Prior Learning Assessments for Montana Veterans

Montana University SystemHelping returning members of the military connect to education and employment opportunities in civilian life is a national priority. It’s also a priority in Montana, which has the second highest per capita population of veterans among the states.

By validating their prior learning and experience, veterans can shorten the path to a degree or certificate, increase their college completion rates, and improve their employment opportunities.

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock greets high school students during USA Funds grant announcementUSA Funds®’ $350,000 grant will help the Montana University System expand Prior Learning Assessment opportunities for veterans. The grant will support “Returning to Learning” workshops for veterans; provide training for faculty, academic advisers, and front-line staff to assess and guide veterans’ needs regarding Prior Learning Assessment; and develop enhanced online resources to support veterans in their studies.

Research shows that graduation rates are two and a half times higher for students with Prior Learning Assessment credits than for those without. In addition, adult students who earned 15 or more credits through Prior Learning Assessment applied to a degree saved between $1,600 and $6,000 on tuition costs.

USA Funds supports this program as part of a partnership with the state of Montana. In addition, this initiative is consistent with USA Funds’ focus on Completion With a Purpose℠ to promote innovative practices that accelerate time to completion of high-quality postsecondary programs, increase college completion rates and support more affordable education programs.