KENT, Ohio — Kent State University and the University of Akron are looking to lessen the financial burden and expedite the process when it comes to going to law school.
"It is about saving time. It's about saving money, but it's also this seamless process that students go through," said Melody Tankersley, Senior Vice President and Provost at Kent State University.
The new 3+3 Program allows Kent State students to earn their Bachelor’s Degree and Juris Doctorate over six years.
The program shaves off a full year —for what would normally take seven years of schooling to complete.
The bachelor's degree is from Kent State, and the law degree comes from the University of Akron.
"They take 29 credit hours in their first year of law school that we then transfer back to their undergraduate institution, so in this case, Kent State. Then Kent State awards their bachelor's degree at the end of their first semester of law school," said Emily Janoski-Haehlen, Dean of the University of Akron School of Law.
The universities joined forces because they realized a lot of students wanted to remain in Northeast Ohio and not have to deal with the additional stress of applying to law schools out of state and basically starting over.
Retention and saving tens of thousands of dollars on tuition, university officials say, were crucial, especially in these trying economic times.
"It means that they can stay in our community. It means that they can live here while they're finishing their degrees," said Tankersley.
Students can apply during initial admission at Kent State or anytime during their college career.
Currently, 11 majors qualify for the program.
Students that are admitted must be in good academic and financial standing.
They must pass the LSAT and meet a mandatory GPA requirement.
Janoski-Haehlen says the program accelerates the law school process and puts prospective students ahead of the class and first in the workforce.
"They can jump start their career at a younger age and just sort of gives them that one-year advantage over their peers," said Janoski-Haehlen.
Kent State currently has a 3+3 Program with Cleveland State University's --Cleveland Marshall College of Law.
Kent officials say there are early talks of an additional partnership with Case Western Reserve University.
University of Akron officials say they're also looking to start partnerships with HBCU's in Ohio.
For ways to apply and additional details on the program, click here.