Willamette University College of Law and University of Alaska Anchorage have formed a partnership to enhance law school opportunities for Alaskan college students while addressing concerns about student debt. The school's have signed a "memoranda of understanding" to offer a 3+3 Program allowing students to complete a bachelor's degree and law degree in six years rather than the usual seven.
Program addresses student loan debt
Willamette's College of Liberal Arts and Oregon State University have similar partnerships with the College of Law. Such programs allow students to complete their education more quickly, significantly reducing costs and student loan debt and providing students with an extra year of earning power.
UAA pursued the program in part because students across the country are graduating with higher levels of educational debt than ever before, according to UAA Justice Center faculty member Deborah Periman, who worked with Willamette to help develop the Alaska 3+3 Program.
“For students from low and middle income families, student loan obligations may be a significant factor in their ability to move on to graduate studies. 3+3 programs represent an innovative approach to this problem that is becoming increasingly common among law schools in the United States,” she said.
Willamette University has a long history of educating young Alaskans. Currently more than 150 Willamette law school alumni live and work in Alaska.
Curtis Bridgeman, dean of Willamette’s College of Law, stated “We take seriously our role, both historically and currently, in educating Alaskans, and we’re really excited about this program.”
Through the 3+3 program, admitted students can enter law school before completing their undergraduate degree. After finishing their first year of law school, they can apply their law school credits toward completion of their baccalaureate degree, enabling them to graduate from UAA after their first year of law school.
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