Save Money By Getting Your Degree In 3 Years?

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And Use The Savings To Buy A New Car!

There is a trend in higher education emerging, one that could save families tens of thousands of dollars in tuition. Yes, three year degrees may soon be offered at some colleges, allowing students to save a full year of college related expenses.

Hartwick CollegeIn an article published in yesterday’s issue of The New York Times titled, “An Option To Save $40,000; Squeeze College Into 3 Year,” the Times reported that Hartwick College in Oneonta, NY would begin such a program. With tuition, room and board pushing past $40,000 per year, college costs will be trimmed accordingly for students who opt for the program. Hartwick will continue to offer a four year learning track for most students.

Looks like mom and dad could pony up a new car to entice their budding college student to enroll, wouldn’t you say?

40 Credits Annually; 120 Credits In Three Years

Getting a degree in three years time won’t necessarily mean that students will be in class year round. In Hartwick’s case, students will take a full load of 18 credits in both the fall and spring semesters and enroll in a special January “minimester” where they’ll earn an additional 4 credits. All told, students will gain 40 credits each academic year to hit the minimum 120 credits needed to graduate after just three years of study.

Colleges and universities in Europe generally offer degrees in three years already as most students have an extra year of schooling before pursuing higher education. Those credits earned before college can be included, thereby reducing their college time accordingly.

Advanced Placement Classes Can Help

Thousands of high school students routinely take Advanced Placement (AP) classes which can sometimes be converted into college credit too. The College Board, however, generally pushes AP classes as a way to help students graduate on time, not before their time.

Three year degrees haven’t caught on yet at the few colleges currently offering them.  Most students are likely to find the rigorous academic demands to be daunting while the few colleges offering them will also require that enrollees come in with a high school GPA of 3.0 or higher.

Then again, if mom and dad incentive the program — here I go again with the new car idea — academically gifted students could enroll in droves in my opinion.

Adv. — If you have already found the college you want to attend, get prepared to apply to that school in November. Otherwise do an online college search to find the schools of interest to you and print out a Summary Aid Map to help you plan your financial aid strategy.

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Categories: Campus News