Credit for Prior Learning (CPL) Clearinghouse

Credit for Prior Learning enables you to receive credit for experiences outside of the traditional classroom settings. It is also sometimes called prior learning assessment (PLA). Indiana’s public colleges and universities offer a range of credit options that provide you with the methods to receive CPL. Not only can you save money, but CPL can also get you to your educational goals faster.

You can earn credit through Exams, Portfolios Individualized Assessments, and Out of College and Non-Credit Programs by working with your college, university, or other training providers. For more information see below. 


Standardized exams allow traditional and non-traditional students the opportunity to earn general education college credit. Institutions can also award credit based on comprehensive challenge exams designed by faculty.

Advanced Placement (AP) courses and exams could help you earn college credit in high school before you enroll in a college or university. Indiana’s public colleges and universities have identified courses that translate into credit. To learn more about the AP program and exams visit College Board. Search the AP database to see how your score translates into credit.

Search the AP Database

The College Level Examination Program (CLEP) allows you to earn credit for what you have learned through work experiences, self-study, or personal interests. Indiana’s public colleges and universities have identified courses that translate into credit with the required score. Visit College Board to learn more about how you can earn credit with CLEP. Search the CLEP database to see how your score translates into credit.

Search the CLEP Database

Additional ways to earn credit by exam include Dantes Subject Standardized Testing (DSST), Excelsior College Examination (UExcel), International Baccalaureate (IB), and Cambridge International. It is important to check the institution’s website for information about fees, receiving credit, and score requirements.

Portfolios and Individualized Assessments

Portfolios and individualized assessments let you demonstrate your experience and knowledge from a range of noncredit activities such as previous work, essays, or artwork. Upon successful completion of a portfolio, a review committee will evaluate and determine what credit you should be awarded. Be sure to check with your school of choice about the fees associated with the assessment.

Out of College and Noncredit Programs

Many institutions award credit for training and credentials that meet the learning objectives of a degree program. The amount of credit awarded is based on the college or university’s evaluation or recommendations given by national organizations that evaluate experiential learning. For example, awarding credit based on noncollege course work, professional or life experiences, military experiences, and/or American Council on Education (ACE) recommendations. It is important to research whether the college or university you wish to attend requires a military transcript to receive credit. To request a military transcript visit the Joint Services Transcript (JST).

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