ACE Friendly Colleges

As a starting point, here are three colleges that will encourage and support you in earning ACE credits toward your degree AND they are FULLY ACCREDITED four-year colleges.  There are over 2,900 colleges that accept ACE approved credits, but these 3 colleges are known as the most flexible towards ACE, are fully accredited and have generous transfer policies.  

Some colleges may have a limit on the number of ACE courses which they will accept as transfer credits. To bypass those limits, Thomas Edison State University, which has program agreements with many colleges, offers "credit banking" services through a program called the "Individual Learning Account" or ILA.  

What is an "Individual Learning Account?"

ILA allows your ACE approved credits to be compiled into a Thomas Edison State University (TESU) transcript.  You do NOT need to be an enrolled student to use this service and the fees are reasonable. This form of "credit banking" consolidates all your college level work, completed through a variety of sources, into an official TESU transcript.  The fee allows the student access to transcription services for one year.  It is the students responsibility to make sure the receiving institution will accept the transfer of the credits.  TESU offers ILA for non-students; that is, those not enrolled in a Thomas Edison State University degree program. 

How can this Help You?

If your chosen college will not allow you to test out of a certain class but will accept the transfer of those credits from another school, especially a 4-year program, ILA could help.  Credit banking through ILA may be effective because the credits will be transcripted by TESU instead of the individual ACE provider. Schools that have program agreements with Thomas Edison may be the ones most likely to make exceptions to their regular policies when using ILA.  You must check with the school of choice, as nothing should be assumed.  If you are having difficulty getting your ACE credits accepted, simply call your ending point college and ask if they will accept your ACE credits if they are transcripted through TESU. The original source of the ACE credits will be shown on the ILA transcript (Dantes, CLEP, community school, ACE provider, etc). Thomas Edison State College will transcript your ACE credits (CR) without a letter grade.  However, the completion of just one online course at a traditional college can provide the student with a GPA, if it is desired.  Otherwise, it is important to know that most ACE providers do NOT transcript their credits with a letter grade.  

Which Credits are Eligible for ILA?

TESU will accept CLEP/Dantes/ACE credits for placement (banking) on a college transcript through its ILA service. To access this service, complete their Nondegree Services Application or call the Office of Admissions toll free at (888) 442-8372 for more information and/or to request a copy of the application. 

Degree Planning

The most efficient way to utilize ACE credit earning options is to work backwards, choosing your target degree and then crossing off requirements as you pass the exams or take the online ACE courses.  With that in mind, we created the following Excel form for the Thomas Edison State University BA in Liberal Studies.  Individual degree requirements are regularly updated. This form is NOT official and is only intended to be a visual example of where various CLEP/DSST exams could potentially be applied within your chosen degree plan.


This form demonstrates how you can keep track of the degree requirements that you have satisfied through CLEP, Dantes or ACE sources.  Alter the form to fit your own college degree requirements and regularly add the courses that you have satisfied with the various ACE approved credits.  More details about creating your own tailored degree planners can be found on our online forum.   The forum will also be able to provide up-to-the-minute degree requirements.