Did you now that you can receive college credit for your military service and save thousands of dollars? An ACE and DoD program can help provide veterans and active military college credit towards their degrees.

You’ve acquired skills through rigorous training and in war zones.  You’ve 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.

Just imagine how 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 help veterans and military earn college credit for their service.

Many 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 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.  You are able to begin or continue your educational program with:

  • fewer course requirements
  • decreased tuition costs
  • 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 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 coursework.you may have already covered.

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
  • other learning experiences

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

NOTE: 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, these 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.

2. Learn Tour 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.  Military training 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 Military College Credits

  • 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