The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Opinion-3-year plan not suitable for all

Illustration+by+Daniel+Worthington
Illustration by Daniel Worthington
Illustration by Daniel Worthington
Illustration by Daniel Worthington

Universities in America have begun offering three-year bachelor’s degree programs as a way for families to save money. Universities in Europe have had this as their standard for years, but it has never taken off in America.

A Newsweek article states the program fits the well-prepared student. Using Hartwick College in New York as an example, the article states that by shaving off a year, families could save $43,000­­­­­ — the amount of one year’s tuition and fees there.

Some high schools offer advanced placement classes for their students, making the three-year degree program easier for them. Rhode Island’s Legislature passed a bill that will require high schools to offer advanced placement courses. After graduating high school, students can go to one of the state’s three major universities and graduate in three years.

But what happens to unprepared students when they decide to enroll in the three-year program without advanced placement credits?

States do not require high schools to teach advanced placement courses. Students decide on their own to take them. Many high school graduates are not prepared for what college has to offer or even what type of degree they need to graduate.

Freshmen who decide to finish college in three years have to declare a major before classes even begin. If they decide later that major is not right for them, they could end up staying another year and spending more money.

A university in Iowa tried this standard a few years ago. Only five students enrolled, and all ended up staying the full four years. Another Iowa university has had the program, and several hundred students have graduated. Yet the school is phasing it out because most of its students wanted the full four-year experience, a USA Today article states.

Many students may even succeed in three years and graduate only to decide when out in the workforce that their job is not for them, return to college and major in something else.

The three-year degree option should not be the only one viewed as a way to save money. It is too strict and may end up costing more in the end. Having the freedom to choose a different major and to realize what college has to offer has to be top priority.

At first glance, the three-year degree seems appealing, but as Newsweek says, it is for well-prepared students who know what they want to do.

College students need four years to grow and learn. Condensing four years into three may not seem like a big deal, but many freshmen today do not know what they want to do or may change their mind.

Though saving a buck is good and would help families, it should not come between students and their education.

Donate to The Collegian

Your donation will support the student journalists of Tarrant County College. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Collegian