Reducing College Expenses With a 3-Year Degree

Reducing College Expenses With a 3-Year Degree
Image Credit: CollegeDegrees360 / Flickr
Team Clark is adamant that we will never write content influenced by or paid for by an advertiser. To support our work, we do make money from some links to companies and deals on our site. Learn more about our guarantee here.

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.

ARTICLE: Going To College: Your Guide to Campus Life and Money

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!

ARTICLE: 4 Tips for Finding College Scholarships

Clark Howard About the author:
Clark Howard is a consumer expert whose goal is to help you keep more of the money you make. His national radio show and website show you ways to put more money in your pocket, with advice you can trust. More about Clark
View More Articles
  • Show Comments Hide Comments