Most colleges and universities demand that students study general ed courses and earn college credit before enrolling in majors. In the past, students had to sit in classrooms and pay hefty tuition fees to sit for the courses.
However, due to the introduction of platforms like StraighterLine, Sophia, and many more, students can study these courses more comfortably.
Straighterline and Sophia are among the many online learning providers offering these courses that are quick, flexible, low-priced, and their credit transfers are accepted by a pretty large number of colleges and universities.
Nonetheless, since you cannot study through all the platforms, you must select one to enroll to. To help you choose a suitable platform, this article compares StraighterLine vs. Sophia to offer you an overview of their strengths and weaknesses. Therefore, kindly read it to the end, and you will be in a better position to choose between the two.
Which is Better, Sophia or StraighterLine?
Choosing the best education service to study your ACE courses can be tough because of the many alternatives available. However, Sophia and StraighterLine platforms have been widely accepted by both students and institutions.
Nonetheless, these two platforms have their share of strengths and weaknesses that anyone trying to study through them should note. Therefore, to distinguish the better platform between the two, this article serves you with the following points to consider.
At first, Sophia allows you to sign up on the platform for free to sample the courses you would like to undertake, meet with the instructors, and dig into their transfer credit options. After the familiarization, you pay a subscription fee of $79 that enables you to undertake a maximum of two Sophia courses at any particular time.
The monthly subscription fee covers eBooks, textbooks, and additional learning material you use. Therefore, when you undertake two courses simultaneously and take approximately two months, which is the maximum time to complete them, you will pay a total fee of $158.
On the other hand, completing a StraighterLine course will require you to pay a monthly subscription fee of $99. In addition, you will pay an additional fee of $59 that StraighterLine charges per course. These costs will cover a free eBook and free online tutoring in case you need additional help in the StraighterLine course you are studying.
Therefore, suppose you undertake two StraighterLine courses at the same time for two months. You will pay the monthly subscription fee for the two months, which will total $198; the fee for undertaking the two courses will be $ 118, leading to a total fee of $316. Even if you undertook the two courses within one month, you would pay the $ 99 fee and $118 fee for the two courses totaling $217.
Comparing the two in terms of the cost incurred to undertake courses in both platforms, Sophia is cheaper than StraighterLine. Therefore, you could conclude that Sophia is better than StraighterLine cost-wise.
Also see: What are the easiest Sophia courses
- Number of offered courses
Once you sign up for the Sophia platform by paying the monthly subscription fee, you will have access to a total of 33 (and still adding more) courses offered by the platform. These courses contain more than 30 thousand free online tutorials created by thousands of teachers. Moreover, all the 33 courses offered by Sophia have been accredited by ACE (American Council on Education).
By enrolling in the StraighterLine platform, you have access to 55 college courses. These courses sum up to approximately 156 credits. Like the Sophia courses, StraighterLine courses have been accredited by the American Council on Education.
Therefore, comparing StraighterLine vs. Sophia, you could agree that StraighterLine offers more courses and more course credits than Sophia. In that regard, you could conclude that StraighterLine is better.
- Administering of tests
When undertaking a Sophia course, you must sit for eight quizzes (challenge assessments), three tests (milestone assessments), and a Touchstone assignment. After completing these assessments, you proceed if you pass and retake if you fail. You pass if you attain an overall mark of 70 percent and above and fail if you attain a score that is below 70 percent.
Sophia’s tests are not proctored using the webcam technology as other ACE courses do. This is to provide their students with an ambient space to undertake the tests and maintain their privacy. Instead, they employ a special technology known as keyboard biometrics that curbs cheating by observing students’ typing styles.
Similarly, you must attain a score of 70 percent or higher to pass the StraighterLine tests. If you fail, you are forced to retake the tests by repurchasing the course and undertaking it afresh.
However, StraighterLine final exam tests are webcam proctored to maintain the integrity of the examination rooms and prevent cheating. The platform integrates ProctorU to supervise their students when undertaking the final examinations.
Comparing the two platforms, their examination and tests requirements are almost similar except for the proctoring part. Therefore, if you are a student who values space and privacy during examinations, Sophia is the option for you to go for.
- Transfer of credits
Sophia has collaborated with 40 institutions of higher learning to offer their ACE courses. These institutions automatically adopt transfer credits from the Sophia platform. In addition, more than a hundred other schools have accepted to review transcripts from this platform for the sake of students.
On the other hand, StraighterLine has partnered with 133 colleges and universities, which accept full credit transfers from this platform. Moreover, about 2,000 higher learning institutions have adopted transfer credits from StraighterLine in the previous years.
Therefore, comparing the two in terms of acceptance of transfer credits, StraighterLine has the upper hand. Its transfer credits are accepted by more colleges and universities than the transfer credits from Sophia.
After carefully scrutinizing the above points, you realize both platforms have their advantages and disadvantages. At the end of the day, it tones down to your needs, which necessitates you to follow your guts and make a wise decision.
Are StraighterLine Courses Accredited?
Yes, StraighterLine courses are accredited and legitimate for any student looking for quick and low-priced college courses. The American Council on Education’s College Credit Recommendation Service has assessed and recommended the college credits obtained by studying StraighterLine courses.
StraighterLine as a company is itself not accredited. The reason for this is StraighterLine is not a college or a university but a course designing company. Nevertheless, this company has partnered with 133 accredited colleges and universities that accept full credit transfer for courses from this platform.
In addition to the 133 institutions of higher learning, 2000 more institutions have accepted credit transfers from StraighterLine in the previous years. This indicates that this online service is legitimate, effective, and highly accepted by both students and institutions.
Is Sophia Learning Accredited?
Yes, the Distance Education Accreditation Commission has accredited Sophia’s learning, approving all its courses for the Approved Quality Curriculum.
All its courses have been assessed and recommended by the American Council on Education’s College Credit Recommendation Service.
Do Colleges Accept Sophia?
Yes, most institutions of higher learning, including different universities and colleges, accept credit transfer from Sophia. In fact, this online service has partnered with 40 colleges and universities to offer ACE-recommended college courses.
Hundreds of more institutions have reviewed and accepted credit transfers from Sophia.
Statistics from the company indicate that the online service has served students and educators from all the 50 states in the United States of America and about 200 countries worldwide. Since it was founded, more than 190 thousand courses have been completed through this platform.
Nevertheless, since not all colleges and universities accept transfer credits from this online service, you are advised to check if the institution you attend to join accepts Sophia’s credit transfers. By doing so, you are guaranteed to earn the credit transfers and use the Sophia transcript to further your education in that institution.
When you try to compare StraighterLine vs. Sophia, you realize that the courses offered by both online services are quick, flexible, low-priced, and their credit transfers are accepted by a pretty large number of colleges and universities.
However, since both platforms have their share of strengths and weaknesses that are different, you have the liberty to choose the one that suits your needs and schedule.