Traditionally, a college degree was a surefire way to have a rewarding career that paid well. But over the last decade, the rising cost of higher education has made it difficult for prospective students to be able to afford their degree.

One answer to this financial dilemma has been online learning. Because online degree programs cost a fraction of what a traditional college degree costs, they have given recent high school graduates, as well as adult learners, access to higher education.

But there was a time not long ago when these online credits would not be able to be applied toward a full degree, should the student eventually decide to apply to a traditional brick-and-mortar school.

Enter the American Council on Education (ACE). This organization, along with the National College Credit Recommendation Service (NCCRS), believe students should have the opportunity to receive college credit for certain applicable learning outside of the university classroom. Who’s to say a person can’t learn the equivalent of what one might learn in a college course in a non-traditional setting? Much knowledge can be gained from prior work experience and/or certain non-collegiate courses.

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ACE has a goal of providing the framework to allow students to translate their prior experience into credits when they enroll at college or university. This non-traditional coursework helps students to earn their degree faster and more affordably.

I’m a big fan of nontraditional pathways students could use to save BIG toward their college degree. That’s exactly why I started, because I know firsthand that nontraditional coursework is one of the biggest secrets to lowering the cost of higher education. And that’s exactly why took the difficult path to get our college-level courses recommended for credit by NCCRS (which is very similar ACE in almost every way). Doing so gives our students the ability to receive credit at over 1400 universities across the country in their network…for free.

Yes, you read that right, 100% FREE. could help you receive over 44 units of credit through our free courses, which would save you a bunch of time and money. This is all part of our mission to make higher education more affordable for everyone. In addition to providing these free courses, we also show you other ways to save on your tuition, such as finding schools that offer upfront tuition discounts. If you’d like to get started, you can sign up for free here.

List Of Universities Accepting ACE Credit Recommendations

Without further ado, here’s a list of colleges and universities that have expressed their willingness to accept the ACE recommendations where you could get credit:

What is ACE?

Founded in 1918, the American Council on Education (ACE) represents more than 1700 diverse colleges and universities across the country, helping students earn credit for knowledge acquired outside of the traditional classroom. The organization has always maintained the same goal, and that is to help shape effective public policy and foster innovation that will help students thrive and succeed.

ACE is the only major higher education association that represents all kinds of national accredited, degree-granting institutions, including two-year and four-year, public and private institutions. They can also boast the fact that their members educate two out of every three students in all accredited, degree-granting institutions in the United States.

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What Is an ACE Credit Recommendation?

ACE CREDIT recommendations allow students to earn college credit (or advanced college placement) for formal courses or exams taken outside of the traditional classroom setting. This can include online courses, prior work experience, and even military experience. ACE CREDIT has reviewed over 35,000 courses to date, making the organization the national leader in the evaluation process for education and training obtained outside the traditional classroom setting.

Will The 1700 Schools Guarantee Credit?

I wish I could say yes, but the reality is there is never a guarantee. Ultimately, the decision to grant credit for prior knowledge will always lie with the specific college or university. Whether they accept your credits is typically dependent on a number of factors, such as whether a course fits into your degree program, how many total units you’re transferring in (since some schools have caps), etc.

What I can say is, the colleges and universities that are members of ACE have already indicated their willingness to consider the ACE credit recommendations when you complete the courses.  That’s a big deal!

Is There a Way to Know or Feel More Secure About the Credit Acceptance?

There sure is! We recommend you make certain that the organization that offers the courses has taken the ACE recommendations one step further to help you receive credit.

For example, at, our mission is to make college more affordable and accessible for everyone. Anyone can register and take our courses, for free.

Here’s the main difference though:

In addition to the credit recommendations our courses have received, we’ve taken the additional steps of coordinating direct partnerships with colleges and universities across the U.S. to ensure our students have the best opportunity to receive credit. (How do you like them apples?!) We work directly with individual colleges to pre-organize the course mapping (including a formal agreement of accepting our courses) so students have more certainty of the course acceptance.

Is it a lot of work for to get those articulations?  100%.  But we really have a desire to help our students as much as we possibly can. And that reminds me to remind YOU that we’ve also worked with colleges and universities to organize tuition discounts to pay for college on our students’ behalf to help you save even more money and time.

Are we passionate about helping people reach their career goals and better their lives? 100%! And we’re not done working on your behalf. We will continue to work hard to ensure that every individual has access to higher education.

The Path to Earning Your Degree Is Just A Few Clicks Away

I’ve talked a lot about how has partnered with many colleges and universities across the country to organize tuition discounts. And these discounts are automatic. You don’t have to fill out paperwork, write essays, or jump through other hoops to get 10% to 25% off your tuition bill.

But that’s not all!

We’ve also created something called our Smartplan. This is a robust tool you can use to help you find schools that meet other specific criteria you might have.

For instance, if you are an adult learner, you may want to find schools that are adult friendly and don’t require that you submit an enrollment package by a certain due date. Well, our Smartplan can help you find only those schools that have open enrollment, meaning you can enroll online 24/7 365.

Don’t want to jump through hoops to get a record of your old SAT or ACT scores? Our Smartplan can help you find those schools that don’t require you submit SAT or ACT scores.

Want to find a college that:

  • Offers online classes
  • Will accept our free courses for credit (saving you time and money)
  • Provides tuition discounts
  • Has open enrollment
  • And does not require SAT or ACT scores?

Our Smartplan will help you find them! It only takes two minutes to sign up and get started.

Did I mention it’s 100% FREE for you to sign up with You literally have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

So what are you waiting for? Get started on your path to higher education and a brighter future today!

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About the Author
Grant founded with a purpose-driven mission: make college accessible and affordable for everyone. After graduating college with an overwhelming amount of debt, he was determined to change how students embark on their education. He's a frequent speaker and author in higher education, and has been featured in Forbes, Bloomberg Businessweek, Business Insider, American Express, AOL, MSN, Thrive Global, Reader's Digest, Inside Higher Ed, Evolllution, EducationDive, and nearly 100 radio shows and podcasts.