Summer Classes Improve Variety and Affordability

For some students, graduation is still far away, pushed out of mind by more pressing concerns. But for others, it’s a date that’s coming dangerously near, and they are in a frenzy to get all of their required units completed. Failing classes, transferring from other universities, or studying abroad can put USF students behind on their graduation requirements. Thus, many look to summer school as a way to get back on track.

USF has attempted to remedy this issue by dramatically cutting the cost of summer classes and summer housing on campus. Normally $1,280 per unit, the tuition for undergraduate classes has been sliced by 33% and now stands at $860 per unit.

Also, this year’s summer sessions will have more variety than usual. “[We are offering] an additional set of courses, both in core curriculum and in other courses in the majors, undergraduate and graduate level,” said B. J. Johnson, Vice Provost for Academic and Enrollment Services. “We have enhanced the offerings in the arts and sciences, nursing and business.”

This deal, she said, might be helpful both for the students and the university.

“We wanted to be able to give undergrad students the ability to stay on track academically; we know that some students fell behind in a number of units that they complete and we wanted them to be able to truly finish in four years,” Johnson said. “[The tuition cut] would hopefully allow them to stay on track and complete their degreee in a timely way, and still afford it.”

The university itself also expects to benefit from summer school. According to Johnson, “[Students can] take advantage of some of our facilities not being used fully in the summer. So it’s sort of a win-win, we hope, all the way around.” While the decreased costs sound as though they might be a financial loss for USF, the resulting increased demand for summer classes would  counter that. “We hope that at the very least [we’d be] revenue neutral,” said Johnson, “That’s the goal.”

She added that in making this move, USF was following the lead of other institutions who have also tried cutting summer tuition, and whose efforts have been successful.

Despite these significant cuts, USF’s summer session is still more expensive than that of any other school in the area, said Johnson.

Junior graphic design major Mike Fior said,”Normally I’d try to take classes at community college, since it’s cheaper, but usually the units don’t transfer over.” With this in mind, and the lowered tuition as an added bonus, Fior said he might end up taking classes at USF instead.

For those who, like Fior, are considering summer classes, Johnson advises, “students can register for summer school starting in April. I encourage them to talk to their advisors about the possibilities of summer school; the schedule is already online.”

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