Four-year colleges near me
Are you curious about the differences between three-year and four-year degree programs? Do you find yourself asking, “what’s the difference between three-year and four-year colleges near me?” William Jewell has all the information you need to determine what kind of college degree works best for you.
More and more students are bringing credits to college from other sources, including dual-enrollment courses and AP credits, that give them a head start. Others want to focus their energy and continue their coursework between semesters and during summers to graduate before their peers, enabling them to enter career fields or graduate schools a year early.
We offer accelerated three-year degree options in a number of majors if you want to complete your undergraduate degree in less than four years. Likewise, our four-year college degrees offer the same high-quality courses and faculty. No matter the schedule you pursue at Jewell, our programs offer the same professional outcomes with a 99.4% placement rate.
For many, saving a year’s worth of tuition and room and board expenses is also essential. And with William Jewell’s low cost of tuition, affordability is even greater.
However, many students enter this process unaware of how a three-year degree from a four-year college near them might impact their educational experience. That’s why we took the time to compile this blog. We want our students, potential and current, to have all the tools necessary to make educated decisions on how to proceed in their college careers. After all, student-focused education remains our utmost priority.
With small classes, accessible faculty and the ability to provide an individual academic experience, Jewell is the perfect place to help meet the challenges and opportunities that accelerated programs present.
The Difference Between Three-Year and Four-Year Colleges Near You
While the accelerated nature of three-year undergraduate programs is not ideal for every student, it poses some distinct benefits that some learners may find better suit their goals and interests.
Here are the five major differences between three-year and four-year college degree programs near you.
- Program Length
The most significant distinction is the time it takes to earn your degree. A three-year college degree program will normally take only three years. A four-year college degree program will take the traditional four years unless you’re a part-time student. No matter your timeframe, your faculty advisor will work with you to develop a personalized plan to help you meet your academic goals and graduate on schedule. Your time at our college is important, and we want to know if there are things we can be doing to provide you with the support you need. And if you do need accommodations or to make a change to your long-term schedule, we can help make that happen.
Additionally, earlier graduation allows you to enter the workforce faster than you would within the structure of a traditional degree from a four-year college near you. This will enable you to acquire business experience more quickly and give you a head start as a young professional on establishing yourself within your chosen field.
Many students pursue an undergraduate degree looking to progress to graduate degrees and postgraduate educational opportunities. Local programs, like the kind offered at William Jewell and other three-year colleges in Kansas and Missouri, allow you to work toward that goal at a faster rate. William Jewell’s three-year degree program will allow you to enter your graduate degree faster than your peers.
- Program Focus
One of the most noteworthy but least apparent distinctions between three-year and four-year colleges near you, is the degree of focus afforded by their programming. Traditional four-year degrees are usually less focused, providing you with more time to fulfill requirements and explore subjects you find interesting. A three-year degree does not offer you the same amount of time to experiment.
Using a three-year degree to complete a four-year degree is a helpful option if you’re looking to enter the workforce faster or looking to minimize overall program duration. Many working professionals, for instance, may find they prefer a three-year college degree to a four-year degree simply because it means fewer years out of the workforce. Whether you are seeking a promotion within your current field or a transition into a new field, our intensive, three-year program minimizes professional downtime.
If, as a student in a four-year college degree program, you take enough general education or elective courses on a similar topic, you may declare a minor in that topic. A business administration major, for example, could minor in communication. This is less possible in a three-year college program.
As you plan your course load with your academic advisor, you will have to think ahead. This means developing a long-term graduation plan, frequently requiring laying out the courses you need to graduate well in advance. While this may somewhat limit your capacity to explore distinct courses, it leads to a far more focused educational experience. There is less uncertainty in what classes you will need to take and less ambiguity in the requirements you must fulfill along your undergraduate journey.
So, depending on what you’re looking to accomplish while at college, the type of degree you pursue can impact the opportunities you have to explore and delve into new subjects you are curious about.
- Earning Potential
While a three-year degree costs less than a four-year degree, there’s a trade-off when it comes to the earning potential of graduates from those two programs.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median weekly earnings of a four-year degree holder are $1,305, which equates to nearly $68,000 a year. Unlike an associate’s degree, where there are notable declines in earning potential amongst graduating students, an accredited three-year degree has not been shown to impact earning potential among graduating students.
In fact, entering the workforce earlier with the same knowledge level as a traditional four-year college graduate may give you an edge in the labor market. After all, by the time most of your peers have graduated you will already have had a year to establish yourself within your industry and work your way up.
- Program Costs
The single most notable benefit posed by a three-year degree compared to a four-year college degree is the reduced overall cost of tuition. While the price of a college education has been increasing over the years, Jewell’s tuition remains affordable for students, holding true to our commitment to provide an exceptional education to everyone.
This commitment to providing our students with the most affordable and empowering education possible is why William Jewell maintains an incredibly affordable tuition rate and offers our world-class three-year college degree programs. Fewer years of college naturally means less money spent over the life of your college experience. Additionally, faster graduation also lowers the overall cost of student loans and debt from loans, alleviating financial pressure following your graduation.
But tuition doesn’t have to be a limiting factor in your education. William Jewell has committed to providing an accessible, equitable and inclusive education. Beyond our affordable tuition, 95% of our students receive scholarships. These scholarships range from $500 to full tuition, with room and board as well as need-based grants available to students.
William Jewell is one of the most affordable private colleges in the region. Get a comprehensive breakdown of the cost of tuition.
- Degree Availability
Participating programs eligible for a three-year degree include:
- Business Administration
- Political Science
- Psychological Science
Advising for your three-year college experience will begin before the first day of classes. Our mission is to make sure you start this process equipped to succeed, and we will work with you to build a course plan that works for you and your needs. That way, you will know exactly what you need to do to prepare for and succeed in one of our three-year programs.
Today, there’s an emphasis on digital communication. There’s a need for soft skills. Companies want employees who are self-starters, who have the ability to think creatively as well as critically.
College provides a vital space to explore, push yourself and grow as a person, professional and citizen. You may pursue a specific subject of study, engage in a new community or work towards a career. No matter your interests, success in higher education is about following your passion. William Jewell College is committed to providing students with the opportunity to do just that.
However, it’s essential to recognize that while college is an exceptional vehicle for preparing our students for their futures as engaged global citizens, not everyone is looking for a four-year undergraduate experience. Some people are looking to complete their undergraduate degree in less than four years. For students interested in pursuing an accelerated degree from a three-year college, the three-year degree program at William Jewell College may be the perfect route for their success.
Three-Year Colleges May Not Be Right For Every Student
There is no wrong way to experience college. As long as you follow your passions, your college experience will be successful. William Jewell College’s mission is to advance critical thinking and prepare students to connect their thinking with greater purpose. Whatever your undergraduate journey, we are here to support you.
While three-year colleges are a great way to jumpstart a student’s post-college life, they might not be suitable for everyone. Some students are interested in having a more traditional college experience, with greater room for academic exploration or the opportunity to take advantage of all four years of college traditions and opportunities. And students who aren’t 100% certain about what they are interested in pursuing academically may find that a three-year program detrimental to their growth and personal discovery while at college.
William Jewell College Offers Three-Year & Four-Year Degree Options
At William Jewell College, we educate our community to ask reflective questions, apply critical thought and act with purpose. That commitment is why we provide our students with a world-class liberal arts education. Our goal is to prepare you to be both successful and reflective citizens of a global community.
At every step of your undergraduate experience, William Jewell is here to facilitate your growth as a critical thinker. No matter your academic needs, be they a three-year degree or a four-year degree, William Jewell College has the educational resources to make your collegiate experience one of growth, mastery and success.
Now that you’ve learned more about the differences between three-year degrees and four-year degrees, are you curious about which degree works best for you? Just reach out. We can help you to determine the best plan for your academic career. You can further explore our website or reach out to the Office of Admission to learn more.