State financial aid, lower fees and more classes helped UCSB’s 2001 Summer Sessions take on 40 percent more students last summer than it did in the previous year.

UCSB and the rest of the University of California campuses have been pressured to increase summer enrollment in an effort to accommodate Tidal Wave II, the large number of high school students expected to apply and enroll into the UC system in the next decade.

Last year’s Summer’s Sessions handled an increased load, and the director said next year’s sessions, which are currently being planned, will be similar.

UCSB was one of three UC campuses that received state funds for Summer Sessions, which in the past have been self-supporting. Federal and UCSB financial aid was previously awarded during the normal academic year, but not during the summer quarter. One-third of the state money was used for Financial Aid, allowing most eligible students to receive funding.

The increased availability of Financial Aid and a 50 percent increase in the number of classes provided an incentive for summer enrollment, Assistant Vice Chancellor of Enrollment Services Management Betty Huff said.

“Because fees were lower, students took more classes, and the increase in units generated was 70 percent,” she said.

In 2001, students took 71,076 units, compared to 43,846 units in the 2000 UCSB Summer Sessions.

Director Loy Lytle said having the option of year-round education is important for students who want to obtain their degrees quicker.

Across the UC system, 7,677 students enrolled in the 2001 Summer Sessions, 29 percent more than in 2000, Associate Director for Summer Sessions Robert Mann said. The faculty for the 2001 summer sessions also increased by about 50 percent.

At UCLA, which also received state funding in 2001, 14,231 students took summer courses, 42 percent more than in 2000, UCLA Summer Sessions Director David Unruh said.

“Enrollment at UCLA this summer grew more than ever imagined,” he said.

At UC San Diego, which did not receive state funding, enrollment grew by nine percent, which was a smaller increase than the year before. UCSD Summer Sessions Director Jil Warn said this could be because students did not receive financial aid, although student fees did decrease, and there was no application fee

Both UCLA and UCSD are planning on keeping the same schedules for Summer Sessions in 2002, with two six-week and two five-week sessions, respectively. UCSB is looking at possible changes to its current system, with possibilities of two six-week sessions, four three-week sessions and one ten-week session. The amount of courses offered will remain the same and financial aid will continue to be available, Lytle said.

“We are looking at hiring the same number of faculty, if not more,” he said. “In addition, we are looking at implementing other incentives to have as many continuing students attend.”

Departments will discuss what these incentives will include and submit proposals for the Chancellor’s approval at the end of Fall Quarter. Summer Sessions 2002 will be completely planned out by dead week of this quarter, Lytle said.

Student surveys taken at the end of this year’s Summer Sessions have not yet been reviewed, but the preliminary indications are that students liked the financial aid, reduced fees and increased course variety, Lytle said.

Some professors felt that they were able to cover ten weeks worth of material in the six-week session. However, Communication associate professor Beth LePoire felt the majority of her students were “burnt out” because they had already taken several courses during the first session.

“If I had my druthers, I’d prefer they only enroll in one summer session so they get a bit of a break,” LePoire said.

For LePoire, among the advantages of teaching in the smaller environment that summer sessions provided were that she knew the students’ names and could attach their personal stories to faces.

“I loved teaching over the summer,” she said, “and I would definitely do it again.”