- While many of her classmates are on vacation or back in
their hometowns this summer, Teresa Rodriguez remains in class
at the University of California, Berkeley, wrapping up a double
major in English and physical anthropology.
Rodriguez not only will receive her degrees, but a $500 thank-you
gift from the campus.
higher education facing a so-called "tidal wave" in student
enrollment during the next 10 years, UC Berkeley is offering
for the first time this summer a $500 rebate to any student
who graduates at the end of this year's Summer Sessions. Campus
officials hope the Graduating Seniors Rebate Program, a campus
incentive to increase summer enrollment, will make room for
more students in the fall.
offer was a clear incentive for me to finish school in the
summer. Prior to now, I didn't even know you could graduate
in the summer," said Rodriguez. "Thanks to my 'reward,' I
will visit a couple of graduate schools where I plan to apply
next year. Believe me, I couldn't do this without the $500."
true that some students might not know they can graduate in
the summer, said Gary Penders, director of Summer Sessions,
the biggest competitors to summer school at UC Berkeley "
are students taking summer jobs, traveling and taking classes
elsewhere. A lot of students go home in the summer, many of
them to Southern California, and attend school there."
the popularity of Summer Sessions, which runs through August
11, has been increasing by about eight to 10 percent for the
last six or seven years. This summer, some 9,400 UC Berkeley
students - about 40 percent of the undergraduate population
- are in campus classrooms. Of this group, 316 students so
far have applied for the graduation rebate. In addition, approximately
3,000 other students are taking Summer Sessions courses.
is pleased with the response to the rebate. "Three hundred
was our target," he said.
the nation, the Baby Boom generation's children are filling
junior and senior high school classrooms, and, in the next
10 years, the entire University of California system is expected
to absorb 63,000 more students than currently are enrolled.
The UC's Office of the President has asked UC Berkeley to
consider adding the equivalent of 4,000 full-time students
by 2010. Of those, 400 are expected to arrive for fall semester
At UC Berkeley,
the Expanded Enrollment Steering Committee, comprised of UC
Berkeley administrators and faculty members, has been suggesting
and reviewing projects dedicated to accommodating more students
gave the committee several suggestions, including the $500
rebate plan. With the average Summer Sessions student taking
about one course for a cost of between $800 and $900, he said,
the rebate could refund more than half of what they paid.
new incentive to attending Summer Sessions is a change in
the eligibility requirement for the Low Income Grant Program.
Last summer, students who received less than $1,000 a year
in family support for their education were eligible. This
year, the amount of family support was raised to less than
$3,000 a year, increasing the pool of eligible students.
Wave II" approaches, Gov. Gray Davis also is showing support
for expanded summer enrollment. Starting in summer 2001, the
state will begin to support Summer Sessions, which historically
has been self-supporting.
At UC Berkeley,
students taking part in the $500 rebate program for graduating
seniors said saving money is great. But they listed other
advantages to being at UC Berkeley in the summertime.
are smaller, which is nice, and the professors seem a little
more accessible," said Brijinder Singh Grewal, who will graduate
in August with a political science degree - and a rebate.
tend to have more time after class and during office hours,"
added Rodriguez. "As a consequence, I benefit from their attention."
the bookstore is less crowded and books usually are readily
available, and that you can always get on-line to the campus
from a home computer because fewer students are using the
during class tend to be more spirited," said Rodriguez, "due
to the fact that, in the summer, many seniors, foreign students,
high school students and others add to the diversity of the
plus, said Penders, is the chance for summer graduates to
enter the job market early.
said he hopes the rebate program, to be assessed this fall,
will help take "a little bite" out of the upcoming enrollment
boom. He also wants the incentive plan to become a model for
another program being discussed by the university.
the ideas on the list is to provide an incentive to get students
to finish in four years," he said. "If you graduate in four
years, the university might rebate your last regular term
fee. That's about $2,000, which is four times better than
our $500 offer."