Once a student determines how many credits they would like to earn independently and have tentatively picked a Plan, the next step is to research the new “rules” colleges have established for earning credit and then discover the wide variety of “tools” available to reach their goal.



Before considering the multitude of individual tools available to accumulate college credit, some common understanding of the college process would be helpful. This section will cover:

  • Terminology
  • Admissions
  • General Education Requirements
  • Accreditation
  • Ways to Pay



Colleges and universities are going through a wonderful transition, bringing incredible flexibility to busy students looking for a cost-effective degree path. Rather than being faced with admission fears and wondering how to pay the ever-increasing costs, students can now choose from several options to begin accumulating college credit hours.

Students who choose one the last four Plans will discover ways to begin earning credit independently, before enrolling in the college they plan to graduate. This will give students the opportunity for significant savings and allow them to earn credit in ways that better fit their schedule and learning style, rather than just the traditional classroom model.

The full range of sources for earning credit before enrolling in a student’s degree-granting school, include:

  • Credit by Examination
  • Local Colleges (Non-Degree Seeking Student)
  • Online Colleges (Non-Degree Seeking Student)
  • Dual Enrollment
  • American Council on Education (ACE)
  • Professional Licenses and Certifications
  • Prior Learning Assessments
  • StraighterLine
  • FEMA




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