Summer enrollment continues downward trend

By Matt Daray

Summer enrollment has dropped for the fourth time in five years.

The university posted their summer enrollment numbers, showing a 610-student decline from 7,923 students last year to 7,313 this year. The numbers have continued to drop from as far back as 2009, when enrollment for the summer was 8,836. There was only a small increase of 100 students in 2011 when the enrollment was 8,704.

Chancellor Rita Cheng said the reason for the drop is because some students can’t afford to attend summer school anymore.


“If you talk to students, you will get the same information that we have gotten and that is it’s very expensive for students to go to summer school,” Cheng said. “There is no financial aid available to help support that.”

Cheng said students choosing to work or take up internships in the summer have also affected summer enrollment.

While on-campus enrollment has dropped, there has been a large increase in online enrollment, Cheng said.

“The one exception is our online courses, which have doubled since last year. There is definitely a trend for students to take online classes for the summer,” she said.

Cheng said the university will take a balanced approach to provide equal amounts of online and on campus classes. She said though the number of online classes is increasing, they will not become the primary classes offered for summer.

In order to deal with the ongoing enrollment issues, Cheng assembled the Summer Enrollment Task Force last fall. She said the task force was assembled to handle the university’s enrollment concerns since the financial aid funding was cut.

The task force made recommendations for the university to begin implementing this summer such as making summer class schedules available in the fall, expanding online class numbers and changing financial aid rules to make students eligible for on-campus employment.


Despite a total enrollment decline of 1,523 students since 2009, Cheng said she thinks the ideas presented by the task force will turn around summer enrollment numbers.

“I’m really excited about the work that the task force has done and I’m very positive about the opportunities for the future,” she said.