While most college students take four or five years to earn their bachelor’s degrees, an eastern Iowa school is launching a program designed to empower students to graduate much more quickly.

Terri Crumley, vice president for enrollment at Mount Mercy University in Cedar Rapids, says their “Degree in 3” program helps undergrads save time and money by earning a BA in three years.

“A lot of students nowadays are taking community college credits or AP credits in high school, so that helps them get a little bit of a head start,” Crumley says. “We work with those credits, we work with the student and we create a plan that gets them out in three years.” With rising tuition costs everywhere, Crumley says Mount Mercy is committed to making college affordable for all. She says with Degree in 3, undergrads save a full year’s worth of tuition and time and can jumpstart their careers.

“Keeping your students, retaining your students is a big part of every college’s bigger picture,” Crumley says. “We want what’s best for students and that helps us retain students to get them here for three years and get them out. One of the benefits, too, is that if students want to continue on, we have a master’s program and if they want to continue for a year and get their master’s, they can do that as well.”

The program is open to incoming freshmen. Eligible majors include accounting, finance, human resource management, management and marketing. “Officially, it starts in the fall of 2019,” Crumley says, “but we could, if there’s a current student who has identified that and said, ‘Hey, I’m interested in that, can you work with me?’ that started this year as a freshman, we can still do that.”

Mount Mercy has an enrollment of 1,800 students. Learn more about the program at: mtmercy.edu/degree-in-three