TYLER (KYTX) - The University of Texas at Tyler just announced its new 3-year degree plan. It's going to be a fast-paced track where students can take classes at the university year round, then complete summer classes through the university online.
"This is definitely something I'll be looking into."
UT Tyler student Calley Waggoner says college doesn't come cheap, and this is one way to help cut the cost of education.
"This is awesome because students who don't have a degree can get out faster and get into the workplace. And, they don't have to pay as much for, you know, the fees and all the other expenses that come with longer education."
It can also be beneficial for those returning to school- like student Karen Hillis.
"I think it's awesome, especially for people who already have other degrees or careers and want to maximize their time when they return to school."
But, the degrees won't come easy..
"A lot of work crammed into a short period of time, but short-term sacrifice reaps long-term gain."
Dr. Harold Doty agrees. He's UT Tyler's Dean of Business and Technology.
"The real huge benefit is the opportunity savings that allow the kids to enter the workforce a year earlier."
He says not only can that can save a student more than $10,000 in room and board, it also helps out our economy.
"That's good for everybody. It's a real reduction in the cost of higher education to society, not just to the individual, but to the greater cause."
But, 3-year degree programs are not for everyone.
Marketing student Chase Castleberry says he has no regrets about enjoying his four-year college experience.
"I think for each individual, it varies. For me, I was in no hurry to accelerate my degree plan."
But, Dr. Doty says many people are, and the 3-year plan is a way to meet those students' needs.
"My guess is in three years, if this is successful, and I predict it will be, that in three or four years, many colleges will follow our lead and pick this up."
He says this is just another way UT Tyler is on the front of the curve in education.
Dr. Doty says there will be no difference in the value of degrees for students who earn them in three years or four.
He says the university will begin offering accelerated education starting this summer.
You can take part in the program this summer if you plan to pursue a degree in accounting, finance, health studies, human resource development, kinesiology, management, marketing and technology.