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Getting College Credits through Service

February 10, 2012

If you’ve been in the military long, you know your training will pay off. For one, you can receive college credits for your military experience. There are some things that you need to watch out for when you are transferring credits. A good thing to use is a guide, such as “A Transfer Guide: Understanding Your Military Transcript and ACE Credit Recommendations,” which can give you a reference on the requirements and guidelines that most schools require for military credits. Here are some things to consider when transferring credits.

Institutional Policy

All schools will have their own policy on how to receive military credits. Most colleges will look at your relevant experience and you may have to take an exam in order to pass. Multiple academic institutions will also require the proper forms to prove your training and recommendations. You should research a variety of institutions and find one with a good military program, as well as plenty of financial aid programs that also benefit military students.

Course Alignment

The other factor depends on the courses that you want to take. Your experience has to match something offered by the university. Whether you trained as an electrical engineer and want to take engineering courses, and you worked in information technology and want to go into computer systems, your education has to align with the university’s offerings. Credits earned through military experience can drop time off your degree, but you may still have to take a test to prove that you know that basic principles.

Application Deadlines

Pay attention to a university’s application deadlines. Even if you have the credits and experience, you may simply miss the deadline day and forego all of the hard work that you used to get into the school. You can check with a school’s ROTC program, college advisors or a military contact at the school to figure out the deadlines and make sure to apply within the prescribed amount of time. Credits may not be available after a certain period of time.

Transcript Review

Part of the process is that you have to have a transcript reviewed by the university. This is to ensure compatibility and also your GPA before and after you left the military. If you weren’t in school during the military, then your grades will be judged based on your old transcripts as well as your military experience. For these reasons, you need to start a transcript review early so that you can get approved earlier and find out your course schedule.

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