Students Not Interested in New 3-Year Programs

Even though the recession is said to be over, there are still a number of industries and sectors weighed down by the remnants of the economic downfall that began in 2007.  Various industries tried to propose their own resolutions for the recession and the education sector was no different. With the rising cost of tuition, high unemployment rates still looming in some areas, and large budget cuts in educational funding, it’s no surprise some schools were busy making plans to climb out of the economic slump. According to an article posted in

While supporters of the three-year program view it as a potential salvation that lowers the price of college tuition by condensing the traditionally four-year plan into 36 months, students have not really responded to the idea or taken advantage of the opportunity. Several other institutions have offered students accelerated degree programs since the economic downturn in 2008 and political leaders have instructed public colleges to push the idea of accelerated degree programs. But most of the three-year degree programs have flopped, which leads school officials to believe that students may not be as attracted to a shorter college experience than political leaders may think. In fact, for many students, the college years are their last hurrah or celebration of youthful recklessness, and these students have no intentions of rushing that time.

Different schools have seen slightly different results, but the three-year accelerated programs are far from popular. The University of North Carolina registered five students last year for the program, while Manchester College in Indiana enrolled twenty students. In addition, the equivalent programs at Ball State University had 29 students, with some schools showing higher numbers. The three-year degree program at American University in Washington was expected to enroll 58 students this year, while the program at Hartwick College in New York had 47 students enrolled last year and is expecting twice as many this fall. But even as those numbers get better, that is still only a small portion of the students that attend those schools every year.

Despite the relatively low interest garnered from students, some scholars and school officials believe that these types of programs are the next step in higher learning education. They feel that more students are being admitted into college already with a stack of credits that allows them to graduate sooner, even when those colleges don’t have accelerated programs. They also believe that it is a way to reverse the upward trend of increasing tuition rates, which at some top private institutions, can cost more than $50,000 a year. Some officials also say that the programs are effective and stand to be beneficial, however, not enough schools offer the program as an opportunity for their students.

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