University reduces costs for online summer semester


Symiah Dorsey/The Lion's Roar

The university has made changes to the summer semester to adapt to the circumstances of COVID-19. With online summer classes being provided at a reduced cost, the university encourages students to take advantage of these resources.

The university has launched a ‘Summer Online’ initiative with a reduced cost in response to the circumstances of the ongoing pandemic. This initiative will move all components of the following semester to online instruction.

The regular eight-week summer semester and the first four-week term will only include online classes. However, given that Term 2 does not begin until June 30, a decision on face-to-face classes will be made at a later date.

Kay Maurin, chief enrollment management officer, explained why the university has decided to continue with remote learning for the summer.

“Our motivation in moving to online classes for the regular summer term and term one was to ensure the good health and safety of our university community,” said Maurin. “We want students to be able to continue with a quality educational experience while still observing social distancing.”

Undergraduate courses are $325 or less per credit hour, with a reduced cost also being extended to graduate students. The university had also announced that all application fees throughout April would be waived for the summer and fall semesters.

Maurin shared why the university decided to waive application fees for incoming students.

“We did not want an application fee to deter a student from pursuing their education during this time if they were experiencing a financial hardship,” explained Maurin. “The application fees were waived for the month of April for summer and fall applicants of any type, including transfer undergraduates or graduates and beginning freshmen.”

Maurin also shared why she believes students should take advantage of the online classes.

“The summer semester is a great opportunity for students to continue their studies and make degree progress at a very affordable cost,” explained Maurin. “All students, including graduate students now, receive a $300 summer smart scholarship. In previous summer semesters, online course offerings have been very popular for students.”

Although classes will continue online, summer terms differ from regular fall and spring semesters. They progress at an accelerated pace and include the same amount of material in a regular semester, but in a condensed time frame.

Lauren Doughty, an instructor of history and political science who has taught in-person and online summer classes, elaborated on the situation.

“In any summer class, whether online or in-person, the students are expected to have a certain level of self-motivation because of the rapidity of the term,” said Doughty.

Doughty also shared her thoughts on the approach she has had to take in order to make a seamless change.

“When the transition came, I was able to move my lectures online with only a few technological bumps,” said Doughty. “The plus for me was that I already had my classes completing online reading quizzes and discussion boards, so our move online wasn’t as traumatic as completely learning a new format.”

Doughty gave advice for students preparing to take the online summer classes.

“My best advice to any student taking summer classes is to be prepared, both mentally and physically,” said Doughty. “The last piece of advice is to communicate with your professor. We need to hear from our students, whether it’s about questions on the material covered or just checking in. We can’t fix problems unless we know about them.”