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How to Use Work and Life Credits to Save Money When Going Back to School

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At the Tulane School of Professional Advancement, we recognize that many of our students arrive with varying degrees of professional, academic, and life experiences. These should count toward an advanced standing or exemptions from academic coursework and requirements where applicable. Your experiences in previous jobs, the military, or community service can help you in your pursuit of a bachelor's degree, master's degree, or professional certificate. Here's how to use life and work credits to save money and complete your academic program faster.

What Are Work and Life Credits?

Simply put, work and life credits are college credits awarded based on merit for college-level skills. You may qualify for work and life credits if you have previous work experience, military training, a background in community service, or other relevant life and professional experiences. You can also take tests to earn credits, which will reduce the time it takes you to earn a degree or certificate and save you money on tuition.

Portfolio Credit Assessment

There are several different ways to earn work and life credits, including creating a portfolio that showcases the various skills you've gained during your previous experiences. People often assume that portfolios are limited to arts-related activities, but you can use yours to list any relevant experiences. Your portfolio can document your achievements and outline how the skills you've developed align with the bachelor's degree, master's degree, or certificate you want to earn.

Assessment Exams

Many schools, including Tulane SoPA, offer assessment exams to determine your level of proficiency in your chosen subject. Our College Level Examination Program (CLEP) covers various topics, and you may be eligible for the credit if your scores are above the minimum for each subject. We also offer DANTES Subject Standardized Tests (DSST) for students whose paths to education are non-traditional, including veterans and active-duty military personnel. These assessment exams are often more approachable for confident test-takers with some familiarity with college-level coursework.

A Combination of Methods to Earn Credits

Students who are going back to school often use a combination of methods to maximize the number of credits. Typically, there are limits on how many credits you can earn for work and life experience. Tulane SoPA allows students to use up to 24 credits for undergraduate programs and 6 credits for graduate programs.

The Benefits of Using Work and Life Experience Credits

Using work and life experience to earn credits saves you both time and money. On average, undergraduate students earn up to nine credits, which can save them up to $3,400 in tuition and fees; graduate students often save up to $2,000. Work and life experience credits also make it easier to balance work and school, and they can help give you a clearer idea of why you're going back to school.

Apply to Tulane SoPA

In addition to our assessment exams for earning work and life credits, Tulane SoPA offers a range of financial aid options. We also provide several benefits for veterans and active-duty military personnel. Apply online today to get started in one of our many undergraduate and graduate programs.

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