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Three-Year Graduation Plans in the Works in Ohio

The state of Ohio is pushing its public universities to develop plans that would see students graduate with degrees in three years rather than four, according to a story in the Dayton Daily News.

Enshrined in state law is a requirement that, by October, all of Ohio’s 14 publish universities must show how a minimum of 10 percent of their programs can be completed in three years. By 2014, the universities need to have three-year plans in place for 60 percent of their degree programs.

“College is not getting any cheaper,” Jim Petro, chancellor of the Ohio Board of Regents, told Meagan Pant. “I don’t know when it became almost practical in Ohio that many students take five, six years to get a degree, but that really drives up the cost.”

Statewide, 56 percent of students earn their degrees in six years according to Ohio’s Board of Regents.

“That’s really shocking, because when you go to college and you never finish, you wasted your money,” he said. “And if it’s a public university, you wasted our money because you really have nothing to show for it.”

The three-year track is not designed to lessen the number of credits students must achieve in order to graduate. Rather, it forces universities to show how students could earn the required number of credits in less time through increased course loads and summer offerings.

“The benefit to me was directly related to cost,” Chris DeLotell, a student who finished his University of Kentucky degree in three years, told Pant. “I had to forgo some of the trappings of the traditional, stereotypical college existence.”