Frequently Asked Questions
Are Advanced Placement Courses offered?
Sevenstar offers a wide range of Advanced Placement (AP) courses. The courses offer college-level curricula meant to prepare high school students to test and receive college credit. Because Sevenstar Academy is a virtual high school, students must locate local schools where they can test. Application and payment for May exams must be completed in October.
Are Dual Credit courses offered?
Our dual credit program enables students to earn high school and college credits by taking a single course. For many high school students, it is an affordable way to gain college credit, earn scholarships, and explore Christian colleges. Most dual credit courses are college freshman-level with no prerequisites.
At most institutions, students will enroll in classes with a college professor and learn within the college institution’s learning management system. Upon successful completion of a dual credit course, students will earn a half-credit at Sevenstar for each 3 or 4 credit hour college course. The college or university will also provide the student with a final grade and send instructions to request an official transcript for the credit(s) earned.
What are the time commitments for an online course?
Students need an appropriate amount of time to work in courses to be successful. For a regular course, an estimated amount of time per week per course is 4–6 hours. An estimate for honors courses is 6–7 hours per week, and an estimate for AP courses is 8-10 hours per week. These are general recommendations only; times will vary according to each student.
These estimates are based on a conventional 18-week semester. Compressing the start and end dates for a course will increase these hourly requirements. A regular course will usually require 80-96 hours per semester; an honors course, 96-112 hours per semester; an AP course, 128-160 hours per semester.
When can I enroll in courses?
The Academy offers open enrollment. A student can start any Monday if payment is complete the previous Wednesday.
Grading & Assessments
What are DBAs?
Most courses include discussion-based assessments, DBAs. DBAs appear in the student’s course as graded assignments in which students must meet with the instructor virtually for a conversation. DBAs often (but not always) precede a test, and there is always a DBA before a semester (or segment) exam. These meetings allow the instructor to assess students’ mastery of concepts before an assessment or exam. Students should schedule an upcoming DBA with the instructor 1-2 weeks in advance of the target due date in order to find a date that works for both the student and instructor. The DBA should occur before the assessment; however, if the student and instructor are not able to meet until a later date, students may go ahead and continue completing coursework (i.e., they can complete the DBA after the assessment).
How does the Academy calculate GPA?
The GPA on a transcript is calculated on Sevenstar Academy courses. A GPA is often calculated differently at high schools issuing students’ transcribed credits, we do not include them in our own calculation. When students are completing post-secondary applications, colleges and universities have institutionally specific ways to calculate GPA. Keeping track of your Sevenstar Academy GPA can help you know where you are regarding an overall view of your academic progress. If you are interested in applying for scholarships or NCAA eligibility, you must know your GPA in order to meet your goals.
What grade is considered passing?
In order to support student learning and mastery of course material, learning outcomes are assessed through course assignments and assessments. As such, credit is awarded only for courses in which a cumulative semester grade of 60% or higher is earned through the completion of assignments and assessments (including semester exams) and the criteria of the enrollment duration policy are satisfied.
A passing grade must be earned in both semesters of a two-semester course in order to be awarded the full 1 credit. A 0.5 credit will be awarded for a passing grade in a single semester.
Example: A student receives a 61 in the first semester and a 59 in the second semester of a 2-semester course. In this case, the student would receive 0.5 credit for the first semester but would not receive credit from Sevenstar for the second semester, even if the final cumulative course grade is 60.
Plan of Study
What if I want to take different courses than my Plan of Study?
Connect with your Student Support Specialist to make sure you are on track toward graduation with the needed requirements.
What is the difference between a regular and honors diploma?
Can you explain volunteer hours?
Volunteering is an important part of a student’s faith journey toward graduation as the Word tells us in Mark 10 that Jesus did not come to be served, but to serve. Therefore, students must complete 40 hours of volunteer service each Sevenstar school year. Students work at libraries, assisted living facilities, churches, etc. Each year during the plan of study update meetings, students agree on what will be logged then recorded in our student information system.
Can we transcribe high school courses that are taken during middle school?
As long as the course is a high school course in our catalogue and aligns with our requirements, we will transcribe credits.
Some schools allow student athletes to log their training hours for Health/PE credit rather than taking a Health/PE course through the school. Is this an option at Sevenstar?
Yes, we have this option. Parents agree to a web-based form that says “SSA will give credit for an extracurricular activity when a student is involved in formal training that exceeds typical enrichment. There should be at least 5 hours a week of coaching, training, practice, or other relevant events. Competition is an expected part of the student’s experience.”
What about other activities like theater?
The same option is available for electives.
What is Credit Recovery (CR)?
Students who do not pass courses the first time may take available credit recovery versions. Because credit recovery courses are not equivalent to original versions, students who pass CR courses can only receive up to a maximum grade of 70%.
Visit our policies page for more details.
Tuition & Fees
Can I pay for my child’s tuition with my 529 plan savings?
Federal law (as of 2017) does allow families to use their 529 money for qualified secondary private education tuition only. However, many states still have tax penalties. Likewise, the federal law does not include homeschool expenses. So, the issue at hand is whether the state in which the student lives considers their enrollment with Sevenstar to be homeschool or private (or some consider homeschools to be private schools), and whether the state has prohibitive tax laws. For that reason, we recommend families seek qualified tax/legal counsel in their own state to determine if it is recommended to use the funds for Sevenstar or not. As a matter of process, parents will move the funds from their 529 investments to their checking account and then write us a check. Sevenstar cannot provide tax advice as to the appropriateness of that decision.
Do I need to buy any textbooks?
A few courses require etexts or textbooks. You will learn when you complete the welcome call with your instructor.
Our enrollment team can answer questions or help you plan your path of study. Let us know if you have any questions!