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"Life experience" credit?
I really need to save money on college--just looking for the best way to do it, and I heard some colleges give you credit for life experience. Anyone have any experience with this?

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Asked by Jennifer Wednesday Oct 17th 2007 in Standards & Testing
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From what I've heard, life experience credit is associated with dodgy schools--diploma mills ask you to send in your resume and give you enough "life experience credit" to earn a degree, no matter what you have written down. Of course, you have to pay them a fee for the degree...

However, legit schools also do life experience credits. Each school is different but the process is always pretty rigorous. You'll probably have to take standardized tests, hand in a detailed portfolio, do an in-person interview, or get observed practicing your craft--the process varies from school to school and from subject to subject.

From what I've heard, you get the best results for life experience credit if your experience exactly matches a certain class. For example, if "how to prepare a corporate tax statement" is a class in your accounting program and you demonstrate that you already know how to prepare corporate tax statements, either by a portfolio of work or a test score or something, you may be able to get credit for that specific class.

You can tell the legit from the non-legit life experience credit by the standards of the school. Obviously if you just have to send in a resume, that's not enough proof that you know what you say you know--anyone can write anything on a resume. If you have to jump through a bunch of hoops to get your life experience credit, it's more legitimate.

Every process is different, though. If you're curious about life experience credit at a specific school, talk to the school's counselors and they should be able to tell you whether this option is available at your school--and how to go about pursuing it.

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