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Old 02-24-2009, 08:11 PM
Black Mamba
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Default Some colleges offering degrees in 3 years

Not much else seems to be helping keep down college costs, so maybe this will: a three-year college degree.

It's an idea that's never really caught on, at least in the United States, but it may be gaining traction with the economy in deep recession.

On Tuesday, Hartwick College, a liberal arts school in Oneonta, N.Y., became perhaps the most high-profile school yet to announce it would offer a broad range of students the opportunity to finish a bachelor's degree in three years, saving a full year of tuition and fees (which run $42,705 there this year).

It's probably not a solution to the national problem of surging college costs. Faculty may object and worry about standards. And at big public universities, it's already hard enough to get into all the classes you need. Sometimes students are lucky to get through in five years.

Still, the economic troubles seem to have generated more buzz around the idea.

At the American Council on Education's annual meeting earlier this month, Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn. and a former university president, pressed college presidents to offer three-year degrees. In Rhode Island, legislators are considering a bill that would create a standard set of college-level classes for high schools, so all students could have an opportunity to finish college in three years.

Three years is the norm for undergraduate degrees in Europe, and a handful of U.S. colleges offer variants of a three-year program, including Judson College in Alabama, Manchester College in Indiana, and Seattle University. Others, such as Bates College in Maine, offer highly qualified students some three-year options. And of course, at many schools, students with a large number of Advanced Placement credits may be able to graduate early.

Still, the idea has hardly caught fire, despite rising college costs. Students seem to like spending at least four years in college.

When Upper Iowa University offered the option a few years ago, just five students took it — but all decided to stay four years after all. Nobody has signed up since.

A three-year degree "would be attractive to someone who knows right now what they want to do with the rest of their lives," said Lincoln Morris, Upper Iowa's vice president for enrollment management. "Most students don't have it all figured out right now, and that's fine."

Also in Iowa, Waldorf College has graduated several hundred in three-year programs over the years, but is now phasing out its last one. Most students wanted the full four-year experience — academically, socially, athletically.

"What we're finding they're saying is, 'Why did I want to grow up so fast?'" said spokeswoman Joy Newcom.

Hartwick says its program is distinctive, because it won't require online courses or summer school (so students can still do internships). Students will take an expanded course load each semester, plus courses during Hartwick's January term. Only a handful of majors are excluded.

President Margaret Drugovich emphasized students that still have the four-year option. She isn't sure how many will sign up. But as a parent, she thinks it will resonate.

"She's planning to go to medical school, she's got a long educational horizon in front of her," she said of her daughter, who attends another college. "It's something I'd recommend she look at, if it were available."

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This is interesting. I think it's a good idea if say you were an English or Philosophy major (a major that's easier). But the harder degress such as the math, science, or engineering field.....heck no. And then if you want to go to medical/vet/pharamacy school it's all about your GPA. I couldn't imagine cramming in pre-med requirements, plus your major/minor requirements in three years.

Also depending on the population of that school, getting into certain classes such as the sciences is a pain in the booty. I've had to wait two semesters to take the biology class I'm in now. I know graduating seniors who have had a hard time getting the classes they need.
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Old 02-24-2009, 08:13 PM
Chris F
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I did my BA in 3 years. Sure I took 20 hours a semester, but it is possible. Plus most school offer summer classes and spring and winter intensives. SO this idea is not new just very underutilized.
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Old 02-24-2009, 08:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Chris F
I did my BA in 3 years. Sure I took 20 hours a semester, but it is possible. Plus most school offer summer classes and spring and winter intensives. SO this idea is not new just very underutilized.
My sister completed 1 year of college as a senior in high school. It's completely possible to get a 4-year degree in 3 years or less. Most of today's students just don't take enough hours per semester to graduate in 4 years, let alone 3.
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Old 02-24-2009, 08:24 PM
Black Mamba
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I know it could be done but I would say it depends on what school and major you go in. I go to SDSU, population of close to 35,000 and have an impacted major. I'm lucky enough to even get one science class a semester in my schedule, that's how bad it is. Plus for certain majors, there aren't enough teachers to teach the subject. So even if I wanted to graudate in 3 years (and I don't) I would have to bounce from SDSU and a community college.

Too much stress, I got enough on my plate. All that matters are my grades and clinical experience, not how fast I can complete my requirements.
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Old 02-24-2009, 10:26 PM
Chuck
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rockdawg21
My sister completed 1 year of college as a senior in high school. It's completely possible to get a 4-year degree in 3 years or less. Most of today's students just don't take enough hours per semester to graduate in 4 years, let alone 3.
If things continue the way they are all 4 of my kids will have their AA when they graduate HS so hopefully getting a BA within 3 years of that will be a breeze.

Hopefully
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Old 02-24-2009, 10:34 PM
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rockdawg21 rockdawg21 is offline
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If things continue the way they are all 4 of my kids will have their AA when they graduate HS so hopefully getting a BA within 3 years of that will be a breeze.

Hopefully
Yeah, they had only 2 classes offered at my school when I was there. I should have taken the English class but didn't, and I opted to take a higher mathematics course instead of College Algebra. As a math major, I tested out of that course anyways, so I knew it would be better to take Calc in H.S.

That's cool to hear!
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Old 02-24-2009, 10:37 PM
matthughesfan21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rockdawg21
My sister completed 1 year of college as a senior in high school. It's completely possible to get a 4-year degree in 3 years or less. Most of today's students just don't take enough hours per semester to graduate in 4 years, let alone 3.
there is no way I could do 20 hours a semester, I also have on-field stuff with athletic training which amounts to about 160 hours a semester(must be 800 total to graduate), so there is no way I could balance that while maintaining good grades in 20 hours...If I had a major that wasn't as demanding hands-on, I could do it, but not with AT
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Old 02-24-2009, 10:41 PM
atomdanger
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris F
I did my BA in 3 years. Sure I took 20 hours a semester, but it is possible. Plus most school offer summer classes and spring and winter intensives. SO this idea is not new just very underutilized.
Exactly.

Very possible.
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Old 02-24-2009, 10:43 PM
atomdanger
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rockdawg21
My sister completed 1 year of college as a senior in high school. It's completely possible to get a 4-year degree in 3 years or less. Most of today's students just don't take enough hours per semester to graduate in 4 years, let alone 3.
In Washington they have running start,

I have several friends do college and HS Junior and Senior year,
they graduated HS with an AA, then had their BA by the time they were 20.
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Old 02-25-2009, 11:16 AM
County Mike
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Did they lower the number of credits required to graduate? That almost seems like it would devalue the degree.

It was always possible to get a degree in 3 years. You'd just have to take summer classes (which I highly recommend to clear up some of the general course requirements). Summer classes are typically easier, at least from my personal experience. Or you could still take 4 years but lighten your load during the normal semesters and focus on your core classes by clearing out some of the generals in the summer.
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