How an International Student Found a Great Way to Earn College Credits Online. A StraighterLine Success Story.

Beth Dumbauld

success_story_hanny_011215Students from around the world are discovering how taking online classes can help them earn high-quality degrees from colleges and universities based in the United States at a lower price.

StraighterLine international student Hanny Gunnink is a part of this growing global trend that enables students to use online technologies to actively seek out the best educational opportunities from US schools at an affordable price.

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Hanny Gunnink may live in the Netherlands, but that didn’t stop her and her family from using online courses at StraighterLine to successfully, and affordably, work towards earning a degree from a college in the United States. And that’s not the only thing that sets Hanny apart from other students…

Going to College in America as a Homeschooled Student

Hanny is a homeschooled high school student who began taking college courses online at age 16. Her family first heard about StraighterLine when her dad started researching affordable, online, US degrees. Her dad’s online search eventually lead him to StraighterLine partner, Thomas Edison State College, because they were impressed with the school’s liberal transfer credit policy. “I wanted to earn a US-based degree and when we found out Thomas Edison would accept a large number of ACE credits for transfer, we knew it would be a good fit.”

Also factoring in their decision was the academic success other homeschooling friends were finding in the United State by taking online classes, earning ACE credits, and transferring them into degree programs at TESC.

"We knew that StraighterLine would be a great option since all StraighterLine courses are ACE Credit recommended, can go directly on an ACE transcript, or transfer directly to a partner school [like Thomas Edison].”

Finding an Easy Way to Earn College Credits in the United States

As Hanny and her father investigated how earning affordable online college credit could work for an international student, they came across the American Council on Education Credit Recommendation Service (ACE CREDIT). Through the ACE website, they discovered how easy it could be to earn American college credits online, and transfer then into American online degree programs.

For Hanny, “Thomas Edison was particularly attractive, because of their generous credit transfer policy. We also knew that StraighterLine would be a great option since all StraighterLine courses are ACE Credit recommended, can go directly on an ACE transcript, or transfer directly to a partner school [like Thomas Edison].”

Following in the Steps of Other Homeschoolers Earning Online Degrees

Following in the footsteps of family friends and likeminded homeschoolers, Hanny was inspired by how simple and successful their personal experience had been with earning college credits for an online degree. “We knew another [homeschooling] family that did online learning and took online classes. We spoke with them and they showed us how easy it was to earn ACE credits and successfully transfer them into degree programs at TESC.”

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Setting Yourself Up for Success with Student Success

The first online class Hanny took at StraighterLine was Student Success, and she feels it did exactly what it said it would do - set herself up for success as a college student. “[In the course], I learned a lot about how to study. Plus, it was really interesting!” Over time, Hanny ended up completing and transferring 6 StraighterLine courses to Thomas Edison by the time she turned 18. “It was easy to get my StraighterLine courses on my ACE Transcript!”

“My studies are a high priority. I really like distance learning. You can take your time or move fast… really fast through courses!”

Advice to Other Homeschooling Students Interested in Earning a Degree in the U.S.

For Hanny, the single most important thing an online student needs to do is manage their time. Her advice is simple:

  1. Make a plan.
  2. Work [on your courses] when you have time. [Taking online courses] – you can complete everything on your own time. There’s a huge benefit of being able to work when you know you have the time.
  3. Distance learning online is a way better way to get a degree in America.

Hanny says, “My studies are a high priority. I really like distance learning. You can take your time or move fast… really fast through courses!”

Getting an Associate Degree in the United States

Thanks to StraighterLine, Hanny is well on her way towards earning an associate in arts degree from Thomas Edison State College. “My goal is to go on and earn my bachelor’s degree here in the Netherlands. Without StraighterLine, I would not have been able to get so many courses done on my own time. It’s really been great!” With StraighterLine, Hanny completed 6 college courses, and saved over $5300 on the classes she needs to help her earn her degree at TESC. Congratulations Hanny!
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