Newswise — Babson College, ranked No. 1 for entrepreneurship since 1995 and a national leader in education return on investment, continues its inno­vations in affordability by offering all students an accelerated path to obtai­ning their undergraduate business degree.

Babson students without pre-college credits can finish their degree one semester early, reducing tuition up to 12.5 percent, and stu­dents with 16 or more advanced placement (AP) or international baccalaureate (IB) credits can decide to graduate in as little as three years, reducing their overall college tuition up to 25 percent.

Both options provide students with a unique opportunity to enter the workforce early, return to a family business, or launch a startup sooner.

Ten percent of Babson’s current graduating class chose to graduate early, and the marketplace is eager to welcome them. Of leading employers surveyed, from Fortune 500 companies to mainstays of the local economy, 100 percent felt that early Babson graduates demonstrate job preparedness at levels the same or better than those who graduated on a traditional four-year timeline.   

Accelerating graduation has a potential immediate financial benefit of up to $105,931. This reflects an extra year of earning a Babson graduate’s average starting salary of $56,267, plus avoiding one year of tuition at $49,664 (does not include room and board and fees). The benefit will vary for each student, particularly since about 50 percent of students receive financial aid and do not pay full tuition. 

“A Babson education prepares entrepreneurial leaders to make a profound difference in our rapidly changing world. We are proud that it also delivers an exceptional return on investment for our students and their families,” saidBabson College President Kerry Healey.

Accelerated graduation is the latest offering in Babson’s ongoing redefinition of the return on investment for a college education. The high value is reflected in the success of Babson graduates:   

  • The class of 2016 enjoyed an average annual starting salary of $56,267.
  • For the last five years, more than 98 percent of Babson graduates secured employment or attended graduate school within six months of graduation.
  • Babson alumni who do not receive financial aid enjoy a 20-year net return on investment of $726,000, according to The 20-year net return on investment for alumni who receive financial aid is even greater—$858,000. (This is based on a four-year degree program. Return on investment could be more if students take advantage of the accelerated degree option.)

“On behalf of the Babson College Board of Trustees, I am exceptionally proud we are offering students these innovative new degree options,” said Babson College Board Chair Joseph L. Winn. “By allowing students to complete their Babson experience in just three years and accelerate the opportunity to apply their entrepreneurial talents inside corporations, family businesses, new ventures, or any other context, we hope to continue to make a Babson education even more affordable and valuable for students and their families.”

No matter whether students choose to graduate in three, three and a half, or four years, they will enjoy a full range of academic, cocurricular, social, and career-developing opportunities, including internships, venture experiences, or other experiential learning opportunities.

“A Babson College education is a wise investment and creating value through innovation is our priority,” said Ian Lapp, dean of the Undergraduate School at Babson College. “We are committed to partnering with our students to customize an affordable and transformative learning experience that adds value to their personal and professional goals—whether that means accelerating their degree path or working together to make the most out of their four years at Babson. Whichever path they choose, undergraduates will engage in the full Babson experience—including the College’s signature, award-winning Foundations of Management and Entrepreneurship (FME) course where all first-year students form teams that receive up to $3,000 to finance the launch, operation, and eventual shutdown of a student-run business.

Babson students have flexibility in their curriculum as well as many financial aid options. Students do not need to decide before enrollment whether they will pursue an accelerated degree. Advisors are available to mentor students through customized options. Students can examine their financial opportunities by using Babson’s Net Price Calculator.

“I am maximizing my learning experience at Babson College including a dual concentration in marketing and finance, involvement in student clubs, and living in special interest housing for entrepreneurship,” said Babson College undergraduate student Hari Maheshwaran, “but I look forward to graduating early so that I can concentrate full time on my professional interests, including my startup, ZAVR MEN, a modern gentleman’s fashion accessories brand.”

“Babson’s new degree option allowing students to graduate in three years is a bold innovation which will help students lower the cost of college, take on less student debt and launch their companies or join the workforce sooner," said Richard Doherty, president of the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities in Massachusetts, “It is an entrepreneurial approach to making college more affordable and it is totally consistent with Babson’s roots and reputation.”

About Babson College

Babson College is the educator, convener, and thought leader for Entrepreneurship of All Kinds®. The top-ranked college for entrepreneurship education, Babson is a dynamic living and learning laboratory where students, faculty, and staff work together to address the real-world problems of business and society. We prepare the entrepren­eurial leaders our world needs most: those with strong functional knowledge and the skills and vision to navigate change, accommodate ambiguity, surmount complexity, and motivate teams in a common purpose to make a difference in the world, and have an impact on organizations of all sizes and types. As we have for nearly a half-century, Babson continues to advance Entrepreneurial Thought & Action® as the most positive force on the planet for generating sustainable economic and social value.