Some distance learning colleges give you credit for having certain skills, experience, certifications and training that you may have obtained on your own, in a job, in a trade school or in the armed forces.
I have even heard of getting 24 credits for knowing a second language (which is equivalent of saving more than one and a half years of college time!). I have heard of a school that gives some credit for being a homemaker.
Each school is different– that is why it will benefit you to contact schools that give credit for life experience (more info. later). It might even be a good idea to get your “life experience” evaluated by more than one school, to see whcih college will give you the most credits.
Think flexibly. For example, there are some distance learning colleges that allow you to obtain credits by a combination of testing, distance learning classes and, if you need, some credits from real classes at any accredited college of your choosing. It might even be cost effective to try learning on your own, paying for occasional tutoring, and then taking tests for credit.
The flexibility to meet your needs is enormous, depending on what you need and which college you choose.
If you combine the money you save from taking tests on your own, with credits you can get for life experiences, you can practically avoid paying any tuition!