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Summer session enrollment numbers hold steady

Even though costs may be rising with the summer temperatures and summer employment opportunities abound, summer school enrollment is holding steady, officials said yesterday.

About 3,179 students enrolled for the first session of summer school at the University this year, including graduate students.

"This is neck and neck with last year, despite low employment rate and opportunities for students," Summer Sessions Director Alton Taylor said.

Costs for summer school classes run at $136 per credit hour for in-state students, the same price as last year.

However, for out-of-state students, the cost rose from $493 to $518 per credit hour.

This year, 2,033, or 64 percent of students, are from Virginia, while 1,146, or 36 percent, are from out of state.

Last year, about 65 percent of students attending the University's first summer session were in state, and 35 percent were from outside Virginia.

But, whether they are from Virginia or not, students seem to have the same interests in types of courses they take.

Certain classes are usually popular in the summer, Taylor said.

"Pre-Med courses are always in demand, as well as economics courses and psychology courses," he said.

"Student come for English and History courses during the summer because of the teachers," he added.

The University sometimes asks professors from outside the University to teach a summer course, Taylor said. "Some teachers are invited--we make sure that they have the same academic qualities that we do," he said.

He said the University decides on the classes it will offer in the summer depending on past interest in classes and student requests.

"We try to identify the needs of students while picking courses -- we look at historical enrollments and ask students in their majors" what courses they would like to take, he added.

Taylor said many students enrolled in summer classes are trying to complete their degree on time.

"The first thing [students] are always asking is how can I make normal progress to my degree?" he said. "Nearly every time they are here to take a course for degree requirements."

He added that when students have finished their degree requirements, they are more likely to take enrichment courses such as art or drama.

At the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, enrollment is up slightly from last year, said UNC summer session director Cheryl Mitchell.

In-state enrollment for all courses under Academic Affairs, including the UNC education school, totaled 1,491 males and 2,125 females. Out-of-state students totaled 225 males and 299 females.

Last year's undergraduate in-state enrollment totaled 1,472 male and 2,027 females, plus 241 males and 255 females from outside North Carolina, Mitchell said.

Classes at UNC run cheaper than the University's though. In-state students attending UNC summer school pay $95 per credit hour, while out-of-state students pay $325 per credit hour.