Many students have found a way to pass the time this summer and save money on tuition by sitting in a classroom.
With the cost of attending the University of California on the rise, students have turned to summer school as a way to save money and graduate sooner. While tuition has gone up from last year, the eight-unit fee cap remains, which makes staying at UCSB for the summer less expensive than going to school during the regular academic year.
“I’m going because I want to get out of school faster, and it’s cheaper,” junior political science major Blake Stok said.
UCSB students can take two summer sessions, with 16 units in each session. The eight-unit fee cap covers both sessions, so after a student takes eight units every other class for the rest of summer is free. About one-third of summer school students have taken classes in both sessions in the past. The cost of attendance is based on the number of units taken, in addition to a one-time campus-based fee of $50 per undergraduate student. UCSB students taking summer school here are eligible for financial aid in the form of loans and grants, although the grant application deadline has passed.
“Other campuses, like UC Irvine, have cheaper tuition, but you have financial aid here and not there,” Director of Summer Sessions Loy Lytle said. “With the student fees and fee caps, it’s cheaper to go to UCSB summer school than UC Irvine on all levels.”
Summer Sessions is also providing limited housing during summer, with 100 beds in San Miguel Residence Hall reserved for Session A students – mostly for transfer students and students from abroad. UCSB is offering over 750 courses, many of which fulfill general education requirements. Lytle said students often prefer taking classes over the summer at UCSB because the classes are generally smaller, which allows for more interaction with professors and other students. It is also a good time to get general education requirements out of the way, he said.
“Summer is a great time to take a course that’s hard to get into in the other terms or fulfill G.E. requirements to get ahead in their program,” Associate Director of Summer Sessions Robert Mann said. “[It’s also a good time to] focus on a course or two that a student might find difficult, or test their interest in a different academic major that they might be contemplating.”
Over 6,600 students have registered for summer classes so far, 9 percent more than had registered for summer classes at this time last year. Mann said Summer Sessions is expecting over 9,000 students to enroll this summer. The last day to register for Summer Sessions is June 27.
About 40 percent of UCSB students stayed for summer last year, a figure that has already been surpassed by this year’s enrollment. UCSB students were given the option to sign up for classes earlier than non-UCSB students, who could not register until May 1. Over 95 percent of the registered summer students are from UCSB.
“I think it’s become so popular because we really try to pick the classes the students need,” Lytle said.