Friday, March 15, 2013

More Affordable Bachelor’s Degrees

A new challenge from billionaire Bill Gates to make college more affordable for students is beginning to catch on with many governors who are eager to stop the spiraling tuition costs and ever growing amount of student debt. Florida governor Rick Scott has recently announced that 23 state run higher education institutions will be offering the four year degree programs for only $10,000. It has been followed by similar pushes by Texas governor Rick Perry and Wisconsin governor Scott Walker. It has been said that there is at least one lawmaker in California state which is also trying to get the university system to embrace the new idea as well.

This cheaper version of the bachelor's degree would be very popular with students and parents who have become frustrated with the amount of expense associated with degrees that won't even promise jobs for graduates. Student loan debt has been said to top over $1 trillion and the cost of going to college has risen over 440 percent within the last 25 years, a ridiculous statistic provided by Sallie Mae. Worse yet, even after people have invested countless amounts of money into their education and incurred student debt, the majority of the college degrees are not even ensuring that they will be able to get jobs because of the poor status of the economy and the employment rate.

Those who support the plan claim that the savings would be managed by using more web based instruction and focusing on making public schools become more efficient. However, the $10,000 degree may not be something that is available to everyone. One model being implemented in Texas shows that only high school students who graduate with at least a 2.5 grade point average and have completed at least 30 hours of college credit will be eligible for this option. They would then have the opportunity to spend a year at Southwest Texas Junior College before they would complete their degree at Sul Ross State University Rio Grande College, where they would have to maintain a 3.0 grade point average and then take 15 hours of classes per semester. Assuming those points are met, the students will have the opportunity to graduate with a bachelor's degree in chemistry, biology, or mathematics.

"Higher education is key to helping our students succeed in the 21st century economy and to grow jobs in Florida," Scott said in a statement. "It is important our students can get an affordable education, and our state colleges have stepped up to the challenge to find innovative ways to provide a quality education at a great value. Our goal should be that students do not have to go into debt in order to obtain a degree — and today's announcement of nearly all of our state colleges meeting this challenge puts us closer to achieving that goal for our students and families."

Author: Mollie
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