Utah Students Save Millions with Credit for Prior Learning

The Utah System of Higher Education released its annual report on the Credit for Prior Learning initiative today, aimed at streamlining degree progression and increasing college affordability for Utah students. This initiative allows students to earn credit toward their degree for learning acquired outside conventional college environments, including advanced academic study in high school, employer training or military service.

“The Credit for Prior Learning initiative demonstrates the Board’s commitment to innovative solutions that make higher education more accessible and affordable, helping students to leverage their existing knowledge and skills to accelerate their academic and career goals,” said Aaron Skonnard, Utah Board of Higher Education member. “By recognizing varied forms of learning, we are empowering students to achieve their educational objectives more efficiently, without having to take courses on things they have already mastered.”

Key Highlights from the 2022-23 Report:

  • Increased Participation and Credits Earned: During the 2022-23 academic year, 34,568 students across the eight USHE degree-granting institutions earned a total of 232,943 college credits through prior learning assessments. This represents an increase of 2,979 students and 4,959 credits compared to the previous academic year.
  • Significant Cost Savings: The credits earned through prior learning assessments resulted in an estimated savings of $56.3 million in tuition and fees for students.
  • Sources of Credit for Prior Learning: The majority of credits were earned through traditional national standardized exams such as AP (Advanced Placement), CLEP (College-Level Examination Program) and IB (International Baccalaureate).
  • Diverse Assessment Methods: Additionally, 4,334 students (approximately 13% of the total) earned 52,016 credits through various other methods, including military service, third-party and national certifications, foreign language examinations, portfolio submissions, institutional challenge exams and coursework completed at technical colleges.
Media Inquiries

Trisha Dugovic
Communications Director