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A 3-year college degree?

From NBC's Bobby Cervantes
As colleges across the nation face difficult decisions about budget and faculty cuts, the latest issue of Newsweek explores the not-so-new idea of a three-year college degree.

Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN), an education secretary under President George H. W. Bush and former president of the University of Tennessee, highlights Hartwick College, a small liberal arts school in upstate New York.

Alexander writes, "[B]y eliminating that extra year, three-year degree students [at Hartwick] save 25 percent in costs. Instead of taking 30 credits a year, these students take 40."

A four-year degree, he adds, also means that students accrue more unnecessary debt and are held back from entering the workforce or graduate school.