Nearly 20 years ago, the state of Florida pushed legislature through that allowed community colleges, trade schools, and other institutions that traditionally only offered two-year degrees to expand into four-year degrees, better known as bachelor’s degrees. Many students went to them because they were substantially cheaper than their traditionally four-year counterparts.
And those doors opened widely, too, with one school, St. Petersburg College, giving room for some 25 bachelor’s degree programs, ranging from disciplines under the umbrella of business, education, and nursing, for example.
Believably so, some 6,000 students each and every year were going to those former two-year institutions for their college educations, a statistic gathered back in 2014.
As those programs were significantly cheaper, the quality of their degrees were found to be much lower than what they would have been if students instead attended traditionally four-year schools.
In 2015, Florida put down the banhammer on new programs entering the fray of two-year, low-cost degree-offering, with schools hoping to expand into the field being faced with more stringent requirements to meet.
A recent study out of the University of Florida found that, after such legislation was pushed into action some three years ago, four-year schools funded by the state of Florida increased their business school rosters, even though two-year schools seemed to be taking over. Such degrees ended up being awarded about 25 percent more in terms of year-on-year comparison, though for-profit schools didn’t end up doing too well.
Those schools’ collective output dropped a whopping 45 percent in fields of study in which two-year schools were considered to be direct competitors.