Have you ever wondered how the standards of education in European countries compare to ours in America? Will Marshall, President of the Progressive Policy Institute, and Paul Weinstein, Jr., Director of the Public Management Program at John Hopkins University, have joined together in advocacy of a 3-year college program that is used in European countries.
In their contribution to CNN’s opinion piece section, Marshall and Weinstein, present their idea for decreasing the debt-ridden society of college attendees. Hillary Clinton has added a plan to help relieve this debt as part of her 2016 Presidential Campaign. While the concept is alluring, there is an easier format that is less intrusive when it comes to tax season.
“Our suggestion? The three-year college degree. Three-year colleges are the norm in many European countries, and a few enterprising universities here have begun to follow suit. We propose requiring any U.S. college or university with students who receive any type of federal student aid to offer the option of earning a bachelor’s degree in three years,” the blog states.
How does this help student who, according to statistics, struggle to fit a 4-year degree into 6 years? Marshall and Weinstein say that they don’t suggest cramming a program meant for 4 years into less time. They believe that colleges and universities should begin rethinking their curriculum.
“For example, reducing the number of electives, cutting back on core requirements or shifting to shorter semesters are all options that schools could use to move to a three-year bachelors and improve the educational experience,” they explain.
A 25% savings on the cost of tuition and fees is a significant amount when it comes to education. For the average American college student, this would amount to around $8,893, if they attended a university in-state. For those who choose a private university, there would be a savings of $30,094, on average.
Out of the 70% of students who depend on loans for their education, there is an average accumulation of at least $29,400 by the time they graduate. When you consider an interest rate of 4.66%, a student can count on tacking on an additional $7,505 in interest while they pay off the loan.
“Compressing college into three years, and making it cheaper, could help boost America’s notoriously low completion rates. Our approach puts more pressure on colleges to get their escalating tuition costs under control,” the article reads. “Let’s give both students and taxpayers a break by requiring colleges to offer three-year degrees.”