The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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Summer fees headache for some CSUN students

While the Summer 06 was recognized by the state as a regular semester for the first time this year, some CSUN students still must deal with the higher cost of summer school.

Although the new system might not change much for some students, others believe the recent reform is an inconvenience.

“It’s ridiculous,” said Julie Vasquez, senior business major. “The summer semester is a short-term semester and should be cheaper. Most students usually take one class anyway.”

Year-Round Operations for summer school works the same way as the fall and spring semesters, said Robert Barker, university controller.

Students enrolled in six units or less in the summer pay close to $900, including additional fees. Students enrolled in more than six units pay about $1,400.

Although some students notice a significant monetary increase, it does not necessarily mean that university fees have gone up.

“It’s just a totally different scheme,” Barker said. “It washes both ways. For some students (the summer semester) may be more expensive. It depends on how many units the student is enrolled in.”

The setup is part of a new statewide requirement for summer semesters to be acknowledged as state-supported terms.

Prior to this semester, summer fees were determined by the College of Extended Learning. In the past, students were expected to pay a certain amount per unit.

“I like this new system better,” said Adriana Sanchez, junior psychology major. “I’m planning on taking more than three classes next summer so this new setup seems more efficient for me.”

Many students, like Sanchez, have started to take on a larger summer load to expedite their stay at CSUN with hopes of an early graduation.

But despite her content for this semester, Sanchez has been more conservative with her money this summer.

With gas prices on the rise as will with the cost of textbooks, Sanchez found herself making certain sacrifices to meet her educational goals.

“It sucks,” said Sanchez. “I can’t go out as much anymore so it can be very frustrating. I just have to remind myself that school comes first.”

In an attempt to save money, Sanchez no longer eats out as much and does not unnecessarily drive long distances.

Some CSUN students could also receive financial assistance from the federal government this summer semester.

Since summer school is now regarded as a regular university semester, students eligible for financial aid could receive more funds for the summer term.

If students receive financial aid in the summer, however, the amount of aid they receive in the fall or spring semester could be affected, said Lili Vidal, director of Financial Aid and Scholarships.

Vidal said financial aid is distributed among three semesters, while summer acts as the primary for aid.

For students who are not planning to attend classes this summer, aid is distributed between the fall and spring semester as usual.

While some students are pleased with the increased availability of financial aid for the summer, other students question the new procedure.

John Hong is a senior sociology major who relies on the GI Bill and financial aid for living and school expenses.

Since the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs deems six units as part-time status, Hong is not receiving full benefits from the GI Bill. With the little support he received from the VA, Hong felt the best option for him was to apply for summer aid.

Hong believes that it is unfair for students who are receiving aid in the summer to lose some of the aid awarded in the fall and spring.

“If CSUN considers the summer semester as a regular semester, they should treat it like one,” Hong said.

Andres Cruzalegui can be reached at

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