Transferring credits ensures that all your previous learning makes it to your current college transcript, so you can save your time and money on courses which you’ve previously completed at another college or university.
Excelsior college, Thomas Edison State University (TESU) and Charter Oak allow you to transfer between 114 to 120 credits from previous college courses. Other colleges that accept 90 credits by transfer include Granite State college and SNHU.
Most community colleges and 4 year colleges greatly limit the number of credits that can be transferred, and their process for credits-transfer is also highly complicated and takes multiple months. Transferring credits can be a huge uphill battle at some colleges, whereas others might be completely transfer-friendly.
Colleges That Allow Maximum Credits Transfer
Excelsior college accepts about 117 credits by transfer from other accredited colleges except for the 1-credit Information Literacy course and the 3-credit Capstone project. Thomas Edison State University accepts all the 120 credits by transfer from other regionally accredited college courses.
Charter Oak accepts all credits except for the capstone and cornerstone project by credits transfer from other regionally accredited college courses. Granite State and Southern New Hampshire University limit the credit transfer from prior college courses to 90 credits. More information on other colleges that accept about 90 credits by transfer can be found in the Top 25 Cheapest Online Colleges for Bachelor Degrees.
Equivalency Documents for Credits Transfer
For successfully transferring credits, the course requirements of the credits being transferred must match the requirements of one or more degree requirements at the credit-granting college or university. So you will need to submit course description catalogs and brochures from your previous courses for successfully having those credits transferred to your college transcript at any of the Big-3 or another college you enroll into.
Out of State Credits Transfer
The Big-3, Granite and SNHU do not have any restriction on whether the previously completed courses were from in-state or out-of-state colleges. All that matters is that the courses must be completed at a regionally accredited US college or university.
International Credits Transfer
For international college credits to transfer, those courses must be recognized by the government of the respective country at the undergraduate degree level. In addition to this, the course descriptions and marksheets/ transcripts need to be submitted to a foreign credential evaluation agency.
Each of the Big-3 or other colleges have their own recommended foreign credential evaluation agencies. So check with your college before submitting any of your courses for a foreign credential evaluation. Two such evaluation agencies are ECE and WES.
Credits Transfer for ACE/ NCCRS Courses or Exams
The unlimited credits transfer at the Big-3 colleges of Excelsior, Thomas Edison and Charter Oak is specifically for college courses at other accredited US colleges. For any other online courses that are ACE accredited such as from Saylor or StraighterLine, these credits by transfer are limited to 90 credits at the Big-3. Similarly, exams such as CLEP or DSST that are ACE accredited are limited to 90 credits by transfer at the Big-3.
Transfer Credits and GPA
Most transfer credits from previous accredited college courses will be accepted with a letter grade at the Big-3 colleges. In some cases, the letter grade awarded may be higher or lower than your actual score at your previous college. If the previous course is actually more advanced than your current degree requirements, then it is likely that you will be given a higher grade.
For example in my case, I had received a score equivalent to a B+ grade for a course in Applied Mathematics from India, but Excelsior college accepted the courses and gave them an A+ grade as recommend by the ECE evaluators. This is most likely because those courses from India covered a lot of additional material than the Excelsior degree course requirements.
Transferring Community College Credits
Excelsior, Thomas Edison and Charter Oak (Big-3 colleges) accept as many as 90 credits from accredited community colleges. So students are advised to complete an additional 30 credits after the required 60 credits for an associate degree at the community college tuition rates. This can result in a huge cost and time savings for students at community colleges.
The remaining 30 credits for completing the total of 120 credits for a bachelors degree can be completed by either writing CLEP/DSST exams, or by taking ACE/NCCRS accredited online courses at Saylor, Sophia or Study.com.
College Credit Bank
In case you want to find out how many courses you can transfer before actually enrolling into a degree program, there is a Credit Bank service provided by the Big-3 colleges. The service at Excelsior is known as OneTranscript, at Thomas Edison is known as Individual Learning Account (ILA), and at Charter Oak is known as Credit Registry.
This service can be used to get an official record of all credits transfer before enrolling into a degree program at any college. Then later when you decide to enroll into a college, the report can be used to assist with the credits transfer.
Other Sources of College Credit
Colleges such as Excelsior award credit not only for accredited college learning but also for a variety of learning accomplishments such as:
1) Training at the workplace
2) IT or other certifications
3) Non-accredited courses or trainings
4) Professional training at college
5) Any other licenses or credentials
These credits can be earned in addition to the transfer of accredited college courses and other ACE-accredited course credits.
Big-3 Admissions and Transfer Process
Since Excelsior, Thomas Edison and Charter Oak provide degree completion programs, they expect students to have previously earned about 9 or more college credits before they can be admitted to their respective degree programs.
In the application form, students can list their previous college courses. Upon enrollment into the degree program and paying the evaluation fee, all those credits will be transferred to their degree transcript at the college free of any additional charges.