"The Big 3" refers to the three schools with generous credit transfer policies: Thomas Edison State University (former Thomas Edison State College), Excelsior College, and Charter Oak State College.

These schools are appreciated on DegreeForum for the minimal residency requirements (very few classes need to be taken at the schools themselves - most credit can be transferred form other sources), acceptance of alternative credit (such as ACE- or NCCRS-approved sources), 100% online-format, and comparatively cheap pricing for test-out students.

Note that the term "Big 3" is primarily used within the community of self-directed learners pursuing education via alternative means. This term is not widely known outside of this community.

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