This exploratory study aimed to examine whether early exposure to Chinese as a heritage language (CHL) provides facilitation in word-knowledge development in collegiate CHL learners by comparing word-level subskills, including oral vocabulary knowledge, print vocabulary knowledge, morphological awareness, and lexical inferencing ability, between CHL learners and non-CHL learners. Sixty-two collegiate intermediate-level Chinese learners including 37 CHL learners and 25 non-CHL learners participated in this study. Drawing on multivariate analyses, the study found that CHL learners outperformed non-CHL learners on oral vocabulary knowledge, morphological awareness, and lexical inferencing ability, but not on print vocabulary knowledge. In both groups of learners, print vocabulary knowledge was the strongest predictor of lexical inferencing ability. While oral vocabulary knowledge and print vocabulary knowledge were highly correlated in non-CHL learners, they were more distinct constructs in CHL learners. These findings seem to suggest that early exposure to spoken Chinese enhances the development of oral vocabulary knowledge and morphological awareness in CHL learners. Importantly, the latter appears to enhance the formation of the connection between oral vocabulary knowledge and print knowledge.