International students affected by low enrollment

Maria Jose Sullivan

While some international and non-resident students take advantage of less expensive summer classes, some are adversely affected by this summer’s low enrollment.

A full-time undergraduate student who is a resident of California will pay $1,518 in student fees in Fall 2005. For less than six units, an undergraduate resident will pay $990. These rates, because of CSUN’s transition to Year Round Operations, are comparable to student fees in the summer.

Some international and out-of-state (non-resident) CSUN students pay upwards of $9,000 in student fees during the fall and spring semesters, since they are also required to pay an additional $339 per credit unit because they are not California residents.

During the summer, however, international students pay the same rates that resident students pay, without the $339 per unit fee. As a result, many international and non-resident students take summer classes at CSUN to take advantage of the low rates.

Akira Masu, junior computer science major and international student, said he usually takes between 12 and 15 units during the fall and spring semester, and pays about $9,000 per semester.

“This summer, I am taking 12 units and I only paid $1,300,” Masu said.

Masu said he is taking four classes during the summer because it is cheaper for him than during a regular semester.

Sari Small, senior program development director for the College of Extended Learning, said that due to low enrollment this summer, some classes have been cancelled, which affects international students who are looking to take advantage of lower summer fees. Enrollment numbers for summer term have decreased for two consecutive years.

As of June 13, 64 classes had already been cancelled.

Cyro Duarte, senior journalism major and a member of the University Student Union Board of Directors, said he pays an average of $6,000 during the fall and spring semesters.

Duarte is now enrolled in summer session, but was unable to take full advantage of the rate due to a cancelled class.

“I wanted to take an independent studies class for political science, but the class got cancelled,” Duarte said.

“Any student who was relying on the summer session is affected, although international students suffer greater financial implications,” Small said.

Small said there are several factors that contribute to the success of the summer program.

She said student demand is an important factor in the summer programs, and colleges try to meet the needs of the students by adding classes. Small said in some cases, however, classes are cancelled because of low enrollment.

She also said this summer might be the last in which international students will be able to take advantage of the low rates.

Extended Learning will no longer run the summer term program in Summer 2006, as the university’s transition to Year Round Operations will be complete. Summer will then be an officially state-supported academic term operated through the regular university.

“I would anticipate that the out-of-state and international students will be assessed the same fees they pay in the fall and spring semesters,” Small said.

Still, some international students are steadfast in the importance they place on education, even in the face of cancelled classes or potentially rising costs.

“It doesn’t matter that I am losing money,” Duarte said. “Any money paid toward your education is worth it.”