Colleges Consider Move to 3-Year Degrees

Downturn has colleges looking for ways to save students time, money
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 23, 2009 9:28 AM CDT
Only 4.2% of U.S. undergraduates finished with bachelor's degrees in three years according to the most recent statistics. ,   (Shutter Stock)
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(Newser) – A growing number of colleges are looking at ways to cram 4-year degree courses into 3 to help students combat tough times, the Washington Post reports. More than half of teens have changed their college plans because of the economy, according to a recent survey, and many in the world of higher education believe the time has come to rejig the centuries-old 4-year model to help students save time and money.

"It's a creative solution to a lot of different things," said the director of Chatham University's new 3-year program. "Students enter the workforce quicker, they save a year of tuition and they can go on sooner for graduate study. And no, they aren't missing anything. Academic quality stays the same." Critics, however, believe shortening courses will diminish students' academic—and social—experience.