RICHMOND, Va. — Citing rising tuition and the student loan crisis, VCU has announced the creation of a new bachelor’s program which allows students to complete their degree requirements in under seven years.
VCU’s new “Seven in Seven” program offers students who finish their degree in less than seven years a flat tuition rate of $70,000, including room and board.
The program was created in response to student criticism of the university’s limited course offerings and constantly evolving degree requirements. “There are 1,700 people in my degree program and we all have to take History 300,” Catherine Boxer, a sophomore, said. “Every semester, VCU only offers one section for 45 people.”
With the “Seven in Seven” plan, students can take any combination of courses totaling 120 credits in under seven years and create their own degree. Courses can also be repeated multiple times for credit. For example, if a student chose to take Astronomy 101 (a three-credit course) 40 times, they would earn a degree. In addition, students cannot switch majors more than three times during the length of the program.
“We know that each student has unique circumstances,” Brian Powers, the university’s spokesperson for academic affairs, said. “We tried to design a degree program that provided students with the right mix of flexibility and cost-effectiveness they need to be successful.”
In addition to allowing students to enroll in whatever courses they choose, VCU has also promised to hire more instructors for core courses and offer more than four classes during the summer semester. In an effort to boost the program’s launch, VCU will also require academic advisors to be available for more than 45 minutes each semester to assist students with course selection.
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