A ‘bachelor’s in three’ cuts costs

Only 27 percent of full-time students in public universities and 48 percent in private universities complete a degree in four years. But some students are going for a “bachelor’s in three” to cut costs and get into the job market quickly.

Northern Arizona University’s new no-frills college — classes meet in a wing of the library — offers a bachelor’s degree in three at half the price of a four-year degree on the main campus.

About Joanne


  1. If we cut college to three weeks that would really cut costs. No frills college = minimal education.

  2. I did this 20 years ago. Took a lot of AP classes in high school to place out of the intro-level mass-lecture classes, and took summer classes every year. It takes dedication (and having a good high school education), but it’s possible.

    I also never took any classes on comic books or zombies or Whatever Studies. It was pretty much all the required-majors classes and really no “fluff” electives. (The “electives” I did take were other sciences, like more chemistry, that I could use in grad school)

  3. This might be possible in some majors, but it’s out of the question in others, even with summer school and testing out of freshman classes.

  4. I earned a degree in biology from Johns Hopkins in three years, and never took a summer course. I came in with AP credits in Biology, Calculus and English Lit., and took a course load of between 15 and 18 credits each semester. I was very aware of how much my parents were spending to send me there and planned my work load with that in mind. Even so, I managed to be a varsity athlete 2 seasons a year for each year I was there. It can be done, but it takes deciding early on that college if for education and not partying.

  5. Compressing a four year program – with summers off – into three only requires that the college provide summer courses that count towards your major, and schedule so that you can get into all the required courses in the proper order. In other words, it just requires a well-managed school.

    Now try and find one… “And those that can’t teach, administrate.”