Senior Skip Day…er…Year

graduation_cap_and_diploma.jpgWe’re all feeling the effects of the recession; we’ve gotten pretty good at cutting back on expenditures, and super creative reusing the resources we already have.  Despite the economic downturn, though, most of us have not forgone the chance at a college degree, even with the extremely high price tag.  But wouldn’t it be nice to have about $10,000 or so of that cost shaved off?

Many colleges are now considering implementing a degree program that would allow students to graduate in three years.  This could provide some students with access to higher education that they may not have otherwise have had, saving them time and money.  But what are they losing (if anything)?

When I think back to my freshman year, I remember a time of mass confusion. I tried three different majors before I found my place. I dabbled in tons of different departments to figure out where I belonged. Would I have been able to do that and graduate at the end of my junior year? Hell no. Would I have been prepared to enter the real world at the age of 20? Um, I’m not even sure how I’ll handle it next year!

And what about the other stuff – the life lessons? The post-21 partying? The road trips, the friendships, and all the other stuff that comes with a 4 year college degree. Ok, so maybe that’s not the really “important” stuff, but it is the stuff that makes us who we are as adults.  Would a three year program take away from the entire college package?

There is no set three year model in mind. Some schools might just lower the credit requirement for a degree, other schools might require you to attend summer classes.  General education requirements would still be in place (they are, after all, the hallmark of the American education system…unfortunately), but it’s unclear how they would fit in with the new streamlined degree requirements. Most likely: really long days… and no 4 day weeks.

Obviously, with all the details up in the air, this is an issue that needs some attention, and who better to decide what is best for college students than college students? Tell us what you think: is a shorter program worth it, or is three years not enough to get a true college experience and education?

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