3-Year Degrees Save Students Money


COLUMBUS – OH, October 3, 2011 – Ohio is moving forward with an initiative that will save Ohio students money. The 3-Year Degree plan, required in the 2012-13 state budget, is designed to ease the financial burden on students while still providing them with a quality education. The budget provision calls for state universities to transition ten percent of their programs to three-year degrees in 2012 with 60 percent of programs available in three years by 2014.

“Completing a degree in three years instead of four years – or the five or six years that some 4-year programs take to complete – will save students money,” Chancellor Jim Petro said. “Giving students an opportunity to earn a degree in three years means they will be in the workforce earning income and contributing to the economy sooner.”

A three-year degree also will help students complete their college education. Only 56 percent of students in Ohio public universities complete their bachelor’s degree within six years. A shortened time-frame to obtain a degree, in addition to the savings, will help these students avoid or clear some of the hurdles they may encounter.

While a three-year program will give many students the opportunity to graduate early, it gives other students the opportunity to pursue a dual major, to spend time studying abroad, or to complete an internship.

“To be clear, a three-year degree does not diminish the required number of credit hours, but provides another pathway for students to attain a college degree – a high-quality, low-cost pathway,”  Petro said.

Programs currently in place for students:

  • Advance Placement courses are offered in most high schools. These classes count toward a student’s high school graduation, and allow students to earn college credit at the same time by passing an exam offered at the end of the course. If a student scores at least a “3”, these credits are guaranteed to be accepted at Ohio public institutions.
  • Post-Secondary Enrollment Options Program (PSEOP), sometimes referred to as "dual enrollment," allows high school students to simultaneously earn college credit and high school graduation credit through successful completion of college coursework.
  • Career-Technical Credit Transfer (CT²) allows high school and adult career-technical students who successfully complete specified technical programs to enter public colleges and universities with credits in-hand.
  • Early College High Schools allow students to earn both a high school diploma and an associate degree or up to two years of credit toward a bachelor’s degree. Programs have been started in Akron, Canton, Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, Elyria, Toledo, and Youngstown.

Increasingly, high school students are entering college with college credit earned through one or more of these programs. These credits reduce the time it takes to earn a degree.

Chancellor Petro also is advocating for a college readiness assessment to be conducted in the 10th grade. This will enable students to either complete college readiness or begin to earn college credits by the completion of 12th grade. Students need to take advantage of their last two years of high school.

The reduced amount of time to earn a degree in a three-year baccalaureate degree program will save students money, increase completion rates, and provide more educational opportunities for Ohio students. 

Contact Info:


Ohio Board of Regents Contact:
Jeff Robinson
Office: 614.752.9487
Email: jrobinson@regents.state.oh.us