18 percent spike in summer enrollment

Allison Smith

According to Research, Planning and Institutional Effectiveness, Kent State’s summer enrollment has increased more than 18 percent since last year.

Last summer, at the main branch, 7,128 students were enrolled in summer classes. This summer, according to RPIE, 7,731 students are enrolled, a difference of 603 students.

“This is great,” President Lester Lefton said. “It gives students an opportunity to catch up or get ahead, take an easier course load during the academic year, stay on task to graduate on time, so we think this is terrific.”

According to RPIE, there were 10,500 students taking summer courses at all of the campuses last year, and there are 12,424 students taking summer classes this year.

Kent State’s main campus has the largest increase of students enrolled, and the Trumbull Campus has the largest percentage increase at 61.89 percent.

“Some of this is because students can’t get summer jobs,” Lefton said. “Some of it is they want to finish

school sooner, and some of it is also because we’re offering a number of courses online that we haven’t offered in the past.”

Iris Harvey, vice president for university relations, said she thinks offering more classes online has increased summer enrollment because of the convenience.

“You could perhaps live in the area of another school,” Harvey said, “Then while you were at home in summer, you could enjoy an additional opportunity to get some of your general education.”

Harvey also thinks that because of the economy, people see a necessity in attending college.

“I think more students are considering it might be a better choice to go ahead and do summer school as opposed to working full-time to accelerate the degree progression,” Harvey said.

Lefton said the summer enrollment is not a huge budget impact because the numbers are still small relative to the academic year.

Harvey said she thinks the higher enrollment is good for students and their families because it generates greater access to higher education.

“I think it’s good for employers in the workforce that students are proceeding and perhaps even enhancing and taking courses that they might not have thought about during the academic year,” said Harvey .

Contact principal reporter Allison Smith at [email protected].