Army Training to College Credits

The military provides many opportunities to further your educational goals while serving your country, even when deployed. For soldiers working on their college degree while on active duty, they may be pleasantly surprised to find that they may already hold several college credits without having taken any college classes. Many military-friendly colleges award college credit for training courses such as basic combat training, advanced individual training (AIT), Basic Noncommissioned Officer Course (now known as Advanced Leader Course), Warrior Leader Course, etc.

Enlisted soldiers can expect to be awarded around 5 college credits from their grueling ordeal during basic combat training. One of our writers at received the following college credits from basic training: 2 credits for Physical Conditioning, 2 for Marksmanship, and 1 college credit for First Aid (through University of Maryland University College [UMUC]). Colleges may vary in the amount of credits they award, but typically should coincide with the American Council on Education's (ACE) Military Guide. The ACE recommends the amount of college credit to be awarded from various military courses. Some soldiers with long AIT (advanced individual training) courses may be awarded 10+ college credits from their MOS training. For example, UMUC awarded 15 college credits for MOS 25B (Information Technology Specialist) which was a 15 week course when our staff writer attended.

It typically takes twice as long to earn a college degree while serving on active duty but the dozens of college credits that can be earned from Army training courses puts many soldiers well on their way to earning their Associate's Degree. For those willing to put in the extra effort and perseverance, a Bachelor's Degree can be obtained in less than 6 years of military service without the soldier incurring any student debt. The Tuition Assistance Program should be able to cover 100% of tuition expenses for soldiers taking two college credits a semester from most military friendly schools. To cite another real-world example, a 25B that has served 6 years on active duty accumulated 31 college credits solely from the following military training courses: basic combat training (5), AIT for 25B (15), additional skill identifier D1 (5), Warrior Leader Course (3), and Advanced Leader Course / BNCOC (3).

The Post 9/11 GI Bill is a wonderful asset, but this asset can be leveraged to obtain a Master's Degree for those soldiers willing to work hard and get their Bachelor's Degree while serving.

Article Last Modified: September 26, 2010

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