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I have been in higher education as a professor for >30 yrs and with two teenagers prepping for college, I am an observer from both sides. Even though I consider myself relatively well paid (upper middle class), my main concern regarding college/university for my children is cost, cost, and cost. I believe that a number of colleges/univ. will be appropriate for my children, as the higher education experience is largely what the student makes of it, providing the necessary resources are available. As someone from a lower middle class family, I benefited greatly from financial aid that will likely not be available to my children.
An option -- rather drastic considering the logistics, but hugely beneficial financially to the student's family -- is to offer a 3 yr BS degree with minimal "liberal education" requirements: 1) no language requirement (think Rosetta Stone); 2) baseline humanities/social sciences requirements. For example, given a 24 course curriculum, a chemistry major would take, say: 7 chem lecture courses, 3 full lab courses, 5 humanities/social science courses with mandatory courses in economics, sociology, and communications, 3-4 courses in math, 2-3 in physics, 2-3 in biology and 2 semesters of mandatory research. Naturally, an MIT student is likely to take a few more courses along the way, perhaps some at the grad level, but this is a reasonable baseline. There might be discreet options for those intending to focus on specific chemistry disciplines, etc.
Given the cost, and incredible amount of information available at the flick of a mouse, the eight additional courses of a standard 4 yr undergraduate education start looking way to costly. Just look at the current number of students graduating in 3.5 yrs; is there experience any less, especially if that final semester is replace with one of real world experience (i.e., a job, volunteering, adventure....).