dcsimg
You are here:

Three-Year Degrees: The New Four-Year Degrees?

The four-year Bachelor's degree: in the United States, it's among the most time-tested and fundamentally valued of all scholastic institutions. But with the economy being what it is and the rising costs of education, colleges are being forced to think of new ways to keep students from being scared off from the notion of getting their degree altogether.

Enter: the three-year degree.

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 sounds like a dream of a compromise, but of course there are snags along the way -- most notably, the difficulty of getting into all of one's required classes on time. When it's hard enough to get every class done within the standard four years these days, how can students be sure they can power through in three? Will the expansion of classes and professors needed to ensure ample classes for all offset the savings a truncated degree would have entailed?

That is to say, do students really want it? Studies so far show that, while three years seems to be more than enough for students in Europe (and a handful of especially focused and self-assured students in the U.S.), most here relish that extra year to decide what they want to do with their lives.

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."

Still, as funds continue to fall and costs continue to rise, academic alternatives will have to be found. For many self-motivated students, the three-year degree could be the perfect solution.

What do you think? Would you want to get through college in three years, or is the traditional four year route where it's at? Chime in on our comments section and let us know!

Search Schools

      
Matching School Ads
  • Capella University

    An accredited online university, Capella University offers bachelor’s, master’s/MBA, doctoral, and certificate programs designed to take you to the forefront of your profession.

    Programs

    • DHS - Advanced Program Evaluation & Data Analytics
    • MS - Addiction Studies
    • MS - School Counseling (CACREP-accredited)
    • More...

    Location: Online

    Capella University Request Info »
  • Regent University

    Regent University prepares students with the knowledge to excel and the faith to live with purpose.

    Programs

    • Master of Arts in Law - Non-Profit Management
    • Bachelor of Arts in English - Self-Designed
    • Bachelor of Science in Professional Studies
    • More...

    Location: Online

    Regent University Request Info »
  • Keiser University

    Since 1977, Keiser University has provided quality student-centered, career-focused education.

    Programs

    • Master of Science in Psychology
    • Education Specialist in Instructional Design and Technology
    • Master of Science in Education
    • More...

    Location: Online

    Keiser University Request Info »
  • Simmons School of Nursing and Health Sciences

    Nursing@Simmons, the innovative, online nursing degree program from Simmons School of Nursing and Health Sciences prepares Registered Nurses for the next stage of their careers.

    You need to have a Bachelor’s degree and RN license to be qualified for this school.

    Programs

    • MSN - Family Nurse Practitioner
    • RN to MSN - Family Nurse Practitioner
    Location:
    Boston: 300 The Fenway,, Boston MA 02115
    Simmons School of Nursing and Health Sciences Request Info »
  • Norwich University - Online

    Earn your Master's degree online from Norwich University.

    Programs

    • Master of Public Administration Online
    • Master of Arts in International Relations Online
    • Master of Civil Engineering Online
    • More...
    Location:
    Northfield: 158 Harmon Dr,, Northfield VT 05663
    Norwich University - Online Request Info »
  • University of San Francisco

    If you want to make the world a better place, start at the University of San Francisco. Our 21st-century mission to create a more humane and just world comes alive in our diverse learning community and is broadened by our global orientation. You are challenged to reach higher standards and to use your education to promote justice and serve the common good. At the University of San Francisco, youll find the excellence inherent in an institution established over 150 years ago, and inherent in nearly five centuries of Jesuit education.

    Programs

    • Online Associate Degree to Master Degree Nursing program
    • Online Bachelor Degree to Master Degree Nursing program
    • Master of Public Administration
    Location:
    San Francisco: 2130 Fulton St, , San Francisco CA
    University of San Francisco Request Info »
  • Platt College

    Turn your talents into a career at nationally recognized and accredited Platt College.

    Programs

    • Veterinary Technology Alternate Route - Certificate
    • Respiratory Therapy
    • Veterinary Technology - Associates

    Location: Online

    Platt College Request Info »
  • Wilkes University

    Wilkes University’s School of Nursing offers CCNE-accredited online degrees and certificate programs ideal for working health care professionals, instructed by experienced, respected faculty dedicated to mentoring and personalized support for every student.

    Programs

    • RN to MS - Nursing Education
    • RN to MS - Nursing Informatics
    • RN to MS - Nurse Executive
    • More...
    Location:
    Wilkes Barre: 84 W South St,, Wilkes Barre PA 18701
    Wilkes University Request Info »
  • Colorado Technical University Online

    A degree from CTU can connect you to what matters most: powerful professional network, faculty who are real-world professionals and innovative technology. So once you earn your degree you hit the ground sprinting. Are you in?

    Programs

    • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN completion)
    • Master of Science in Management - Healthcare Management
    • Master of Science in Information Technology - Network Management
    • More...
    Location:
    Colorado Springs: 4435 North Chestnut Street, Colorado Springs CO 80907
    Colorado Technical University Online Request Info »
  • Milken Institute School of Public Health at the George Washington University

    Located in the heart of Washington, D.C. the Milken Institute School of Public Health at the George Washington University is dedicated to advancing the health of local, national and global communities.

    You need to have a Bachelor’s degree to be qualified for this school.

    Programs

    • Executive Master of Health Administration
    • Master of Public Health
    Location:
    Washington: 2121 I St NW,, Washington DC 20052
    Milken Institute School of Public Health at the George Washington University Request Info »
  • Matching School Ads

    Quick School Search

    College & Career Search Tools

    • Careers: Unsure about your career path? Study profiles of hundreds of professions.

    • Interviews: Professors and deans sit down with our team to give you unique insights on college life.

    • Military Education: Find only Military friendly online schools and campuses.

    • Student Reviews: Know before you go. Read student reviews on over 2000 accredited colleges. Write your own experience.