Reducing College Expenses With a 3-Year Degree

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When we think of college, we typically think of a traditional 4-year experience or even longer. But by cramming an education into 3 years, you can actually save a bundle by eliminating the cost of housing, meals, and transportation for a fourth year.

How much can you save with a 3-year program?

That move will typically reduce the final cost roughly by a quarter. This is exactly what I did when I worked during the day through undergrad school and took classes at night over 3 years.

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More schools are now experimenting with this idea. For example, Hartwick College in upstate New York is offering a 3-year undergrad degree, according to The New York Times. It involves a modified schedule where you go to school for a fall term, followed by a January term (sometimes called a “minimester”) and then a spring semester. This kind of scheduling saves you $40,000 at Hartwick over the course of your education.

State schools can also boost their bottom-line by adopting 3-year degree programs. After all, the state schools are already bursting with new students who have enrolled in pursuit of a cheap education. So a full-year calendar increases the capacity of a state school by 33% without the expense of having to build any new facilities. Now that’s stretching taxpayer dollars!

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