Since college has become so frighteningly expensive, many consider that the solution might be to just lop off a year and offer a bachelor’s degree in three years. An article in yesterday’s Republican (Massachusetts) explains:

Who says college has to be a four (or more) year experience? The drive for more colleges to offer the three-year degree interestingly is rather timely as the increased cost of college combined with the downturn in the economy has many prospective students looking at any way to save.

It’s an idea that appeals to many. In October Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee praised three-year degrees and said they “could become the higher-education equivalent of the fuel-efficient car.” Judson and Bates Colleges already offer shorter programs. Earlier this year Hartwick College announced that it would offer a three-year bachelor’s degree.

A good idea? Well, maybe. According to the College Board, the average college student currently takes six years to graduate from college. Only 37 percent even finish in four years.

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Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer