Is Summer Enrollment A Numbers Game?

Jake Tapley

For many students, summer classes are not only convenient, but they are also necessary. This summer, they were also cheaper than classes during the school year, but it would appear that arrangement was a fleeting luxury.

The university took steps to increase enrollment for this past summer and, therefore, increased revenues by lowering tuition and changing the course schedule from 5-week classes to classes with assorted durations.

If you view the University as a business, this makes perfect sense. Attempting to find a period of peak enrollment by changing the schedule and lowering costs to attract more students could potentially increase revenue and give the university the information it needed to schedule summer classes more efficiently in the future.

In spite of all this, the university somehow lost revenue. Why?

I would argue that numbers such as the price and duration of classes are not going to increase enrollment on their own.

If you have ever been on campus during the summer, you know that very little is happening on an otherwise active campus. For the average college student, this is not a very appealing proposition, even in light of reduced tuition.

Students at USI are much more than decimals and dollar signs. We are active participants in the community that surrounds us. We enjoy being involved in the lives of our friends and actions of our school.

Being the socially-active individuals that we are, we expect more from our college experience than just credits toward our degree. Summer classes are a valuable tool, but even those who utilize them could tell you that a near empty campus is not exactly their favorite place to spend their summer.

So, how do we raise enrollment in summer classes? If you ask me, an environment that caters to a social experience would go a long ways toward this goal.

The responsibility, however, does not rest on the shoulders of any single entity on campus but rather the community as a whole.

Making USI a place we want to be during the regular school year has been a result of a collective effort. Why should the summer be any different?