Letters: Why College Should Take Only Three Years

In the name of saving money, a shortened education for all students is heralded as not only possible but prudent. The human psyche be damned!
William G. Durden, President, Dickinson College, Carlisle, Pa.

My college made it difficult to graduate early. The loss of an annual tuition fee was surely a factor. Families and politicians should request the option of an à la carte menu, instead of a one-size-fits-the-wealthy prix fixe.
Jennifer Mason, Boston, Mass.

As a high-school student, I hope to lower my future tuition costs not by accelerating my collegiate studies but by earning Advanced Placement credits now.
Matt Epting, Ft. Worth, Texas

I had to take unnecessary courses to fulfill my undergrad major requirements. I would much rather have graduated in three years and had the freedom and some financial reserves to get into the job market and gain real-world experience, or go on to pursue a focused graduate degree. Let's face it: in today's competitive climate, graduate degrees are becoming more necessary to secure almost any job above entry level.
Emily Krug, Asheville, N.C.

Education no longer needs to be one-size-fits-all. Flexibility should be a key goal of school reform (in both high school and college). Let those who can move quickly through the system do so, and give help to those who need more of it. We can learn from institutions that have succeeded at this approach. For instance, our Santa Barbara City College has more than 3,000 students taking dual-enrollment college courses on their high-school campuses.
Melinda Bingham, Santa Barbara, Calif.

Many students enter college not knowing what career they wish to pursue, which is reasonable for teenagers. How can such a student be expected to complete a -degree in three years? College is a place to find oneself, to expand one's knowledge, to grow. How is one to learn about the world if he or she is pigeonholed into a narrow occupational track? There must be options.
Marshall H. Cossman, Flint, Mich.

'What You Don't Know Might Kill You'
Any health organization receiving public funding should be required to release accurate information regarding its treatment successes. We're not talking trade secrets, like the next iPhone—these are people's lives.
Jack Kriz, Newberg, Ore.

'The O'Garbage Factor'
As a lifelong liberal Democrat, I smiled as I read Jacob Weisberg's column, in which he lambastes Fox News for its right-wing bias. Still, even though I campaigned for Obama, I am constantly amazed that the mainstream press, for the most part, seems blind to the fact that it's become a cheering section for liberal politicians. Does Fox favor conservatives? Obviously. So what? Does "fairness" require that every mainstream news outlet favor liberals, progressives, and Democrats?
Carl J. Schroeder, Mossyrock, Wash.

Correction: In "Underqualified for the Overrated" (Oct. 19) we should have stated that the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, not the high commissioner himself, won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1954 and again in 1981. NEWSWEEK regrets the error.

Join the Discussion