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Knowledge is power, as we all know. So know this. If you are a college student now or aspire to be one in the future and have worn or still wear the military uniform, some of your illustrious military experience may actually be translated into college credit by some schools, depending upon your specific academic goals.

The upshot? You graduate faster. You get the high-speed job pulling down the big bucks faster and you get to call yourself a professional success in record time.

Who knew all those painful push-ups would amount to something other than sore muscles?

A new guide titled “A Transfer Guide: Understanding Your Military Transcript and ACE Credit Recommendations” deciphers all for you; it is available online here. The guide is designed to help servicemembers and veterans better understand the basics of academic credit and how such credit may be awarded by institutions of higher education for military training and occupational experiences.

While the guide covers extensive ground on the subject of transfer credit as it relates to the ACE credit recommendation, it takes great pain to answer pointed questions that servicemembers and veterans often ask about getting college credit for their military experience. Among the examples of such questions given due respect in this guide are:

What exactly is transfer credit?How do colleges and universities use ACE credit recommendations?How much credit can I expect to receive for my military training?How can I appeal a transfer decision?How do I get my official military transcript in the first place?How do I interpret what it really says once I have it in my hands?Additionally, this useful read is packed with detailed information about Servicemembers Opportunity College and branch-specific education programs such as GoArmyEd, eArmyU, Navy College, Air University Associate-to-Baccalaureate Cooperative Program and Marine Corps SNCO Degree Completion Program.

Written in a straightforward and user-friendly fashion, the guide is bookmark-worthy on your browser and good information to have as you pursue your degree.

Specific examples of advice doled out include:

Research and identify an academic institution that meets your needs as an individual and as a learner.Learn, understand and know your academic institution’s policies and procedures regarding transfer of credit.Audit and review your military transcripts periodically (every six months if on active duty) for updates and modifications.Start the transcript and transfer review process early, with your application to the institution. Have all of your official transcripts from previous colleges and service branches sent to your new school for evaluation before you start taking any classes.Speak with your academic adviser. He or she should be able to help you avoid taking classes for which you may receive transfer credit until an official evaluation is completed.The guide also points out that many students waste valuable time and money taking classes that are duplications of previous courses, simply because they signed up before having their military experience evaluated.

Don’t fall into that category. Your future is waiting on you. What are you waiting for? Reach out to your nearest military education resource today and get the ball rolling.

Janet I. Farley is the author of “The Military-to-Civilian Career Transition Guide” and “The Military Spouse’s Complete Guide to Career Success.” Her column appears monthly in Stars and Stripes. She can be contacted at: janetfarley@hotmail.com.


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