Testing To Get Credit
Speaking of exams, there are many exams that you can take that can allow you to test out of certain requirements and receive credit. The College-Level Examination Program offers tests for a variety of subjects that are recognized by many schools. CLEP exams cover history, languages, business, English composition, science, mathematics, and social science, and are offered free to military students. The Defense Activity for Non Traditional Education Support funds these tests for military, military spouses, and some civilian employees of the military. DANTES also pays for DSST tests, which assess prior learning as well. Advanced Placement exams are also often accepted.
Another route to getting credit is through the American Council on Education , which evaluates transcripts for nontraditional training to help schools and students figure out equivalency. ACE has a contract with the Department of Defense to conduct academic reviews of military courses and occupations. With a military transcript through ACE, you may be able to more easily apply your military experience toward a degree, but transfer credits are at the discretion of the school you attend.
Breaking Down What You Save
Average college courses can range from six week to fifteen weeks long. They typically result in three credit hours or semester credits.
The average cost per credit ranges from $135 to $1000+.
At one end would be a local, two-year community college. On the high end would be a four-year, private university.
Average cost per credit across all sectors of $550.
To quantify this opportunity, lets say a military student transfers in 24 ACE-recommended credits at a public, four-year university with 10 week courses priced at $550/credit.
Cost per 3-credit course = $1,650
24 ACE-recommended credits = 8 completed courses
Total Cost Savings = $13,200
If the student takes two courses per 10-week semester, it would take them four semesters to complete 8 courses.
Total Time Saved = 32 weeks or 8 months
The added benefit is that GI Bill users will save a total of eight benefit months. Those additional months could be used for:
- Additional undergraduate coursework
- Transferred months to dependents or spouses
What Are The Limitations Of Military Experience Credits
Unfortunately, veterans like me learn the hard way that not all their ACE credits apply for their degree program. After all the recruiter told us how we can get college credit for nearly everything we do and every promotion we earn. But the fact is, most of the ACE credits servicemembers earn only apply to lower-level free-electives. Only a select handful of credits actually apply toward core requirements or upper-level course work.
The main exception is in the case of technical degrees where the veteran is seeking a degree in their actual military occupation. For example a degree in network security may fit with a veterans ACE credits.
In addition, it is up to each college to determine the number of credits they will accept, and how they will be applied toward a specific degree. In fact, some schools may even choose not to grant any credit for military experience. That is why it is critical to shop around for the school that best fits your needs – value, accreditation, degree options, and grants college credit for CLEP exams and military experience.
You need to ask the admissions counselor about the schools policy for accepting ACE credit recommendations before enrolling.
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Research Military Friendly Schools
Some schools have a dedicated military admissions teams or military transfer credit evaluators. These are individuals trained in reviewing Joint Service Transcripts and CCAF Transcripts.
Other indicators are:
- Military tuition discounts or Reduced Tuition
- Dedicated Military Academic Advisors
- Military resources or groups on campus such as Student Veterans of America
Important Note: Selecting Your Ideal College
From here, it is recommended that you reach out to numerous schools. Military training may carry more weight at a specific institution.
Acceptance practices are not equal across the board, so please make sure to do your research and keep options open. Enroll only after the school has determined your military transfer credits.
NOTE: You can use CollegeRecon to contact schools to learn about what college credits for military service you may be eligible to receive.
Turning Unofficial College Transcripts Into Promotion Points
Once the college has received your AARTS transcripts from JST, they will take about 2 weeks to evaluate. As soon as they have finished, you will get an email saying that your Transfer Credit Evaluation is complete. You now need to log onto your account and print the unofficial transcripts in steps 12-14 above. Once you have those in hand, follow the steps below to finish the process.
Be sure to check on each stage of the process if any of it seems to be taking longer than I have said is normal. If you have spent any amount of time in the Army, you know they like to lose paperwork, a lot! If you have any questions, please let me know in the comments section below are email me at
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What About Military Transcripts
Military transcripts provide documented evidence to colleges and universities of the professional military education and training and occupation experiences of service members and veterans.
These official transcripts:
- Provide a description of military schooling and work history in civilian language.
- Display degrees, apprenticeships via ‘United Services Military Apprenticeship Program , certifications/licensure and tuition assistance courses for Coast Guard, Marine Corps and Navy JST transcripts.
- Serve as a tool for academic and career counselors in advising soldiers and veterans.
- Facilitate the preparation of resumes and explaining military work experience to civilian employers.
Heres How To Turn Your Military Training Into A College Degree
Editors note: The following article was contributed by Marine Corps Community Services. The content may be edited for clarity, style and length. Find more at .
Are you thinking of getting a college degree? With your military training and experience, you may already be partway there.
Military training, in addition to voluntary education programs, can help you more quickly complete undergraduate and graduate degrees, online or in-person.
A great place to start is the Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges group, also called SOC. SOC can walk you through using credits from training and professional military education.
Military experience alone could be worth up to 20 college credits!
Most colleges grant 4 semester hours in physical fitness for recruit training. In addition, colleges usually give credit for other service schools attended, as long as those courses are longer than two weeks and are not of a classified nature. Some distance learning courses also are worth college credits. Credit may also be awarded for military occupational specialty, or MOS, training.
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Maximize Your Experience For Transfer Credit
The American Council on Education works with the U.S. Department of Defense to make recommendations on how military training experience translates into college credit. At AIU, we use those ACE recommendations to award transfer credit for your eligible experience and training.
AIUs Prior Learning Assessment team will review your past experience for potential college transfer credit including:
- Joint Services transcript For example, a US Army M1 Armor Crewman will automatically save 20% toward a Bachelor of Business Administration degree plus any additional credits for other work or qualifying college experience
- CCAF credits transferred to an AU-ABC Business degree
- Prior college coursework
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The Joint Services Transcript For Military Personnel
When you convert your military experience into civilian college credit, you save time and money on your education. The Joint Services Transcript provides documented evidence to colleges and universities of professional military education, training and occupation experiences achieved by service members and veterans.
The JST translates military experience into civilian language and:
- Gives potential employers a chance to see the real-world value of your experience
- Allows academic counselors a better understanding of a military members skills
- Saves time and money by awarding academic credits for military experience
The Joint Services Transcript is a collaborative program that replaces previous transcript programs. The JST describes your military schooling and work history in civilian terms, as a standard form, making it easier for colleges to read and recommend credits.
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What If I Don’t Want To Go To College
If you are interested in getting a technical degree instead of a college degree there are programs available for you to gain credit towards a technical degree or apprenticeship available. Check with your base education officer for more information.
Submit Your Past College Transcripts For Evaluation
During the admissions process you can submit unofficial transcripts for an evaluation by the Prior Learning Assessment Team.
Eligible credits may be accepted from any accredited U.S. institution recognized by the Department of Education. AIU will also consider requests for transfer credit from international institutions of higher education*.
- A grade of C or higher for undergraduate courses
- Coursework at the freshman level or higher
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How Do You Get Organized
Acceptance of transfer credit is determined by the receiving institution. When the college or university determines whether and how much credit to apply to your individual record, that credit will then appear on your transcript. Typically, grades are not included with the transfer process, so they are not factored in as part of the grade point average .
Academic institutions establish their own transfer credit policies and procedures. It is recommended that you identify and locate these policies first to help you understand the process and set a plan for making the most of your credit recommendations. When you research these policies, you will want to understand the details listed in the institutions catalog or bulletin. Often, the transfer policies will be general in nature. As you continue to research transfer information, look for more specific requirements for credit being transferred from another accredited academic institution, the military, professional training, or testing. Many institutions also post their transfer policies on the institutional web site. You may want to search for keywords such as transfer credit military transfer, or transfer policies.
There are a number of factors that affect transfer of military credit, such as institutional policy, alignment with appropriate courses, procedures, requirements, and transfer application deadlines. Heres a quick checklist to help you facilitate your transfer credit experience:
Why The American Council On Education
Since 1945, ACE has evaluated military training and experiences to gauge their eligibility for college credit recommendations. In 1974, Military Programs began the assessment of military occupational specialties. More than 2,200 higher education institutions consider the Military Programs course credit recommendations these credit recommendations can also assist in the service members career advancement. It is up to institutions to decide on a case-by-case basis whether to accept credit recommendations. ACEs Military Programs is part of the Councils Center for Education Attainment and Innovation, whose mission includes helping more adult learners, like you, gain college degrees and credentials.
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How To Translate Your Military Training Into College Credits
- College credits can REALLY be earned through your military career!
Many veterans heading to school can get college credit for their military training and experience, including leadership development courses. Coupled with classes they may have completed during active duty, this could give some student veterans a big head start on their post-military education. Well outline how you can translate your military training into college credits.
Three organizations offer assistance to service members pursuing a degree during and after their service:
ACE helps veterans and current service members by creating easily accessible web transcripts of their military training. ACE also publishes A Transfer Guide: Understanding Your Military Transcripts and ACE Credit Recommendations.
College Credit For Military Experience And Training
Approximately 1,700 colleges and universities provide the military college credit when you transfer due to your military experience.
The partnership between ACE and DoD reviews military training in order to recommend appropriate course credit to member schools. ACE educates schools on how to best provide college credit for military experience and training.
This results in saving you time and money. You are able to begin or continue your educational program with:
- Fewer course requirements
- More college credits on your transcript
Saving both money and time will help you to get where you want to get faster.
- Save Money An average college course can cost you an average of $550 per credit, not to mention study materials. Through this program you pay nothing and it can save you valuable GI Bill funds.
- Save Time College courses can take on average three to six hours per week over a 3 to 6-month period. With minimal time investment, you can save months towards obtaining your degree.
- Fast Forward to the Good Parts Skip past coursework you may have already covered.
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Does Basic Training And Ait Count As College Credits
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College credit for military experience and training is determined by the American Council on Education . Through ACE, you can take academic for most of the training you have received, including Basic Training.
One may also ask, how many college credits is a 68w? 40 credits
Also, how many college credits is Air Force basic training?
Yes. Enlisted Airmen begin earning college credits from the first day of Basic Military Training . Upon completion, you will have earned four semester hours in Physical Education.
Does military training transfer to college credits?
Transfer credit is available for training, coursework, testing, and military experience, with up to 30 awarded for military experience. Military training and education can transfer as towards an associate’s, bachelor’s, or master’s degree program.
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Together, those could account for half the credits required for an associate degree.
Still have more questions? Below are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions.
What do I need in addition to my military credits for an associate degree in general studies?
Most colleges require 60 to 65 credit hours for an associate degree and 120 to 130 credit hours for a bachelors degree. In most cases, the following college credit hours must be added to the average service member’s military experience to complete an associate degree in general studies :
- 8 semester hours in natural science
- 6 semester hours in English
- 6 semester hours in social science
- 6 semester hours in humanities
- 3 semester hours in mathematics
Note that you may be able to test out of having to take some of these classes as well, through CLEP/DANTES exams.
Where can I find out how many credits Ive earned through training and education?
All training and education is documented on the Joint Services Transcript , which is available online. That document explains how many and what kind of credit hours have been earned. Service members can obtain a copy of their JST by visiting the JST website at . Common Access cards are needed to log in.
Where can I find education help at my installation?
What is the Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges Degree Network System ?
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Making It Work For You
Prospective military and veteran students are encouraged to visit our Military and Veteran Portal to receive a free estimate of transfer credit, prior to applying to TESU.
MVP provides degree and career planning services to help you prepare for your future: whether you are a veteran looking for careers now, or a servicemember planning for promotion or future transition to the civilian workforce.
You can use MVP to decide on a TESU degree by:
Using “My Education Path” to explore programs that:
- Are aligned with your current military specialty or MOC. More of your college credits for prior learning are likely to apply toward such programs.
- Are of academic interest to you. For example, if you are interested in Finance, you can look for TESU Finance degrees. Selecting such a degree will prepare you for careers in that subject area.
Or, if you have already decided on a future career, you can Use “My Career Path” to first select your preferred career or occupation and then find matched TESU programs that can help prepare you for that career.
Create a free MVP account today and upload your military transcript to get a complete estimate of college credits for your military experience, explore careers, find TESU degrees that help your career, search jobs…and more!