All the college in three-fourths the time
September 14, 2001
Filed under Archives
It’s shorter. It’s cheaper. It’s ambitious. It’s a new three-year degree program that Guilford will launch next fall. Designed with the super-motivated in mind, the program will allow students to fulfill the requirements needed to get a bachelor’s degree in three years instead of the usual four or five. Participants will take a full academic course load for three years and two sessions of summer school.
“This is not Guilford lite,” said Randy Doss, Dean of Enrollment. Interested students need to know exactly where they want to go, be it graduate school or into a certain career.
“You can’t come in and say, ‘I don’t know what I want to do,’” said Kathy Adams, Interim Academic Dean. “You can’t try two or three majors in this program.”
Interested students will declare by the end of their freshman year if they want the three-year plan. Then, they will meet regularly with advisors to help them stay focused on their specific goals. Changing majors later on would result in a student losing all college-based financial aid.
At first, biology, psychology, business management, and computer information will be the only available majors. Others will be added as interest accumulates.
Not only does this plan mean one less year of cafeteria food and keggers, it’s also cheaper than a traditional four-year degree. For every one class in summer school a person pays for, they get a second one free. Normally, four classes of summer school will cost $3,200. For students in the three-year program, the same amount of classes will cost around $1,600.
“Over a four-year period a full-time student in a state university will pay about $36,000 in tuition, fees, room and board,” Doss estimates. “Our program will cost a three-year student about $39,000 after financial aid based on need and achievement is included.”
Guilford hopes that the increased intensity and speed, and the bargain class prices of this program will attract “exceptionally motivated students” as Kathy Adams puts it. “It’s a win-win situation,” she said. “Students in the three-year program will enrich our intellectual community while Guilford provides them with the opportunity to achieve their career goals more quickly than other schools.”
To qualify for the program a candidate must have at least a 1300 SAT score and a 3.5 grade point average in high school, along with some Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate credits.
Though the school is enthusiastic about the idea, some students are dubious. “It’s hard enough to finish here at Guilford in four years,” says sophomore Kate Hardy.
First-year student Joanna Beer is more optimistic. “I think it wouldn’t work for most students, but for certain people, I think it’s a good idea.”