3-year college degree programs not catching on

Lake Forest College in Illinois responded to the recession by rolling out a three-year bachelor’s degree, offering students a chance to finish school sooner and join the workforce. There were no takers, The Washington Post reports. Reformers have hailed the three-year degree as the potential salvation of higher education: a rewrite of the academic calendar that lowers the price of college by compressing it into 36 months. Several institutions have launched three-year degrees in a flurry of activity triggered by the economic downturn that began in 2008. Political leaders in at least two states, Ohio and Rhode Island, have instructed public colleges to offer accelerated degrees. But students have not responded, and most three-year degree programs have flopped — a reminder, college leaders say, that students still regard college as an experience to be savored.

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