A 25% tuition break first offered three years ago by Hartwick College in Oneonta, N.Y., paid off this spring for a dozen new graduates. All they had to do was squeeze four years of study into three.
Hartwick, a small private liberal arts college, is at the forefront of a recent upswing in colleges that, spurred by the recession and concerns over crushing college debt, are encouraging students to save money by shortening the time it takes to earn a degree.
This fall, three-year degrees will be an option at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Conn. Minnesota State University in Mankato plans to make them available in 2013. Missouri's Office of Economic Development is reviewing applications for grants to offer three-year bachelor's degrees this fall in high-demand fields such as health care and information technology.