there are no prerequisites. It should state that a minimum knowledge of college algebra is a necessary requirement to pass this course. Needles to say, I called my advisor this morning and asked to withdraw from the course. It was too late to get my money back, but I am allowed to switch to a different course. Any advise out there? Perhaps business or something, nothing that comes with math. Something based on terminology. I read the reviews on microbiology, and was smart enough to withdraw from that one too. Perhaps I'll take my sciences at the local community college, I have friends in nursing programs that passed their chemistry that did very little math and could still pass the course if they got all the math questions wrong. This might be a great course for a pre-med student, or somebody studying to become an engineer, a high school or college teacher or for some other career that involves the need to actually be good at math. But, for someone who wants to be a nurse, a therapist, or an elementary teacher does not need courses that are this involved. Most community colleges gear their students towards courses that more accurately fit there career needs.
A Good Option
I am on my 3rd course with Straighterline and I feel this is definitely a good option for those persons that want to decrease the time and money associated with a conventional college degree. On average it has taken me six weeks for each course. I will fully admit they are challenging but what are people expecting? You need to read and understand the course material to do well in the class. Open book does not automatically mean a passing grade. I particulary like the presentations as I do feel they add to my overall understanding of the material. The only thing I would change is the time period allotted to take the exams. I am an adult learner and sometimes putting a short timeframe to take an exam just adds to my stress. I wish every exam was two hours long regardless if it is a quiz, mid-term, or final. Being able to take the exams in the comfort of my own home is a plus. Overall it has been a positive experience and I will be taking at least five more classes before transferring them.
To Expensive! Is not as cheap as they say
Don't waste your money unless you can afford it. Yes the program is good, wont denied. But unless you are planning to finish it in a month is as expensive as any other online program that are already recognized. 165 I pay for a class, plus 99 monthly membership that I cancel, wisely. That plus the 65$ eBook that I did not own (yes only with the monthly membership). So if you take at minimum three months to finish. I will be paying around 550 anyway. So better to go with AMU or APU, or any community online program, is not better than them and is as expensive. They sell themselves as cheap, no they are not, is a trick, cause they know that without structure not everybody will finish an online program on time.
I am currently taking the Microbiology with lab through Straighterline.
I can honestly say this is my first and last class through this school. The structure of the course is very misleading and I have wasted a lot of hours and money because of the lack of direction and structure of their courses. I have complained multiple times and have called in and multiple emails to try and get some direction on how to better take this course and have not gotten any help.
Their tests and quizzes are the biggest joke by far. After nearly failing the first quiz I started taking very detailed notes and still have an extremely hard time with the exams. They ask the most random and small print questions that I don't even remember reading anywhere in the whole reading assignments. Even when I try and go back to the assignments to find this information that I got wrong on the test, I can't find it anywhere!!! Or I do find it on some really random side note or it’s the most complicated random small printed word. The questions they choose to ask on their quizzes are written poorly, misspelled, super complicated or misleading, and have almost nothing to do with the reading assignments.
I have actually found wrong answers on their course study questions. I got the answer wrong but I knew it was right and was able to prove it. I called the school, yet again, to tell them of this mistake and the best thing they could do for me was to tell me to put in a support ticket. Yeah that was helpful. NOT!!!
Their labs are not up to date on their website either. I did a lab wrong because of how it was written. I finally called the lab company that told me I was not using an updated version of the lab and they sent it over to straighterline 8 months ago. Straighterline denied that their lab was wrong and said that I wouldn't be penalized for incorrectly written labs.
I do not trust this school at all and have proven them wrong several times. I would never recommend this school to anyone!!
Positives and negatives about my SL experience
I'm near the end of my second SL course. I took one history class and am now almost done with a math course.
Here are some positives and negatives from my perspective:
- You *can* get a course done quickly if you are willing to do nothing but coursework for a week straight. I have gotten through mine both in about seven days each.
- The textbooks that I've had for both courses have been affordable and well written.
- The course fees are reasonable. Search online for coupon codes and create a SL account to get their emails, which sometimes include discounts.
- It was the most convenient option available to me. I was working and didn't have the ability to take a five credit math class at a local college.
- You can chat online with an advisor to get questions answered.
- My history class had non-graded practice tests, my math class did not. Since the book often goes much more in-depth than the tests, it was hard to know what I needed to have mastered to do well on the tests.
- Test times aren't long enough. I run out of time every time.
- The subscription fee is killer, if you aren't taking the class at a fast pace. If you are planning on taking more than one month to finish a class, or if you are working full time and hoping to do just a little here, little there, it is probably cheaper to take a course from somewhere else.
- The lessons themselves are boring and monotonous. As a result, I don't use them. For an online course with no assigned teacher, I expect better than a computerized voice reading the words on the slide.
- The syllabi are not as much help as they could be when you're starting a class. Mine for my math course has no mention of the fact that the final is closed book... I had to wait until getting to that lesson to read it in the final instructions.
- Advisors aren't always available when you need them, like during the late evening (when I do my coursework).
I'm continuing with them. I can't say I've enjoyed my experience, but it helps me get credits out of the way. SL isn't a good choice for everyone, but if you're willing to put in the work, it can be a convenient option.
difficult questions to answer without detailing your textbook
I took religion and ethics through straighterline. I passed the religion exam with a different version of the textbook....(Do not do this. You will most likely fail because you need the exact answer!!!) I already knew alot about the subject area,
I failed my final in Ethics at 69%, due to not finding the answers in the textbook. They are very hard questions to find.
i am going to go to Straightline again. Mostly because I live in rural sask.
I will be trying anatomy and physiology this time though.
Straighterline is Horrible
I took Straighterline because i was told it was "a good alternative for my situation." I am deployed, and didnt want to have the schedule of a class. So I started with their self paced history class. No one told me there was a proctored exam at the end, that REQUIRED a web cam. Mind you I am forward deployed and, did not get this information until the day I wanted to take my final. Now I am 8 weeks into the course, at 99/month, plus the initial set up fee, plus the book, plus the time vested in taking the BS class, and now have to set on it until I can get a web cam to take a BS test.
The questions on the test are vague, and misleading, causing major confusion. I understand them wanting to prevent cheating, but some form of direction would be nice.
I have called in many times to get support, but every time I call its like I am calling for the first time. Mind you, I am under the assumption that I am a paying customer, and I would like my records on file so I dont have to answer the same questions over and over again, such as a class schedule.
I am not recommending this to ANYONE. It is a waste of time and money. I might come out a bit better financially on the back side of things, but only by a few hundred dollars. Not worth it.
Not the best
I was short 1 credit to graduate from the school I was enrolled in and since they are supposed to be a partner of Straighterline with a guaranteed credit transfer I decided to take the Business Law course as it would be cheaper and quicker than another course at my place of enrollment.
It is accurate to say (as many here have) that there is no correspondence between the course, including the homework and labs, and the actual tests. Though they were open book if I was not a “speed reader” I would never have passed them.
The questions are obscure, and after the first test I took I started printing them out before exiting (once you exit you cannot get back in) and looking up answers that were marked wrong.
I found seven (7) incorrectly marked questions that I had actually gotten right. I had to contact the student adviser who sent my list of questions and answers (complete with page numbers from the textbook) to the “subject matter expert” in order to have it corrected. It took me twice as long to look up and type out my proof than it did to do the original lesson which I did not appreciate. I also felt a like I was doing their job for them because these "subject matter experts" who designed the course and tests clearly did not seek any unbiased feedback or try them out objectively prior to making them available.
Another thing I did not like was that the textbook was not available in an electronic format. I had to order the book, which took several days to arrive, which I felt was unfair as this is a subscription-based service and time dependent.
I was able to complete the course before the 28 days was up and after taking the final immediately cancelled the subscription so I was not charged for the second month.
I also had an issue with the transfer credit because an email from Straighterline was never sent to me informing me that they needed the address of my school (even though it was on their partner list) in order to mail out the transcript. I eventually found out from my school that the transcript had never arrived and was able to correct the matter but it was an annoyance.
Overall, it was okay for a 3-credit course, but I do not know if I would want to deal with the poorly written tests for any length of time. I have never had the experience at any other college of tests so disconnected from the material that it was like they wanted you to fail; and I probably would not take any course here that relied on a professor to grade given the time sensitivity of the subscription plan.
Do not take courses from here I took an English course that claimed to be self paced but the graders take long to grade your papers so you have to pay the $99 a month fee over n over again. It is a SCAM do not waste your money especially if you are planning to take a course that requires writing essays.
A great way to save time and money
This is a great thing to use for people who want to save time and money at school. I have successfully transferred 4 Straighterline courses into my University and I am working on 4 others. I have recommended 6 people to take classes with Straighterline and they have all been accepted by their univeristies.
Straighterline is actually a Transfer Credit opportunity...
Straighterline is actually a Transfer Credit opportunity. I strongly advise students to take 30 transfer PROFESSOR DIRECT credits here to reduce college cost.
Straighterline has some partner colleges that accept most courses, but most students will want to transfer these ACE accredited courses to ACE colleges. The professor direct feature makes it more likely that the transfer will be successful and useful. For example if you're taking college algebra you want the college to accept the course in place of college algebra and not just throw it into their elective pile. So, overall, Straighterline is good as a source of inexpensive transfer credits with the proviso that you take the course with a real professor, preferably someone who already has a college affiliation.
Most of these reviews are fake
It doesn't take much effort to realize that all of the poor reviews on this site are 100% fake.
StraighterLine is legitimate, has 40 regionally accredited college partners, handfuls of corporate partners, and leads to actual college credit.
Fast Company, The Chronicle, and Inside Higher Ed all praised StraighterLine in December, 2012. These are major publications.
Fast Company says StraighterLine is "democratizing higher education." - http://www.fastcoexist.com/1681058/an-ebay-for-professors-to-sell-college-courses-directly-to-students
The Chronicle says StraighterLine is leading the education revolution https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Chronicle-of-Higher-Education/115762938437732
Inside Higher Ed says the cost of college is being lowered by StraighterLine http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2012/12/14/two-companies-give-faculty-more-control-online-courses
Good and really cheap!
I took a history course and it was fairly easy. The modules had little to do with the test, but the book followed right along. I finished it pretty quickly and it cost me $140 for 3 credits. It doesn't get any cheaper than that! Just remember, it's not a class at all. Think of it more like an easier way to get CLEP. I filled out an online form, and they sent my transcripts to my school for free.
NOT CHEAP, NOT HONEST! DO NOT TAKE
i would not take a class with this low budget (not literally), unknown school. i was told this course was $99 a course. i was not told it was $99 a month. i took one course (college algebra) and it took longer than a month. i ended up paying $200 for the course and when it was time to request an official transcript, i was charged 40 additional dollars to receive my transcript. i have completed a degree at a 4 year university and also taken classes at a junior college and have never been charged for a transcript. i spent a total of $240 for a course with this unheard of school, when it would have cost $139 at a community college.
*************do not put yourself through the headace of dealing with these people**************
oh, and the most important occurance is when i put in a request for my transcript through straighterline, they failed to mention that it was not an official transcript and i would have to go through "ace" to receive an official transcript. i just so happen to received a call (the following semester) from my university stating that i had not graudated because they did not receive an official transcript from ace. so my graduation was postpond the following semester. after calling straighterline, i was told by a supervisor that they have no way of knowing which school requires an official transcript and which schools does not.
*************do not put yourself through the headace of dealing with these people**************
I was unfortunate enough to come across straighterline.com in a search for cheap online courses. Western Civilization I sounds like an easy class to take online right? WRONG! i read the entire book, did all practice exercises, and took notes on the online courses yet when it came time to take the test only 6/25 questions were covered in ALL of the material. Even the ones i could answer were so abstract that they didn't even make it into my notes (ex. Aristotle's family consisted of...). I failed the first test and could only pass the other 5 tests by copying and pasting the question into google. If the quality of online courses was measured in condiments, i would rate it "ketchup packet". I may as well have been reading Dr. Seuss books because then at least i would have studied something almost applicable to my life. Awful program, dont make the same mistake I did
I just completed Anatomy and Physiology 1 with lab. I found this course very challenging. I am usually an A student, so getting a B was sad, but goes to show that this course is legit. The labs were very time consuming, but enabled me to learn the content much more with the practical components.
The only thing I did not like, is that the exams are suppose to be open book, but since they do not provide enough time for the exams, it's impossible to use the book for more than a few questions. I suppose this is to ensure that you really take time to read the chapters prior to taking the exams.
One thing to change is to extend the time of the exams and the 28 day billing cycle should be 30 days.