How Credit for Prior Learning (CPL) Can Benefit Today’s Students

Higher Learning Advocates’ Credit for Prior Learning (CPL) Backgrounder offers an expert analysis that examines the roots of CPL and a 50-state table based on a nationwide review of CPL laws and legislation. Drawing on lessons learned from institutions nationwide, the policy paper puts forward three actionable recommendations for Congress that would allow today’s students to gain recognition of prior learning in the form of academic credit.

Arguably, one of today’s students’ most significant challenges in completing their educational journeys is the time it takes to earn a degree or certificate. More time invested in school equals more tuition dollars and less availability to earn income. However, CPL, also known as prior learning assessment or recognition of learning policies, can greatly reduce the number of hours required to complete a program.

CPL pays off for today’s students. Research on CPL shows:

  • Adult students saved between $1,500 and $10,200 through CPL.
  • Students earning 13-24 credits through CPL shorten the typical five-year completion rate for a bachelor’s degree by 6.6 months.
  • Receipt of CPL is associated with a 17% increase in the likelihood of completing a credential, including a 24% increase for Hispanic students and a 15% increase for Black students.


CPL Can Benefit Today’s Students

Learn How

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