How to Save Time & Cash Using Military Experience for College Credits
If you have ever served in the military, then you may or may not be aware that veterans heading to school can also get college credit for their previous military training and experience.
This, coupled with classes you may have completed while active duty, could give student veterans like yourself a big head start on your post-military education.
There are a few ways to accomplish this that aren't just limited to using your SMART transcript or pre-assigned credit transfer on your Joint Service Training Transcript.
Military Credit Transfer Policies
Before we get into the details though, it's important to note that credit transfer policies vary widely by state and institution, so it is critical that if you plan to attend college when you separate from military service, that you start the process as early as possible.
But even if you have already made your exit, the good news is, it is still not too late...
(As a sidenote: if you wish to transfer your GI Bill benefits to a spouse or dependants, then you will also need to start that process before you exit service.)
One way to determine what credits will transfer from your military service and to get the process started is to contact an admissions coordinator at the college or university you’re interested in to find out their specific policy for transferring military credits.
But even if your military training or the college courses you’ve taken don’t count for credit at the college you want to attend, you may be able to get credit for your training and experience through another avenue known as CLEP exams.
(This is one of the many reasons choosing a military friendly college or university with a solid reputation among veterans is important; so that you can make sure you get credit for all of your hard-earned experience while in the military.)
How Do I Get Started Determining My Military Credits?
ACE, SOC and DANTES are all useful resources when determining what previous military experience and training may qualify for college credit.
To begin, veterans need to secure a military transcript in order to receive credit for their training.
Who Should I Speak With?
You may request a copy of your transcript online through your specific military branch. You may also want to contact your military supervisor or commanding officer to ask for a letter of recommendation for your college application. There are also organizations that offer assistance to service members pursuing a degree during and after their service:
- The American Council on Education (ACE) evaluates how much and what kind of credit to award for military training and occupations.
- Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges Consortium (SOC) awards credits for military training and academic testing.
- Defense Activities for Non-traditional Education Support (DANTES) manages the work of the SOC and offers several specialty education programs.
- Admission Coordinator - It is a good idea for you to also be in contact with your school's admissions coordinator so that you can work together to get your military experience transferred over.
University representatives and certifying officials can direct and advise you to determine where your transcript will take you and how best to leverage your existing MOS and credits. In the end, making sure credit is awarded properly will always be up to the you as the individual student and the institution you choose to work with.
For example, at ABTU we have over 15 years of experience evaluating military transcripts and training and helping our veteran students get the most out of their previous experience and hard-earned benefits.
We also know the importance of leveraging what you already know to help you finish your program of choice faster and for less.
In the case of undocumented training, you will simply tell us about your training and experience and sign up to take a "Challenge Exam" where you have the opportunity to test out of certain course material.
We even provide you study guides and pre-tests to help refresh your memory. This is a pain-free process that can save you both time and money.
If you're a veteran looking to get the absolute most you can out of your previous military experience, or even an active duty servicemember looking to plan ahead, we encourage you to reach out to us to find out how we can serve you in getting an accredited, 100% online university education at ABTU.
Or if you're a military spouse, we have ways we can help you too!
Get in touch with us today and request more info to find out how we can help you or request your complimentary transfer credit evaluation below.