What Are the Best Accredited Colleges for Life Experience Degrees?

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accredited colleges for life experience degrees

The American Council on Education (ACE) has been utilizing its National College Credit Recommendation Service to help adult and non-traditional students turn their life experiences into college credits for over 40 years.

Which Colleges Accept Life Experience Credits?

Life Experience Credits

An increasing number of accredited colleges and universities have chosen to tailor academic programs specifically for adult learners by accepting life experience credits, among other accommodations. There are life experience programs for students pursuing bachelor’s degrees. And many graduate programs also accept prior learning credits.

Many of these schools feature online class formats that allow working professionals to maintain their current employment while working towards a degree that will qualify them for their desired job or promotion.

College Rankings

Here at OnlineCollegePlan, we’ve ranked the top accredited colleges that allow you to exchange your work experience for college credit. Our methodology for our ranking was based on the following:

  • National accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council (DETC) or the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
  • The amount of distance education degree programs offered.
  • The number of credits accepted for life experience.
  • National rankings list from various outlets.
  • Freshman retention rate, to ensure schools are providing helpful advising for new students.
  • Graduation rate, to ensure that schools are providing engaging and relevant coursework.

We devised our methodology to ensure that schools are not only flexible with their credit transfer policies but also provide academic and online support to help students complete their degrees.

Life Experience Credits

The colleges listed below are the best places to begin turning your life experiences into college credits for your desired degree! Every school’s credit transfer policy is different, so you should contact an admissions counselor if you’re interested in applying or learning more.

The 5 Best Schools for Work and Life Experience Credits

  • Linfield College accepts up to 30 credits, including some from non-traditional life experiences such as travel, family, and areas of personal interest.
  • Colorado State University accepts up to 90 total credits towards more than 150 different programs of study.
  • DeSales University offers a variety of accelerated online bachelor’s degrees and professional certificates.
  • Berklee College of Music has a Prior Learning Credit Program where you can apply for credits based on your related work experience.
  • Central Michigan University allows 60 work and life experience credits towards your bachelor’s degree through their Credit for Prior Learning program.

Life Experience Credits

College Credit for Military Experience

Many colleges also accept military work experience for credit. This can be a great way for service members to earn their degrees fast and avoid taking unnecessary classes. This applies to veterans as well. If you are a veteran looking to return to school check out our list of the Best Online Colleges for Military Veterans.

College Credit for Life Experience

Other than military training, some kinds of life experience that are often transferred for credit include:

  • Professional experience from employment that is related to your field of academic study.
  • Training from non-traditional degree programs, such as professional certificates.
  • You can demonstrate any area of knowledge by passing a College Level Exam Program (CLEP) test.

Transfer Credits to Save Time and Money

There are several other ways that students can transfer in credits which can considerably lower the time and financial cost of attaining a degree, so prospective students should be sure to exhaust all of their options.

If you are pursuing a bachelor’s degree, you are generally required to complete 120 credit hours. Every little bit can help!

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