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Cheaper Alternatives to Traditional College Could Become More Commonplace

No Frills Universities Could Become More Commonplace

There's no question the cost of higher education has reached unaffordable heights for many American families, particularly now that middle-aged parents are dealing with the loss of their retirement savings. Some colleges are drafting new ways for kids to go to college without paying an arm and a leg or having to forgo college as an option altogether.

According to Richard Vedder, director of the Center for College Affordability and Productivity, the average cost of higher education has increased approximately 3 percent above inflation annually. And with salaries staying put or being stripped because of job loss or pay-cuts, there's just no way American families can keep up. Here are a few ways some colleges are trying to make higher education a more affordable option.

  • No frills: Students at a private university in New Hampshire can get a 50 percent cut in tuition or more if they skip amenities and take courses at a satellite campus.
  • Flat fee: Richard Stockton College in New Jersey is offering students a flat rate to take 12 to 20 credits.
  • Going Euro: Some colleges are offering three-year degree programs commonly seen in European universities.

Would you have taken advantage of any of these options when you were looking into colleges?


Join The Conversation
katejlogan katejlogan 8 years
I did both my bachelor and grad degrees 100% online. That meant I didn't have to live in a college town (high cost of living) quit my current job, loose out on health insurance, deal w/ daycare, etc... and I don't have a six or seven year gap in my resume. I think many working adults just want to get through the classes they need to graduate and that is it. They don't need all that other stuff.
Spectra Spectra 8 years
I would've done the 3-year European plan. I took so many freaking useless classes in college that I could have done without. Sure, all those "breadth" class requirements probably made me more of a well-rounded student, but I could've been outta there and into a job faster if the University would've cut the fat.
aimeeb aimeeb 8 years
I'm with ks.
kscincotta kscincotta 8 years
I think some of these ideas are really smart. A lot of students don't use the gym or the computer labs, so they could save a lot of money by not paying fees for them. Plus, the option for a three year degree is a great one. I mean, you can jam in your classes now and finish early (like I did), but having it laid out for you would make it a lot easier.
itsme3683 itsme3683 8 years
What do they mean by skipping "amenities"? Amenities like the library or like using the school gym or participating in student events?
cupcakers cupcakers 8 years
Yes, I would go Euro. I'm in my last year of college but would have loved to been in college overseas.
heatherhas heatherhas 8 years
Definitely. I worked through school, so I didn't have time for all the usual stuff. This probably would have been a good fit for me.
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