You may have heard all of the tried and true ways to save money on college costs: Open a 529 Savings Account as soon as you can. Apply for financial aid by completing the FAFSA. Never borrow more in student loan dollars than your expected annual salary after graduation. But have you heard this one? Try to graduate in three years. When you consider that most college graduate programs require at least 120 credits, to graduate in three years may seem impossible. However, the movement is gaining momentum as it’s a great way to pay less for a degree.In fact, there are some colleges that are even setting students up to graduate within three years through specific programming. That’s worth considering if you’re looking to save money on college tuition. And if a specific three-year degree at your college doesn’t suit your needs, you can always devise a plan to graduate early on your own.The problem was that so many of these institutions were trying to cram four years of study into just three, points out Progressive Policy Institute. Typically, students that want to graduate within three years have to compromise on getting internship and work experience, meaning every semester and summer before graduation are spent exclusively in the classroom. Other colleges have come up with a solution, though – a specially designed three-year degree program. U.S. News reports on Paul Quinn College, a historically Black college, that has devised a three-year degree that includes coursework, internships, and work experience. PQC students incorporate internships and work into their semester and summer coursework in order to gain real-world experience and networking opportunities. Time spent in the workplace counts as credit toward a degree. By the end of what they call they Urban Scholars Program, students have a bachelor’s degree and relevant work experience to help them land their first job after college.
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