To college or not to college — it’s an important question for all millennials and entrepreneurs of a certain age.
Well, there might be a solution to please everyone, and while it’s radical, it’s also pretty simple at the same time — the three-year degree.
Johns Hopkins University professor Paul Weinstein advocates for a three-year bachelor’s degree in the latest edition of the Progressive Policy Institute
. In his paper, Weinstein writes:
“The costs of postsecondary education are now higher in the United States than anywhere else in the world, and they are mounting beyond the reach of average American families.
“As a result of exponential increases in tuition and fees, student loan debt has skyrocketed, tripling since 2004 to $1.1 trillion and surpassing both outstanding auto and credit card debt in the United States. This level of debt seriously threatens the long-term viability of the U.S. economy, as fewer college graduates will be able to buy a home (and those that can will most likely delay), save adequately for retirement, or afford to send their own children to college.”
Weinstein says that the three-year degree will result in a 25% cut in tuition and fees — from an average of $35,572 down to $26,679. As well, transitioning to three-year degrees means more students in college, since lower income families would be better able to afford a complete post-secondary education. More students, in turn, would also mean more revenue for those colleges.
Bates College, Wesleyan College and St. Johns University already offer three-year degrees, and many European countries have transitioned to three-year bachelors and one-year masters degrees. According to the National Assn. of Independent Colleges and Universities
, 22 private colleges have begun offering three-year degrees in the last five years.