What is Advanced Standing?

In the modern competitive academic environment, advanced standing (AS) is what colleges offer to incoming students who either have a degree and want to enter a higher degree program, or simply want to transfer from a school with different curriculum requirements.

Advanced Standing

Advanced standings are usually granted to students who experience academic disruptions and require non-traditional study approaches. These students may choose to lengthen their academic time-frames by taking fewer course credits in order to work or additional courses for personal reasons, which will expand the time frame.

Many college programs that require students to graduate from privately accredited organizations offer advanced standings options. For example, students who graduate with bachelor’s degree in social work (BSW) from an institution accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) may want to pursue a master’s degree. They may directly apply for advanced academic standing, but students who graduate from a non-CSWE accredited program will be required to take a traditional degree path.

When It Begins

Advanced academic standing also starts during high school when students complete advanced placement classes. Although the curriculum may vary, students who pass the advanced placement exams at the end of the terms will be exempt from certain basic college courses. Advanced high school math, biology, English and foreign language classes are usually accepted by many colleges. When these students apply for college, they will apply for advanced status because of their excellent high school achievements.

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Many colleges promote advanced placement and the correlating advanced academic standing programs in order to encourage high school students to apply for their college. Note that the GRE is generally not required by college admissions for this unique program.

Barriers to Advancement

Many freshman choose to not take advanced academic standing because they feel it will force them to quickly select a degree. While it is true that students must submit a study plan a few months earlier than normal, these documents are not legally binding. Many registrar administrators are open to freshman adjusting their study plan as long as the student remains enrolled in the college. Alternatively, students who pursue advanced academic standing should simultaneously plan out their college experience and carefully select their degree. Sometimes, freshman fear becoming ineligible for spring term seminars and activities designed for fresh students. Others are concerned that they will lose access to financial aid or be expected to complete their bachelor’s degree in just three years. All of these are untrue.

Working Professionals

Advanced academic standing criteria vary by program and also the target student demographics. That is, it is also geared towards experienced professionals who have demonstrable achievements or have completed graduate-level coursework from an accredited college. These students will be exempt from taking one to three courses towards their degree completion. Sample programs that award advanced academic standing include economics, communications, government, public management and creative writing. Graduate students who want to study abroad, pursue dual degrees and take time for better summer jobs may consider these programs.

Advanced standing is perfect for students who want to pursue an interdisciplinary subject, such as history or social studies, while also accelerating their college experience.