Summer enrollment is up again, though not by as much as administrators had hoped.

Currently, 8,566 students are enrolled in summer classes, up 3 percent from last year. Summer Sessions administrators had speculated that enrollment might top 9,000 this year.

Summer Sessions Associate Director Robert Mann said the numbers were difficult to project because summer enrollment has been sharply increasing for the past three years. Enrollment for Summer Quarter 2003 is 50 percent higher than it was for Summer 2000.

Part of the increase can be attributed to expanded off-campus summer offerings. The university added a new program in Van Nuys to augment existing programs in Santa Maria and Ventura.

“We did an examination of students’ permanent addresses and found that about 800 students lived within a half-hour drive of that location in the San Fernando Valley,” Mann said.

The off-campus courses, which are video-broadcast to the Santa Maria and Van Nuys locations from live courses on campus, are offered at a 33 percent discount, costing students $69 per unit rather than the normal $103. Mann said there were approximately 400 off-campus summer enrollments, but could not provide an official head count because it was not yet determined how many students were taking how many courses.

Eight undergraduate courses are currently offered in Ventura, in addition to four in Santa Maria and six in Van Nuys. Mann said he expects the amount of courses offered at each location to increase in the future, but the number of locations would most likely remain the same.

“There’s a lot of logistics involved in holding off-campus courses,” he said. “I don’t expect we’ll expand locations in the near future.”

Over 750 courses are being offered and students are taking larger study loads, bringing the total number of courses taken up 12 percent from last year. Also, UCSB is continuing to offer a summer fee cap that allows students to take as many summer units as they want while only paying for a maximum of eight units.

The larger student presence is not the only way Summer Quarter is looking more like the normal school year. For the first time, the vendors who line the sidewalk leading to the UCen will also be present during summer.

“With the expanded summer session, we decided to give it a try,” UCSB Bookstore administrative assistant Deborah Baker said. The vendors pay the bookstore a site fee of $20 per day or 15 percent of their sales, whichever is greater.

A vendor who wished to remain anonymous said he did not think the summer vendors would last long.

“By the third week there probably won’t be any vendors here,” he said. “I thought, because it’s the first time, maybe I’ll give it a try. The foot traffic is here, but business is very slow.”

The man said he came into summer with high hopes of pulling in $500 per day, but has only made around $100 per day so far. He added that his sales are lower at UCSB than at any of the 35 West Coast colleges he visits from San Diego to Washington.

“People are just walking by, going to buy books,” he said. “Maybe everyone’s short of money because it’s summer.”