by Doug Peacock, Wayne State University. University Advising Center
We recently started visiting some of our two-year partners again. I missed seeing some of the marketing materials and events for transfer students. It’s always interesting to me to see what other schools are doing for transfer students. My next blog will be about how you are being marketed to as a transfer student and what goes into enrolling you wonderful transfer students! For now, I want to talk about one of the more popular marketing slogans that I see at the community college. The “3+1 Transfer Agreement!”
What is a 3+1? A 3+1 is a transfer agreement that is accepting a 3rd year of transfer credits from your two year school. Essentially you are going to stay at your community college for your Junior year and finish the bachelors at the 4-year school in one year. Make sure to read the fine print on how many credits are being used in the “3” For some schools it’s 90. Which should make your final year 30 credits at your 4-year institution. Some schools will allow you to do 82 credits and do the final 38ish at the 4 year school. Make sure to understand the final curriculum at your four year school when you start. If you did a 3+1 one. You should be able to complete the bachelors portion in one calendar year (full time). Sometimes in two semesters. Some schools have the summer built into their 3+1. If you do not like taking summer classes then you would have to take courses the following fall. But, you don’t have to do a 3+1 in 4 years. Really the 3+1 is determining credit. Not time. In Most of these, there is no timeline established.
- Almost always, a 3+1 transfer agreement is for a specific program. Business being one of the more popular. But, some schools have them in Computer Science, Criminal Justice, Nursing, and some Engineering Technology programs. Most schools only offer the 3+1 agreement in a few specific programs. Your Associate Degree will have to line up correctly with the bachelors. For example: If you want a bachelors in business. You have to do an Associates in Business. Ask your advisor if the school you are looking at has one for the program you want.
- Financial Aid. If you did your associates degree already at your two-year institution, you may have trouble receiving financial aid if you are now trying to do the 3+1. Most two-year schools will not allow you to receive any more financial aid post associates degree. Some schools like Wayne State and Macomb Community College have a consortium agreement that will allow more financial aid.
- Check out the electives portion. Some 3+1s have a decent amount of electives. These are great areas to apply military credits or international credits.
- A 3+1 almost always has an Associates Degree involved. The Associates Degree is the catalyst that brought this agreement together. It also is the prompt for the 4-year school to go beyond the original transfer credit limit at your school. In Michigan, most 3+1 agreements have an associates degree and the MTA built in.
- Ask your advisor if the program you are doing has a 3+1. The earlier you decide to do a 3+1 the better for finishing your degree in your desired timeline.
- These programs can expire or get cancelled. Make sure the 3+1 you are doing is still good. Usually on the agreement on the website – there is an expiration date.
- You can switch out of a 3+1 agreement. You will likely lose some credits. It will all depend what you plan to go into next.