School’s in
Students flock to Summer Sessions in record numbers

05 June 2002 | Low fees and attractive course offerings are drawing a record crowd to the campus’s Summer Sessions this year: the number of students enrolling is expected to top 40 percent of regular term enrollment for the first time in the program’s 103-year history.

The large enrollment is exceeding ambitious targets and helping to absorb the tremendous surge in the number of college-age students now hitting California state schools, said Gary Penders, director of Berkeley Summer Sessions.
“We’re already about a thousand Berkeley undergraduates ahead of last year at this time, which is extraordinary,” Penders said.

While the campus’s summer courses, which began May 28, attract many people for many reasons, most of the five sessions are filled by students from Berkeley and other UC campuses seeking to complete a class or gain entry to high-demand courses offered in particular majors. The 40 percent figure this year is based on a total enrollment for the sessions, which last between three and eight weeks, of at least 9,000 students — up from 8,000 last year. This far exceeds the 25 percent average for summer programs across the UC system. Total Berkeley enrollment overall this summer, including UC and non-UC students, may be as high as 13,500 students.

Reasons for the increase include funds provided by the state legislature, once again, to waive the $325 summer registration fee and most lab fees for UC students. Registration shot up accordingly, proving that the word is out on the great summer deal, offered in hopes of meeting enrollment challenges.

Tidal Wave II will add as many as 60,000 students to the UC system by 2010, roughly a 40 percent increase. Berkeley was allotted 4,000 students per year as its share of the Tidal Wave II increase.

Since summer enrollment is one way the campus can accommodate more students while maintaining a manageable size and meeting its various agreements with the city of Berkeley, the hope is that campus students will complete more of their credits during summer.

Programs offered by Summer Sessions in previous years will continue to draw students this season. People ages 55 and older can pay just $25 for a senior audit card, which allows them to audit any class during Summer Sessions with the instructor’s permission. The 100 Scholars Program continues, allowing 100 teachers from Berkeley, Oakland, San Francisco and West Contra Costa — to take summer courses at substantially reduced rates.


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