For most students, college is a four-year rite of passage – a time to dabble in multiple subjects before settling on a major or a chance to spend a semester abroad – with frat parties sprinkled in between.
That’s a luxury some students say they can no longer afford.
Soaring tuition costs are prompting a small but growing number of students to compress their college careers into three years and, in the process, save their parents and themselves tens of thousands of dollars. Few schools have current statistics tracking three-year graduates, but several college officials and education specialists predict that more students at private schools will choose this option amid the troubled student loan market and the overall economic downturn.
"A lot of institutions, as well as students and families, are looking for ways to get through college without leaving [students] with additional debt," said Barbara Brittingham, director of the higher education commission for the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. "It’s not just another year they don’t have to pay; it’s also another year to earn." Read full story.