Getting your degree after the military doesn’t mean you’re starting at square one. Years of service and experience have provided you with a unique skill set that puts you in a great position to get your degree. Thankfully, there are ways to get college credit for your years of valuable military experiences. Here’s how…
Joint Services Transcript
The American Council on Education (ACE) works with the Department of Defense to review military training and offer an appropriate suggestion for translating military experience into college credit with the Joint Services Transcript (JST). More than 2,300 colleges and universities recognize the JST as official documentation of military training and experiences. Take the necessary steps to acquire your JST here.
However, it’s important to also do some research. Some colleges and universities might technically accept your JST, but will award those credits as general elective credits. Basically, those credits don’t help you complete your degree any earlier. Make sure to ask admissions personnel exactly how those credits will transfer and help you ‘check off’ required courses for your desired degree program.
(The Joint Services Transcript is used by the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, & Coast Guard. Air Force personnel can contact the Community College of the Air Force for their transcript.)
Test your way to college credit. There are two types of examinations, CLEP & DSST, which help college bound students save time while using their knowledge acquired outside of the classroom (ex: military experience) to accomplish their educational goals.
The College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) & DSST exams are funded by the Defense Activity for Non Traditional Education Support (DANTES) & are either free or discounted for military. Both exams achieve the same desired outcome: college credit. Do some research to see which exam is best for you & your goals.
However, like the aforementioned Joint Services Transcript, not all schools accept CLEP and DSST credits. Make sure to ask which exam credits will transfer and help you complete your degree program faster.
College Credit for Military Experience … Go!
Explore all of the options & see which you could benefit from most when getting college credit for military experience. Speak with admissions personnel to see what their respective school accepts and how they well grant your credit. This process will help you start your college career with a leg up!
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