Having a college degree can make or break your future paycheck – so working toward a degree early is a smart move. Thanks to the American Council on Education (ACE) and its military programs, military personnel can actually receive college credit for their training outside the normal college setting.
It all began with the founding of ACE in 1942. The organization's primary goal was recognizing the educational value of military training and experience. Since then the council has evaluated military schools, experience in the field, and experience in training to accurately award academic credit. This means that soldiers can receive credit for the majority of their training, including even basic training.
To figure out how much credit you’ve earned visit the ACE military program's website. Funded by the Department of Defense and coordinated through DANTES (Defense Activity for Non-traditional Education Support), the program helps members of any military branch capitalize on their hard work and service to our country.
The first thing you have to do to get the ball rolling is request a transcript from your branch of the military. Every service has its own system for how you’ll request and receive transcripts. Usually, though, once you’ve made a request you'll receive an unofficial copy, while the schools you want to attend will receive the official copies.
To make sure you get the most out of your degree ACE recommends veterans use their credits to complete general education requirements for graduation. That way you can spend more time focusing on the specialized classes in the field.
More than 2,300 colleges and universities accept ACE credit, so don’t be afraid to see if you qualify or if your dream school will accept them.