Hiccups in Getting College Credits for Military Experience

A major secret to career success is education. The greater the level of education, the higher the median income is, according to government analysis. If you’re coming out of the military, being sure you have a college degree is a way to reintegrate into society and advance your prospects.

Advancing your education is easier when you can go into school with credits already assured. It is possible to get college credits for military training. However, getting acknowledgement of your work isn’t always possible.

For example, a former Navy nuclear reactor operator initially found that his chosen college would only offer some physical education credit for his experience, even though he had taken a physics class as part of his Navy training.

Although not all veterans go through the experience, many apparently do find that, when it comes to formal education, what they learned in the military might count for nothing. One of the issues is a lack of uniformity. Different schools might have entirely dissimilar requirements and policies. As part of considering a number of different colleges, former military personnel would have to examine what the educational transfer policies of each were.

Another issue is the need for the schools to understand more about the military than one might expect. To offer credits, a university would likely need to see both a transcript and descriptions of the courses already taken. The abbreviations can be confusing to someone unfamiliar with them, reducing the chance that a university official will spot information necessary to recognize credits.

Students might find that some schools charge significant sums to recognize the credits. Not only do the veterans pay a price, so do taxpayers if you consider GI Bill benefits. The public pays for the people to learn a subject once in the military, and then a second time at a university. The need to effectively repeat subjects drains education benefits that the veterans get, which makes continuing education more expensive and possibly impossible.

The military is trying to make the process easier by instituting a single software system to track education advancement of soldiers. And 13 states have joined the Multi-State Collaborative on Military Credit, a partnership of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin that focuses on “translating competencies acquired through military training and experiences into milestones toward completing a college degree or earning a certificate or license.”

Still, people with a military background should recognize that getting credit for what they legitimately know will continue to take more effort than it should. However, the results are worth the investment of time and potential frustration.

American Sentinel University is proud to have been named as a “Military Friendly School” for the tenth¬†consecutive year. This distinction puts American Sentinel in the top 20 percent of colleges, universities and trade schools nationwide that do the most to embrace America’s military service members and veterans as students, and to dedicate resources to ensure their success both in the classroom and after graduation. Learn more about our military friendly education programs and distance learning courses.¬†