College Credit for Life Experience: Older and Wiser?

Can a potential student get college credit for life experiences? As you get older, you realize that even though you weren’t in a classroom setting, you’ve acquired knowledge nonetheless. You’ve acted as a sponge, taking in news’ broadcasts, magazine articles (yep, even if they were about gardening or how-to-put-together-my-son’s-Schwinn-bicycle). All of this life experience will come in handy for college credits. A lot of the course material will be drawn from it. When I first discovered I knew stuff, I was on cloud 47; that is, until I had to take algebra. Can we move on now?

Use your worldly knowledge to give you an edge. You can get a “life credit” at some colleges, albeit you may have to take an exam to acquire it. The College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) is one option. You can “test out” of courses by taking this exam via a testing site and earn up to 12 college credits per exam, choosing from several subject areas. I did a quick search on to see if my college offered the CLEP. They did. So your chosen college might offer you college credit for your life experiences too.

At the same time, if you know that you could brush up on your scholastic skills, don’t test out of college classes. Start at the bottom, so you can maximize your learning potential. And no, you probably won’t get a life credit claiming that you’re simply older and wiser (I tried this one to no avail), and for house management, although I’d look into this because it might fall under the home-economics program. Technical training counts; this doesn’t mean learning how to program the DVR either. Be sure to look into the CLEP Official Study Guide 2009 (Clep Official Study Guide) if you decide to test out of courses.


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