Whether they hope to get ahead in their studies or graduate on time, students are enrolling in summer sessions at the same high rate as last year.
Yet the demographic of these students has changed: This year’s summer enrollment has seen larger rates of international students and first-year admits, said Kathleen Micham, associate director of summer sessions.
Last year, demand for summer classes rose as a result of fewer seat offerings during the school year, Micham said. The situation has remained the same this year, because students continue to pursue summer courses that are more difficult to enroll in during the academic year.
Demand for lab courses remains high, but space constraints have continued to limit enrollment, Micham said.
Overall, course offerings and enrollment have not changed from last year, she said.
However, the large influx of first-years and international students expected to enter in the fall has created a slight spike for both groups in the summer session enrollment pool.
Paralleling projected growth of international students in the fall, summer sessions have also seen greater enrollment of students outside the United States, particularly from China, Egypt, Korea, Turkey and Singapore, Micham said.
She attributed the increased admit interest to Bruin Day, during which newly admitted students were introduced to the courses, activities and programs offered at UCLA.
The UCLA College Summer Institute, which brings incoming first-years to campus through a program combining orientation with three academic courses, hopes to enroll 300 students this year.
The spike from admits was balanced out with lower interest among students from other University of California schools, Micham said.
“Visiting students must pay a higher rate,” she said. “Because the fees keep going up every year, (there) are significant increases. I can understand why they are hesitant to pay that amount.”
Despite increased first-year enrollment, summer sessions continue to attract all UCLA students. For rising seniors, summer sessions provide an opportunity to take classes necessary to finishing their majors, said Amanda Herrera, a third-year psychology student who recently decided to pursue a minor in education.
“I just started with the minor and I’m worried I won’t get it finished by next year, so I’m going to get some of it out of the way, so during the year, I don’t have to pack my schedule,” Herrera said.
Even though summer courses are typically more expensive because students pay per unit, some might believe taking summer courses will be beneficial in the long run if they receive better grades, said Tyler Kawabata, a second-year chemical engineering student.
“I plan on getting a (summer) job, so the payment won’t be as much,” Kawabata said. “I’ve also been told that summer classes are easier, which is another incentive.”