Publications / Policy Memo

Which colleges offer three-year bachelor’s and why aren’t they working?

By / 5.10.2018

Despite all the attention it has received in recent years, the cost of college continues to rise at both private and public institutions across the United States.

According to data from the College Board, average tuition and fees for a public four-year college is $20,770 if in-state or $35,420 for out-of-state, and $46,950 for private, non-profit institutions. This represents increases of 13, 12, and 15 percent respectively since 2014, when the Progressive Policy Institute (PPI) first called for institutions of higher learning to make a three-year bachelor’s degree the norm and cut the cost of college by 25 percent.

American college students are facing a triple whammy – out-of-control college costs, record levels of student debt, and declining real earnings for college graduates. Yet politicians from both the left and the right have done nothing to fix the problem. Republicans actually proposed cutting student aid during the debate over tax reform. Meanwhile, some Democrats are pushing “free college,” which – while well intentioned – would do nothing to restrain the rising cost of college (in fact, just the opposite) or ensure Americans access to the best colleges and universities.


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