Edvisors Private Student Loans

Scholarship News

Colleges Consider "Prior Learning" When Awarding Credit


March 18, 2010
by Scholarships.com Staff
As the number of returning adult students continues to grow and the traditional student population has only become more diverse to include those with backgrounds and life experience in varying fields of study, some schools are looking at rewarding those new students with credit hours for prior learning, rather than prompting them to start over as most freshmen do.

As the number of returning adult students continues to grow and the "traditional" student population has only become more diverse to include those with backgrounds and life experience in varying fields of study, some schools are looking at rewarding those new students with credit hours for "prior learning," rather than prompting them to start over as most freshmen do.

A recent article in The Chronicle of Higher Education explores schools that consider academic achievements alongside individual accomplishments before students step onto campus, and look at their volunteerism, years in the military, or on-the-job training, among other life experiences. Formal assessments of those experiences are then used to evaluate incoming students as a way to award them credit hours, often as a replacement of general education coursework.

At Valdosta State University, professors conduct assessments of students' experiences by having them demonstrate what they already know about a certain field. The Chronicle describes a biology professor who awards credit to students who may have a background in science from volunteering to clean up local streams, for example, or lab experience. The school has been conducting such assessments for about a year and a half; the program started when the school decided to begin training students who had come from non-traditional backgrounds to become teachers.

At Empire State College, which is part of the State University of New York, students are able to write their own degree plans. Faculty committees and administrative offices review portfolios students craft based on their work experience in a particular field, for example, and determine how many credits students should receive based on that information. The school's administrators say having the students reflect on what they've learned before going to college helps them realize their potential and make obvious the kinds of skills they may have, as they are forced to put those talents on paper. At Inver Hills Community College, students are asked to complete two courses at the school before attempting a portfolio, which not only involves writing about their past experiences, but being able to discuss them.

Other schools conduct more standardized tests and formal assessments for students to demonstrate prior learning skills, such as the American Council on Education's evaluations of work and military training or the College Level Examination Program tests. According to the Chronicle and Stamats, a higher-education marketing company, the availability of credit for life experience is the top thing adults look for when selecting a school in their college search. About half of all schools have some kind of prior learning assessment available to students, according to the Council for Adult & Experiential Learning, so if you're a returning adult student, consider that the work you've already done could save you some time—and money—as you take on that college experience.

Getting more college financial aid doesn’t have to be a relentless search. Scholarships.com is totally free. Connect with our massive database of millions of college scholarships at any time by searching for awards in a variety of ways. Scholarships.com offers the quickest and easiest way to search for, apply to, and win college scholarships. Start making your college education affordable or perhaps even free, by conducting a free college scholarship search at Scholarships.com.

Discuss

Share your thoughts and perhaps thousands of students will benefit from your unique insight on the subject!



If you can read this, don't touch the following fields


 
Philanthropist MacKenzie Scott, founder of the Giving Pledge charity, has been looking to donate her considerable wealth to worthy causes. Among the charities and institutions where she has donated money are a number of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU), including Howard University and Tuskegee University.

Charitable Donations to HBCUs from Noted Philanthropist

August 6, 2020 11:29 AM
by Izzy Hall
Philanthropist MacKenzie Scott, founder of the Giving Pledge charity, has been looking to donate her considerable wealth to worthy causes. Among the charities and institutions where she has donated
The federal work-study program is a way in which college students can work part- or full-time while simultaneously attending school in order to help pay for college-related expenses. The program, available at the undergraduate, graduate and professional level, may face some changes amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.

College Work-Study Jobs Face Changes During Pandemic

August 4, 2020 4:04 PM
by Susan Dutca-Lovell
The federal work-study program is a way in which college students can work part- or full-time while simultaneously attending school in order to help pay for college-related expenses. The program,
Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, the current chairman of the Senate education committee, has recently proposed the Student Loan Repayment and FAFSA Simplification Act, a piece of legislation that would allow students with no income to forgo federal student loan repayments. His recommendations, which he developed with bipartisan support, would also simplify the FAFSA and reduce the number of federal loan repayment options from nine to two.

Senator Outlines Student Loan Relief in New Proposal

July 30, 2020 11:49 AM
by Izzy Hall
Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, the current chairman of the Senate education committee, has recently proposed the Student Loan Repayment and FAFSA Simplification Act, a piece of legislation
Have your financial circumstances changed due to COVID-19? You’re not alone. Many students and their families have faced unemployment, reduced job hours and general loss of economic stability in the wake of the pandemic. And as the FAFSA determines your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) based on income from the previous year, students may have greater financial need now than they did when they initially filed for federal aid. Unfortunately, the deadline to submit the FAFSA passed at the end of June. However, it is not too late to appeal your student financial aid from your chosen institution.

It’s Not Too Late: Guide to Appealing Financial Aid

July 28, 2020 1:20 PM
by Izzy Hall
Have your financial circumstances changed due to COVID-19? You’re not alone. Many students and their families have faced unemployment, reduced job hours and general loss of economic stability in the
The FAFSA is a critical tool for both applying to colleges and applying to scholarships – in fact, need-based scholarships often require that you submit the FAFSA as part of your application. So, in a time of economic uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic, it’s surprising to learn that many low-income and minority students did not submit the FAFSA for the upcoming academic year even though they would’ve been eligible for federal aid. At Scholarships.com, we don’t want students to miss out on any form of college financial aid. Applications for the next academic year will open soon, so get prepared by reviewing these FAFSA facts.

The FAFSA: Why You Should File (And How!)

July 23, 2020 3:47 PM
by Izzy Hall
The FAFSA is a critical tool for both applying to colleges and applying to scholarships – in fact, need-based scholarships often require that you submit the FAFSA as part of your application. So, in
While the CDC has not finalized their guidelines for reopening schools for the Fall 2020 semester, the New York Times discovered an unreleased document in which the organization reviews the safety protocol of a handful of institutions of higher education. How are the reviewed schools planning on confronting the coronavirus on campus this fall?

CDC Reviews Higher Ed Reopening Plans for Fall 2020

July 21, 2020 11:47 AM
by Izzy Hall
While the CDC has not finalized their guidelines for reopening schools for the Fall 2020 semester, the New York Times discovered an unreleased document in which the organization reviews the safety
A new survey detailing what rising high school seniors think about college amid the COVID-19 pandemic indicates that despite being unable to visit colleges for much of the year, rising high school seniors are already looking toward fall 2021 and are optimistic that higher education will be back to normal by that time. As a general whole, the survey findings show that the COVID-19 pandemic has not dampened prospective students' interest in attending college in fall 2021.

Where High School Seniors Stand on Coronavirus and College

July 16, 2020 9:48 AM
by Susan Dutca-Lovell
A new survey detailing what rising high school seniors think about college amid the COVID-19 pandemic indicates that despite being unable to visit colleges for much of the year, "rising high school
Fraternities and sororities are important institutions that connect young men and women throughout their academic careers, forming close relationships that last into their professional lives. Fall semester is an exciting and busy time for fraternities and sororities as they welcome members back to campus and hold Rush Week events to hand-pick new members. Returning fraternity and sorority students have a big challenge for Fall 2020 — how will they adapt Greek Life and Rush Week for the coronavirus era?

Rush Week/Greek Life for Fall 2020

July 14, 2020 2:41 PM
by Izzy Hall
Fraternities and sororities are important institutions that connect young men and women throughout their academic careers, forming close relationships that last into their professional lives. Fall