It’s Time to Finish What You Started

As a working-age adult, you have a lifetime of experience that can pay off when you return to school. Many colleges and universities now offer college-level credit for prior learning and professional experience. Through a prior learning assessment (PLA), you can demonstrate relevant learning acquired through
your personal and professional experience and translate that learning into college credit.

Be sure to explore these alternative ways to earn college credit to finish your degree in less time and at a potentially lower cost.

Alternative Ways to Earn College Credit

College Level Examination Program (CLEP)

You can test out of some courses through a CLEP exam. Check with your college or university to confirm which
CLEP exams they accept and what score is needed to earn college credit.

  • Acceptance of these exams is often listed in the university catalog or testing center.
  • 33 subjects available
  • Credit can be awarded towards lower division coursework
  • $85 per exam, plus a testing fee charged by the testing center
  • Multiple choice, 90-minute exam

DSST Exams

DSST exams are similar to CLEP exams but are not accepted for credit as often as CLEP exams.
Credit can be awarded towards upper & lower division coursework.

  • 38 subjects available
  • $85 per exam, plus a testing fee charged by the testing center
  • Multiple choice, 2-hour exam

Advanced Placement (AP) Exams

If you took an AP exam in high school, and passed with a 3 or higher, you may be able to earn college credit at your institution.
Check your account with College Board and/or previous high school transcripts to see if you have earned credit.

Proficiency Exams in Approved Disciplines

Some universities offer the option to test out of courses through proficiency exams generated by the university.
There is usually a fee. Check your institution’s catalog and talk to your academic advisor.

Certificate/Certified Career Credit Evaluation

If you completed a vocational certificate or associate degree at a regionally accredited institution,
you may be able to transfer your credit into a bachelor’s degree.

Armed Forces Experience (Military Record, JST)

Current service members and veterans have a Joint Services Transcript.
Request your transcript and work closely with an academic advisor who serves veteran students to see
if your work experience can translate to college credit.

Portfolio Evaluation

Some institutions allow you to earn credit through a portfolio (credit or non-credit course).
This option includes intensive writing to summarize your work experiences and/or certificate(s)
of completion of certain non-college credit training.

Turn Your Experience into Credit!

  • Talk to your navigator about your personal and professional experience outside the classroom.
  • When you’re ready to enroll, work with your admissions counselor to explore the opportunities your college has to offer.
  • Once you are admitted, work closely with your academic advisor to use these alternative ways to earn college credit.