Katie Couric's Notebook: College Years

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It could be a break for parents struggling to pay tuition bills in this tough economy. More colleges offer a four-year education in just three years. It doesn't take a calculus major to figure out that could save some serious cash.

The schools insist they're not cutting corners. Some would have students take courses in the summer, or online. Others would adjust schedules to cram in more class time.

It's a great alternative for the right student, but a three-year plan might not be for everyone. In fact, almost 40 percent of college graduates take more than four years to earn their degrees, and the intensity of a three-year program might mean skipping school sports or missing a chance to write for the campus newspaper.

College is about a lot more than text books and tuition. It's when teens grow into young adults and figure out what they want to be. That generally happens on their own time, no matter what the stock market is doing.

That's a page from my notebook.