More students choose to attend summer school to graduate on time

Kwok Chan

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More students have decided to attend summer classes at CSUN this year despite the high tuition.

Jessica Isomoto, administrative director of university access programs, said the enrollment of summer classes in this year is little higher than last year at this moment.

“Summer enrollment rate goes up and down by about 15 percent, sometimes higher in one year, but lower in next year,” Isomoto said. “The rate depends on the how many classes are being offered and how many students choose to take that class.”

Isomoto said about 7,000 students enroll in summer school every year, and most of them are current CSUN students.

“About 90 percent of students who take summer classes are current CSUN students,” Isomoto said.

Isomoto added that the remaining 10 percent of students comes from different types of students.

“Students has been disqualified from CSUN because their grade were low,” Isomoto said. “To re-apply for admission from CSUN , they will take classes through summer to get grades up again.”

Former CSUN students also enroll in summer classes because they want to take graduate programs like a master’s program, Isomoto said.

“Sometimes we have visitors from other schools or people who are not students right now, but they just want to try the class,” Isomoto said. “Summer is open to everybody and the best time for them to do that.”

Marcella Tyler, executive director of program advancement, said students who attends summer schools come from a variety of reasons.

“Some students want to speed up their progress toward a degree, while the other cannot get their class during regular semesters,” Tyler said. “Summer classes provide a great opportunity for students to test the water, improve their grade and do all kinds of different things that they wouldn’t do in normal semesters.”

Isomoto added that students who are missing prerequisites or want to redo a class will take summer classes to get ready to next step.

Isomoto said summer classes are more compressed, which is called accelerating classes.

“Instead of 15 weeks semester during fall and spring semester, summer classes are either six weeks or 12 weeks,” Isomoto said.

Isomoto said some students enjoy summer classes because they are only taking one or two classes.

“You can focus more on certain classes and have more time for doing homework,” Isomoto said.

After taking summer classes, students will have a lighter course load because they don’t want to take four or five classes during normal semesters, Isomoto said.

Bader Aljeraiwi, 20, sophomore economics major, said he will attend summer school this year because he thinks ahead of his school plan.

“I need to speed up my progress toward graduation because I was unable to get my prerequisite class in this semester,” Aljeraiwi said. “Most students are not aware that by taking summer classes, especially core classes, they will graduate in less amount of time than those who do not take summer school.”

Ronald Flores, 28, senior psychology major who took summer classes last year, said summer school was worthwhile for him to attend.

“If I hadn’t taken two classes during last summer, I wouldn’t be able to graduate this May,” Flores said.

He enjoyed attending summer classes because he took his favorite professor’s class during last summer, Flores said.

Steve Garcia, 22, senior psychology major who took summer classes last year, said attending summer classes can lower his academic burden during regular semesters despite of the high tuition.

“I decided to attend summer school because my plan to graduate in 4 years required me to do so,” Garcia said. “Otherwise, I would have been required to take a lot of units during my last semester.”

Garcia said taking summer classes brings many benefits to students.

“In summer school, you cover a semester worth of material in a few weeks, the classes are not as full as during the regular semester, and the library is a lot quieter,” Garcia said.

Flores said the obvious benefit of summer classes is the short period of time.

“I remember a lady in one of my classes who was pregnant mentioned that she was taking summer classes because the baby was due during the fall,” Flores said. “Since summer classes were available last year, she will be able to graduate this semester.”

Isomoto said the tuition of summer classes at CSUN hasn’t increased for four years.

“We’ve been very happy to keep the tuition at the same rate since 2011,” Isomoto said.

Isomoto said the tuition in summer classes are much expensive because of no state funding.

“The university receives funding from the state of California to supplement their education cost so the tuition cost is lower during regular semesters,” Isomoto said. “In the summer, it is a program that falls under self-support, which means we do not get the state funding.”

Isomoto said financial aids are available for CSUN students in this summer, but they don’t cover full amount of the tuition.

“Students usually have to find some money to pay for summer classes,” Isomoto said. “With the help of financial aids, it is not enough.”

Garcia said despite the expensive tuition, the main disadvantage of summer classes is a fast-paced learning environment.

“The assignments are right after each other and the lectures are loaded with a ton of information.” Garia said.

Isomoto said CSUN chooses to offer summer sessions because some students want to take classes during different time period.

“It is not just fall and spring, but also summer and winter,” Isomoto said.

Isomoto said that they haven’t known yet the total enrollment whether is higher or lower than last year because it still doesn’t meet the deadline of summer enrollment.

“Summer classes begin on May 27, so we still have over a month for students to enroll in classes for summer to start,” Isomoto said.