Getting through college to the target of graduation is a major task. Those who have gone back to school in the middle of their careers experience an unbelievable workload. Because college coursework may match your work experience, it is possible to use some of your years of experience to test out of or get credit for certain courses and gain the credits as though you attended the class and passed its exams.

Make an application to the college of your choice. Be sure it is one that allows for credits to be given for life or work experience. Have your student adviser walk you through registration and student financing (if needed). Colleges will not administer life credit acceptance process unless you are actually a student. When you are an official student, your adviser will walk you through credit-proof ideas and requirements.

Gather proof of life experience based on the information you gained from your adviser. Examples of proof can be anything that documents that you are trained and proficient in the area of credit you are seeking. Professional licenses, certificates, proof of seminar attendance, authored books or manuscripts, your resume, awards, people who know your work and proof of military training from your commanding officer can all serve as evidence that you have extended knowledge in your specific area. (One school offers a course in putting all of this information in a portfolio presentation to give your work history the best chance of acceptance).

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Follow your adviser's instructions for submitting this information so that an assessment can be made for the credit or a test can be given. You may also be asked to write a term paper-type report on the subject being credited.

Ask your student adviser about the College Level Examination Program (CLEP) test. This is an exam program that may be used to give you college credits for a set cost of the test. There are 34 subjects that you can study and test for. Full credit is given for every test that is passed, saving you time and tuition fees.


Ask your student adviser which method of granting life or work credit is used at her college.


This process of finding just the right college is both frustrating and time-consuming because the college that offers your preferred course agenda may not be one that offers life-experience credit.

About the Author

Joey Campbell spent eight years in real estates sales and property management. She has been active in residential and commercial mortgage for the past 23 years in the Southeastern U.S. Campbell has attended hundreds of seminars, and has written and conducted workshops on subjects such as credit, debt excelleration and prequalifying for residential mortgages.