Graduating in 3 vs. 4 years

<p>What are the pros and cons of graduating in 3 years as opposed to graduating in the standard 4 years? </p>

<p>Besides the obvious financial benefits, that is. I am coming into college with 30+ credits from AP examination and I am aspiring to possibly get into the investment banking field and/or law school after college. How would the 3 year track change things in terms of internships in law and banking?</p>

<p>The obvious HUGE pro is saving a ton of money.</p>

<p>That said as a parent I would strongly argue against any of my kids trying to do college in 3 years instead of 4 ... if money is an issue live at home and take the extra year. Why would I argue this ... a couple big reasons ....</p>

<p>1) If you graduate in 3 years the courses being cut out are typically electives ... which tend to be the most fun, the most exploritory, and the most expanding of the courses taken in school ... (or the student is cramming extra courses into each semester which lessons the value of all the courses taken)</p>

<p>2) and the bigger one .... your life will go sort of like this ...
* 3 years of college and 44 years of work ... or
* 4 years of college and 43 years of work
In general chopping a year off the once in a lifetime opportunity to be an undergrad to add another year of work does not make a lot of sense to me. Being an undgrad is a once in a lifetime chance to explore, learn, have fun, etc ... enjoy it while you can.</p>

<p>The caveat that would flip this position for me would be extenuating circumstances like financial issues or other issues like the need to help take care of sick relative.</p>

<p>I love college and all my friends, but I'm ready to be done with undergrad and go to law school. I love reading and briefing cases and having legal discussions. I think the level of discussion will be higher in law school. Also, I live close enough to make weekend visits.</p>

<p>I second Tiff's opinion. I'll be graduating in 3 years for the same reason.</p>

<p>Con: less time for internships (which can lead to great jobs, or just as a good resume booster).</p>

<p>With three years of undergrad, you've only got 2 summers.
With four years, that's 3.</p>

<p>Also, random note, I think it's foolish to take an unpaid internship after you graduate, unless that is literally all you're offered.</p>

<p>Idk graduating in 3 years doesnt make sense to me either.</p>

<p>If I didn't need to stay in school to do research before grad school, I'd say the hell with 3 years and go for 2.5. Especially in your case, you only need to spend.. maybe 1 or 2 summer semesters to finish in less than 3 years. You could even finish in two years..</p>

<p>I mean, I suppose it depends on how well/fast you can learn and how well you can do on LSAT. Also how much you value being stuck in undergrad when all the real awesome stuff happens in grad/med/law school. I wouldn't care so much for social interaction since you'll have that anywhere.. I'd rather be done with college sooner, that's just me.</p>

<p>3togo... I really hope you are not a parent.... My little brother is smarter than you... An he's 12</p>

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3togo... I really hope you are not a parent.... My little brother is smarter than you... An he's 12

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<p>why do you say that? i think what he/she said is pretty spot on. In my opinion, it's NOT worth it to sacrifice a year of undergrad just so you can start work/school earlier. College is a once in a lifetime opportunity (grad school is nothing like the undergrad experience), and unless you're an anti-social prick who hates life, then I would recommend doing the full 4 years, notwithstanding other circumstances such as finances.</p>

<p>^College is great, but it's not the paradise people think it is. Just one more hoop for me to jump through.</p>

<p>There are plenty of reasons to graduate early. I have friends who graduated early for financial reasons, for academic reasons (ran out of classes in their small major department or wanted to change fields to something not offered here), for social reasons (just didn't like the college environment) and, alas, for personal reasons.</p>

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^College is great, but it's not the paradise people think it is. Just one more hoop for me to jump through.

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<p>Yeah I definitely agree with you on that one. The whole 'anti-social prick who hates life' part of my post was, admittedly, a LITTLE too harsh haha.</p>

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There are plenty of reasons to graduate early. I have friends who graduated early for financial reasons, for academic reasons (ran out of classes in their small major department or wanted to change fields to something not offered here), for social reasons (just didn't like the college environment) and, alas, for personal reasons.

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Yeah very true. In my limited scope of experience, the ones who I've talked to have loved college, so that's why I might seem a little narrow-minded. I haven't really met anyone (yet) that hasn't liked college [aside from one girl who had trouble making friends in high school, and in college as well]</p>

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Posts: 16 3togo... I really hope you are not a parent.... My little brother is smarter than you... An he's 12

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hmm ... yes, I am a parent ... and your brother is a pretty smart kid!</p>

<p>I also had about 5-6 friends who did their undergraduate program in 3 years and I know their experience at school and comments over the years since then ... and I stand by my comments ... of course YMMV.</p>

<p>Life is all about opportunity cost. One year could mean 5 early for retirement, just because you leave college doesn't mean you have to stop living that way. Trust me my older bro does.
Tell me this, who do you think will get a better education. Someone who goes the regualr 4 years or someone who tries for 3. Notice the word try. You are teaching your kids that now is more important than when they will actually take care of others not just themselves. You are setting them up for failure with that attitude. In this country 99% of the people are losers, only a few succeed. So you could let your kids slide through , or you could be smart and make them reach their potential, you won't always be there for them.</p>

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hmm ... yes, I am a parent ... and your brother is a pretty smart kid!

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<p>Haha. </p>

<p>Well my Econ major is through the business school so I really only have 12 credits of free electives, 6 of which have already been filled through my AP credit if I so choose to use them. All of my other courses will be core business classes and Econ classes. </p>

<p>I was thinking about pursuing a math minor just to stay mentally sharp and because I have some sort of interest in math for whatever reason, but at the same time I feel like it would be kinda pointless because I really don't see myself pursuing graduate studies in economics or really any field for that matter, at least not at this point in time, and pursuing a math minor would put me a little behind on the 3 year graduation track. About a semester behind actually. And of course could potentially hurt my GPA. If I do continue to pursue the minor and then ultimately decide I want to graduate a year early, I'd probably end up doing a summer semester. </p>

<p>On the other hand, I could just not pursue a math minor and easily graduate in 3 years. </p>

<p>I'm taking Calc 2 this fall semester, which should about fill up all my free electives besides 2 credits, so I guess I still have a semester to figure that out.</p>

<p>As for the social side, I am definitely very social. I was a partier in high school, probably a little too much of one, and intend on joining a fraternity. However, I have definitely grown out of the whole party thing a bit when I think most or at least many kids are just getting into the scene and will get much more of a rush out of it than I ever will again. Yes, I am aware that there are other parts of a social life such as clubs and just friends and what not, but I'm just pointing out a major part of the college social life. </p>

<p>I guess I'm just second guessing myself now because in a couple days I'll be able to go online and change my classes again if I so choose..</p>

<p>Today I ran into numerous felt like thousands of people interested in knowing where I will be attending college etc...One of the last person ask my ideal of how many years it would take for my degree ( double major). After replying ( expected 4years) they agreed in how not to rush through college forcing such a large workload. Personally I think your ideal of 2-3 years could be overwhelming. Graduate school is great but undergraduates provides endless resources.</p>

<p>^It's not necessarily overwhelming either if you have a lot of AP credits, which I do. I only need to take 7 extra credits between now and the time I graduate in addition to the regular 15 hour semester. It could be pretty overwhelming without those credits, though. I will give you that.</p>

<p>when you leave college, you will be wishing like crazy that you could still walk to see all your friends whenever you wanted.</p>

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Tell me this, who do you think will get a better education. Someone who goes the regualr 4 years or someone who tries for 3.

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<p>OK. I'll bite ... but I do not want to make any assumptions ... what do you believe the negative message is in advocating someone take all 4 years? what do you believe is superior about trying to finish in 3?</p>

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^It's not necessarily overwhelming either if you have a lot of AP credits, which I do. I only need to take 7 extra credits between now and the time I graduate in addition to the regular 15 hour semester. It could be pretty overwhelming without those credits, though. I will give you that.

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That's excellent ... and certainly eliminates the need for lots of overloading. I'd still vote for 4 years (assuming bucks are not a big issue) .... with the room the AP credit has created you could graduate early, or carry a light load ... or add a minor or two, or double major, or explore lots of new subjects ... personally I would advocate one of the last three options.</p>