The American Council on Education (ACE) has been utilizing their College Credit Recommendation Service to help adult and non-traditional students turn their life experience into college credits for over 40 years.
Which Colleges Accept Life Experience Credits?
There is an increasing number of accredited colleges and universities that have chosen to tailor academic programs specifically for adult learners by accepting life experience credits, among other accommodations.
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.
Here at OnlineCollegePlan, we ranked the best accredited colleges that offer work and life experience credits. Our methodology for our ranking was based on:
- National accreditation from Distance Education and Training Council (DETC) or 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 lists 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 degree.
Based on our methodology, there were a number of schools that ranked highly, but we narrowed it down to the top 10 best accredited colleges that offer life experience degrees.
The top three schools on our ranking are:
- Linfield College, which accepts up to 30 credits, including some from non-traditional life experiences such as travel, family, and areas of personal interest.
- Colorado State University, which accepts up to 90 total credits towards more than 150 different programs of study.
- DeSales University, which offers a variety of accelerated online bachelor degrees and professional certificates.
If these schools or any other schools on our ranking might be the best place to turn your life experiences into college credits for your desired degree, be sure to visit their website and request more information. Every school’s credit transfer policy is different, so you should contact an admissions counselor if you’re interested in applying, or learning more.
College Credit for Military Experience
If you are a military veteran looking to go back to school for a particular degree, you should also 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.
- Any area of knowledge that you can demonstrate by passing a College Level Exam Program (CLEP) test.
Transfer Credits to Save Time and Money
There are a number of 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, so every little bit can help.
What are the Best Accredited Online Colleges?
Are Free Online Degree Programs Accredited?