Students shun 'degree in three' programs

June 16, 2011 at 8:59 AM

WASHINGTON, June 16 (UPI) -- Earning a college degree in three years instead of four sounds like a good idea, but so far it has been a flop, educators at some U.S. universities say.

Officials hoped the bachelor's degree in three years plan would attract students who wanted to save time and money, but few students want to cut short what they consider to be the best four years of their lives, the Washington Post reported.

Just five students enrolled in the three-year degree program at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. It has nearly 18,000 full time students. Lake Forest College in Illinois also offered the shortened degree program, but had no takers.

Katie Miller decided to try the shortened program at Manchester, a liberal arts college southeast of Chicago, but she changed her mind when she arrived on campus.

"I decided that you only have a certain amount of time to enjoy the college experience," said Miller, 20, from Winchester, Ind. "And I wasn't in as much of a hurry as I thought."

There are some exceptions. American University in Washington said it expects 58 students to enroll in its three-year program this fall.

Hartwick College in Upstate New York had 47 three-year students this year and it expects the same numbers this fall.

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