Lamar Alexander And Three Year College Degrees

Tennessee Senator Lamar Alexander, former Education Secretary under George HW Bush, has written an article in Newsweek Magazine, advocating the promotion of a three year college degree as a way to encourage savings for college students, and also as a method to advance careers for students more quickly.

Of course, this is only good for that small sliver of students who are mature enough, motivated enough, and intelligent enough to be able to work harder than most do today who attend college.

Since so many students need to work to stay in college, and since so many, at the same time, want the “full” college experience of social life and development of “relationships”, this will not work for the vast majority of college students. The fact is, right now, only five percent of students manage by working, at an accelerated pace, to finish in three academic years.

So this proposal might work for the top graduates of high schools across the country, who are accepted at top private and public universities, and are mature enough to be willing to sacrifice and work to finish and move on to graduate degrees or the world of work. But again, it will not work for the vast majority of college students who, not only need four years to finish, but in most cases need six or more years to complete their undergraduate education.

So, Senator Alexander, I give you credit for motivating the very best students among high school graduates, but your idea will never be realistic for more than ninety percent of college students, sorry to say!

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