Higher education can be expensive, but students with existing work and life experience may be able to reduce some of these costs by translating their knowledge into non-traditional loans. Can work experience equal college credits?
Watch out for “graduation mills”
Some media articles on higher education programs that offer loans for lifelong learning and work experience warn future students about ‘diploma mills’, which are ‘schools’ that offer a printed diploma in exchange for cash but do not provide education. These companies are still there. The New York Times warns that this dishonest institution “does not verify credit applications.” Some universities provide individual assessment of work and life based on the academic review. As one example, a student who founded a non-profit organization was recognized for proficiency in fundraising, creative art and website design.
What is a Work / Life Loan?
For many students, especially those who did not finish high school a few years before starting their studies, many classes take place outside the classroom. Whether you serve as a member of the army or gain practical knowledge in the professional world, students who qualify for credit for work / life often gain additional knowledge or skills that can be included in the required study points.
Portfolio assessment of prior learning
Depending on the university you are attending, you can earn recognition for professional experience by creating a prior learning assessment (PLA) portfolio. Your portfolio will document the knowledge at university level that you obtained outside the classroom, and then be assessed for potential credit for the grade scientific.
If your school offers the PLA option, it will most likely also offer a course that will help you prepare a portfolio to make sure you are doing everything right to get a loan successfully. You will need to choose undergraduate courses that are comparable to your professional experience and describe how your experience meets the learning objectives for this course. In addition, your portfolio may include:
- Descriptions of work, work environment and equipment used
- Letters verifying knowledge and skills from superiors or employers
- Certificates, licenses and awards
- Resume and transcripts
- Other evidence and documentation of college-level learning
You will have to pay a fee that is different for each institution to assess your portfolio, but this fee is often much lower than having to complete the entire course. For example, if you study at Strayer University, tuition costs $ 1,435 for the course, while the fee is the portfolio is only $ 250 per course.
The best ways to get student loans for work experience
Student loans for work experience are not necessarily new, but the variety of opportunities available to working adults and experienced professionals seeking degrees has increased significantly in recent decades. This is especially true in the event of the rapid spread of online university courses among non-traditional students.
According to the American Council on Education (ACE), the American Council on Education’s College Credit Credit Service (CREDIT®) was founded in 1974 to combine workplace learning with colleges and universities, helping students gain access to academic loans for formal training completed outside traditional study programs. After reviewing over 35,000 programs, CREDIT is the national leader in the evaluation of out-of-class education and training, including courses, exams, apprenticeships and other types of non-traditional training. “