The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Thursday June 1st

Dwindling summer school enrollment prompts dip in course offerings

A decrease in summer school enrollment has forced administrators to cut more classes than usual from course offerings this summer — but questions linger as to what caused the drop.

“We’ve seen a little bit of a drop in enrollment first session,” said Jan Yopp, dean of summer school.

“We’re not exactly sure why, but optimistically, I hope it’s because students found jobs and the economy is improving.”

Yopp said about 7,000 students usually enroll in summer school each year. While the last few years have seen slightly above-average numbers, fewer than 7,000 registered for classes this summer.

“In recent years, our largest enrollment was in 2009, right about the time that the economy was going downhill,” Yopp said. “A lot of people think that when the economy slows and there are fewer jobs during the summer, students go to school instead.”

Toni Bowerman, a junior English and communications major, said cost played a role in her decision not to take summer school classes.

“I briefly thought about taking summer school class this summer and decided not to because of the cost and because I’m working full time,” she said.

Yopp said a lack of financial aid for summer school may have also played a role in low enrollment.

“There is less federal financial aid available in the summer than there has been (in past years), and we know that’s affecting some students’ ability to pay for summer school,” Yopp said.

Yopp said around 20 classes tend to be canceled each summer, but this year more than 40 classes were dropped due to the decrease in enrollment.

“We don’t like to cancel classes,” she said. “We know that’s disappointing for students and for instructors who have prepared to teach a class. But we have to cover our expenses.”

Despite having to drop some sections, about 550 courses are still available to students this summer, Yopp said. She said many students enjoy the appeal of summer school’s smaller course load and condensed time frame.

“I had a grant for the summer, so I wanted to take advantage of it,” she said.

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