Most students are aware of the fact that universities generally accept transfer credit from previously attended accredited schools, but you may be surprised to learn that traditional academic credit is just one of the many types that could be evaluated towards your current program. You might be closer to reaching your educational goals if your past includes (for example):
- Military training
- ALEKS, AP, CLEP, DSST or Excelsior Examinations
- Public service experience
- Professional experience in a given field
- International degrees
- Any number of other measurable sources of college level learning
It is important to remember that each university sets its own standards with regards to which types of credit they will accept. A general understanding of your university’s policies will help you determine if your previous learning or experience might allow you to complete your degree more quickly and at a lower price point.
A review of our earlier piece, “Four Things You Should Know About Transfer Credit”, will help you gain a clearer picture of which types of “non-school” experience students could potentially receive credit for. If you’re curious about the specifics, American Public University (APU) offers an online What’s Accepted resource with more details. An admissions representative or academic advisor can help you determine if your previously-obtained knowledge might qualify as transfer credit towards your program of study.
Another thing to keep in mind is a school’s residency requirement. Not to be confused with other policies bearing similar names, this requirement has nothing to do with where the student resides. Rather, it is a determination of how much credit can be transferred into the university, and how much must be earned at a student’s “home school”. These determinations vary by program and institution and they are designed to ensure that a student’s education is consistent with the learning outcomes associated with a particular program offering. Click on the What’s Accepted link to read more about any transfer credit maximums that apply to your particular program.
By Jamie N. Montgomery
Team Manager, Transfer Credit Evaluations at American Public University