College Credit for Military Experience
DANTES Military Evaluations Program
Pursuing your college degree can be the best career move you can make, but it can also be very expensive and time consuming. That's why claiming credit for your military experience is vital. Applying your military experience credits could save you money and time. Best of all, using these college credits costs you nothing; you've already earned them!
The American Council on Education
The American Council on Education (ACE) was created in 1942 to recognize the educational value of military training and experience. Since that time ACE has continuously evaluated military schools, correspondence courses and occupations to determine the amount and level of academic credit each should be awarded. Through ACE, you can take academic credit for most of the training you have received, including Basic Training. The ACE military evaluations program is funded by the Department of Defense (DoD) and coordinated through DANTES.
Visit the ACE Military Programs
website to see how much credit you may have earned.
Getting ACE credits
The first step to claiming the credits you have earned is to request a transcript from your military service. Each service will provide unofficial personal copies and send us an official copy of your transcript at no charge. Each service branch has their own system for recording your military education and experience credits:
Navy and Marines
- The Army uses the AARTS system, which automatically captures your academic credits from military training, and Standardized tests. The AARTS system is available to enlisted soldiers only. AARTS Home Page
- Army Officers must use the form DD 295 (Application for Evaluation of Learning) to report their military training and experience.
- The Navy and Marine Corps use the SMART system. This system automatically captures your training, experience and standardized test scores. SMART Homepage
- The Community College of the Air Force (CCAF) automatically captures your training, experience and standardized test scores. Transcript information may be viewed at the CCAF web site.
- The Coast Guard Institute (CGI) requires each Servicemember to submit documentation of all training (except correspondence course records), along with an enrollment form, to receive a transcript.
Applying Your ACE Credits
- Under most circumstances, Veterans are eligible to use their former service branches transcript program. However if you are not eligible for AARTS, SMART, CCAF, or CGI systems, you will need to fill out form DD-295 and provide your DD-214 Discharge Document to receive credit or your experience.
In most cases, ACE recommended credits will be used to fulfill your free-elective requirements, but we will determine the number of credits that we will accept, and how they will be applied toward your degree.
One Last Money-Saving Tip
Have all of your official transcripts from previous colleges and service branches sent to USW for evaluation, before you start taking any classes. Many students waste valuable time and money taking classes that are unnecessary duplications of previous courses, because they signed up before their military and prior college transcripts were completely evaluated.