You’ve acquired skills through rigorous training and in war zones, and have applied them quickly, professionally and thoughtfully in real-life situations. You have knowledge that others don’t possess and are looking to transfer it to a degree, a resume and for future possibilities after the military.  Did you now that you can receive college credit for military service, experience and training and save thousands of dollars?

Just imagine all those years of service, all those TDY trainings, and your highly-specialized marketable skills could advance you in the civilian world. Good news, we have the guide on how to receive college credit for military service and why it’s so important to seek out.

College Credit For Military Experience and Training

The American Council on Education (ACE) has teamed up with the Department of Defense (DoD) to facilitate active duty military and veterans earning college credit for military service.

Many colleges and universities provide military transfer credit for military experience, and the partnership between ACE and DoD reviews military training and experience in order to recommend appropriate course credit to member schools. ACE assists service members and veterans by educating schools on how to best provide college credit for military experience and training.

This results in saving you time and money, as you are able to begin or continue your educational program with fewer course requirements, decreased tuition costs, and more credits on your transcript. *This is what everyone wants right? 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 over $100 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 possibly redundant coursework you may have adequately covered while in the military.

4 Steps to Maximize College Credits for Military Service

In order to get the most credit for your military experience, you’ll need to do a little research and follow these steps.

1. Get your Joint Services Transcript (JST). Before you begin, request a copy of your military Joint Services Transcript. This will include information such as your military course completions, military occupations, college-level test scores and other learning experiences.

For Air Force, you will need to obtain your CCAF Transcript instead.  This is your version of the JST.

2. Learn your options and choose wisely. Select a degree or courses that align closely with your MOS (military occupational specialty) and experience. Become familiar with the ACE recommendations for courses and occupations. For more information on your options, please click here.

3. Research educational institutions. Seek out schools that are military-friendly or have reputable veterans programs. Contact your selected schools’ Office of Admissions to understand their policy on accepting military college credits.

NOTE: You can use CollegeRecon to learn what military and veteran programs nearly 3,000 schools offer.

4. Select your ideal college. From here, it is recommended that you reach out to numerous schools, as military training credits may carry more weight at a specific institution. Acceptance practices are not equal across the board, so 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.

Important Notes About Credit for Military Service

  • Credits for military experience typically applies to lower level, elective coursework
  • If your desired area of study is different than your MOS, you may receive less credit than anticipated
  • The final decision regarding the transfer of military college credits is ultimately determined by the college, but don’t hesitate to appeal if an adverse decision has been made.

To get started on earning educational credit for your military experience and skills,visit the American Council on Education’s Military Guide for further details.


CLEP Exams

DSST Exams

JST: Joint Service Transcripts

CCAF Transcripts