Other Options for College Credit

College Credit for Military Experience

College Credit for Military Experience

As a veteran or service member, you may be able to receive college credit for your military experience, training and service - saving you time and money to complete your degree.

The American Council on Education (ACE) collaborates with the U.S. Department of Defense to review military training and experience and to recommend appropriate college credit. ACE's credit recommendations appear in the ACE Military Guide.

You may also be able to receive credit for professional development and training courses offered by business and industry, which can be evaluated through various prior learning assessment options. Contact an advisor at your community college to learn more.

Contact Your College Advisor and VA Certifying Official

There are several steps you can take to ensure you are on the right path.

Contact your college's advisor to answer questions and help you get started. They can help you with obtaining your military transcript. Discuss with your advisor courses and/or training that might qualify for a prior learning assessment.

Visit your college's website to familiarize yourself with their resources. Inquire about additional resources that could help you prepare for achieving your goals.

All approved colleges and programs have a VA Certifying Official who can assist veterans and service member students with the benefits process and in exploring your educational options. To find the VA Certifying Official at your college, go to the federal WEAMS Institution Search.

Apply for VA Educational Benefits

As a veteran or service member, you may be eligible for educational benefits through numerous VA Educational Benefit programs. For example, the Yellow Ribbon Program allows approved institutions of higher learning and the VA to partially or fully fund tuition and fee expenses that exceed established thresholds under the Post-9/11 VA Educational Benefit. To find out what education benefits you are eligible to receive, visit the VA Educational Benefit website or contact the Veterans Affairs (VA) Certifying Official at your community college for a benefits application.

You also should complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA serves as the application for most federal and college-based financial aid, such as grants, loans and work-study funds, as well as for Montana colleges.

Montana veterans and students who join the Montana National Guard receive special consideration for the State Grant and other financial aid programs offered by the Montana Higher Education Student Assistance Corporation.

Financial support may be also be available to veterans and service members who wish to take CLEP or DSST exams.

The Montana University System currently offers a Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) Scholarship Program from now through November 30, 2016 to encourage students with knowledge equivalent to college-level learning to pursue credit via tests or assessment. Students can make use of the scholarship funds to take standardized examinations, have credentials evaluated, or enroll in the portfolio process.

Additional Resources

Each of Montana’s colleges have plenty of resources for veterans and service members returning to school. Take time to discover which resources will benefit you. 

Visit the Plan for College link to view additional information that may be helpful to you.