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Credit vs. Non-credit

What's the difference?

Community colleges like Wor-Wic offer many different types of education to meet student needs. We offer credit degrees and certificates leading to employment, and many of these transfer to a four-year college or university so you can complete your bachelor’s degree. We also offer short-term, non-credit courses that get you the skills and knowledge you need to get a job. Many of these courses lead to a license or certification.

There’s lots to consider when thinking about what type of education is best for you. The chart below gives you a little more information on the differences between credit and non-credit. If you have questions, our admissions team is ready to help! Send an email to or call 410-334-2895.

QuestionCreditNon-CreditMore Information
Can I complete quickly?NoYesA degree will generally take you at least two years if you attend full time. Many non-credit courses that lead to a certification can be completed in less than six months, and some non-credit courses might only meet for a couple of sessions.
Can I earn a college degree?YesNoAll of our credit programs offer a degree, and some also offer certificate options that take less time to complete. Non-credit courses do not lead to a degree, but some lead to a license or certification.
Will my courses transfer?YesNoThe vast majority of our credit courses transfer to a four-year college or university, but you need to check with the institution you plan to attend. Non-credit courses do not transfer to other institutions.
Can I receive federal financial aid (Pell grants)?YesNoStudents who enroll in credit programs can apply for federal financial aid. Federal financial aid is not available for students enrolled in non-credit courses.
Can I receive a scholarship or other types of financial assistance?YesYesWe offer many scholarships for students enrolled in credit programs, and financial assistance is available for some non-credit courses. Visit Pay for College for more information.
Can I attend for free?YesYesThere are several free college programs that cover tuition and fees for recent high school graduates or GED completers to get a credit degree or certificate. Select non-credit courses are eligible for tuition assistance.
Can I use my veterans benefits?YesYesAll of our credit programs and many of our non-credit courses are eligible for veterans benefits. Visit our veterans services page for more information
Do you offer a payment plan?YesYesPayment plans are available for students taking credit courses. Some non-credit classes are also eligible for a deferred tuition payment plan.
Can I take courses online?YesYesOnline credit and non-credit courses are available.
Can I register online?YesYesOnline registration is available for credit and non-credit courses. New credit students and students who register for some non-credit courses are required to visit the campus to complete certain requirements before they can register online.

When making a decision about your education, think about what you really want to do, what your future career plans are and what other things you have going on in your life. A good place to start before you make a decision is career services, and as always, we’re here to help you figure out what type of education is best for you.