Home/education/College Costs Too Much? N.Y.U. Paves Way to Graduate Faster

Students at New York University, where a year of undergraduate education can run to about $66,000 in room, board, tuition and fees, often complain about the cost of four years at the school in Greenwich Village.

Now, N.Y.U. has a suggestion for them: Finish faster.

On Friday, the university announced a series of measures that make it easier to graduate in under four years, part of an initiative aimed at diminishing the university’s enormous affordability problem.

In some ways, the school is just catching up with its students. Ellen Schall, a senior presidential fellow and the head of the university’s affordability steering committee, which is tackling college cost on a number of fronts, said that about 20 percent of N.Y.U. students already graduated ahead of schedule.

“We were surprised,” Professor Schall said. “That’s part of what convinced us we needed to make this more transparent and more available to more students.”

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Students have long found ways to make it through school more quickly to save money. But there is increasing momentum to formalize the process in the face of ballooning outrage over college costs and student debt — while N.Y.U. is expensive, many other private universities cost $60,000 or more a year.

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