University of Nebraska to implement new graduation requirement

By: Ashley Harding

University of Nebraska officials voted unanimously Friday to implement the 120 credit hour degree. The idea is to save students money and to get them graduated and out in the working world sooner. Graduating from the University of Nebraska in four years just got a little easier.

Nebraska Regents voted to adopt the 120 credit hour standard for Bachelor's degrees. As of right now, many programs require 125 credit hours or more.  And as you know, more work equals more time…and more time equals more money.

“We have statistics that show that every year you stay in school after 4, it adds 20-percent of costs to your college education,” Linda Pratt NU Exec. Vice President said.

“I know that I'm probably going to be $20,000 in debt by the time I'm done,” Junior Andrew Barnhill said.

So exactly how can you earn 120 hours in four years? According to University officials, if you successfully complete 15 hours per semester, which is right around 5 classes. You should have no trouble staying on track and getting out in four years.

“I'm taking four and honestly, like I already have enough free time. I think I could take another 3 credit course and be fine,” Freshman Tara Lopez said.

But of course…there are some exceptions to the new rule. Such as, some accreditation requires more credit hours. Some state certificates require more hours, and third…some programs are defined as five year degrees.

But nevertheless, many students agree it's a great step towards helping them get their degrees…and making it out on their own.

“No one wants to stay in school for more than 4 years. So I think it's a good idea,” Lopez said.

The 120 credit hour policy will go into effect during the 2012 fall semester. And it applies to the entire University of Nebraska system..