By Olivia Levada Lenoir
Summer tuition will be at its lowest cost for Cal Poly Pomona students in summer 2016.
CPP will officially transition from a quarter system to a semester system in fall 2018. The lowering of summer tuition aims to help students complete their degrees before semester conversion.
Howard Evans, dean of the College of the Extended University, applauds President Soraya Coley for taking the initiative to lower summer tuition fees.
“Last summer President Coley ” as you know she came from Bakersfield which is also undergoing this quarter to semester conversion process or did recently ” and so she said that in her experience it can sometimes create challenges for students to make sure that they get their programs lined up right and convert their program from quarter to semester so that they can make a smooth transition there and don’t loose time,” said Evans.
Evans describes the change as an experiment. The summer session at CPP is a self-support program. Self-support means only the campus’ resources are used to fund programs. In contrast, fall, winter and spring quarters at CPP operate on state-support, which is public funding.
“We can’t loose money,” said Evans. “The state doesn’t allow us to operate at a loss, so we have to make sure we cover all of our expenses, and so by lowering the fees that are being charged for summer ” if the same number of students come that signed up last year and they take the same number of courses ” we’re going to loose money. So our goal is to try and encourage more students to come and to take more classes.”
Coley believes students played a big part in the decision.
“Last summer I had just been on the campus for a couple of months. I saw some of the students I had met, you know, during the previous academic year, and as always, when I see students I want to know, you know, ‘what are you up to?’ ‘How are things going?'” said Coley. “I asked a couple, you know, ‘why aren’t you in summer school?’ and they said because it cost too much, and I kind of filed that away. ” We recognized that we probably need to reexamine our cost structure.”
The structures of summer 2016 fees vary. In previous years, fees were based solely on units. There is now a starting base tuition fee that is grounded on a range of units. However, every unit has an educational support fee of $50.
For example, if an undergraduate student takes three four unit lecture courses, his or her summer 2016 tuition fees will start at a base of $1,200 and an additional $600 will be added in educational support fees. Thus, the student would pay a total of $1,800. In comparison, if a student had this same schedule in summer 2015, their fees would amount to $2,880. Comparatively, if a student had this schedule in fall, winter or spring quarters of the 2015-2016 school year, their tuition would amount to $2,321.40, which includes fees.
“We want to help students to be able to take more units and make more progress,” said Evans. “The previous fee structure tended to discourage that. It almost penalized students for taking more than one class, but now students get the most benefit. And they benefit greatly from taking more than one class, and that’s our goal.”
If someone is taking a laboratory course there is an additional per-unit fee due to the use of specialized facilities. There is also a per-unit fee for activity courses and an additional per-unit fee is added for supervision thesis courses.
In addition to lower fees, students that qualify have the opportunity to receive more financial aid than is usually offered for summer enrollment.
“[Financial aid] will cover just about 50 percent,” said Diana Minor, director of the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships, in an email correspondence.”So, for example, if student enrolls in two four unit courses, the cost for summer 2016 would be $1,460, compared to summer 2015 at $1,920 and state-support at $1,824. ” We may offer financial aid in the amount of $900 which would bring the cost for the student down to just $560.”
Essentially, Minor said the proposed financial aid amounts are $400 for students enrolled half time, which is six units, and $900 for students enrolled in more than six units.
In previous years, students who qualified for grant money were offered the standard amount of $500 worth of financial aid no matter the number of courses they enrolled in.
“The financial aid being offered will cover approximately 50 percent of those costs, yet another discount,” said Minor. “Both these benefits did not exist in previous summer quarters.The goal is to provide as much assistance possible to as many students as possible in order to decrease our campus graduation gap, lessening the time to degree. If costs are more affordable, and financial aid is available, we believe we can meet our goal,”
CPP Provost Sylvia Alva said the new plan involves everyone including cashiers, financial aid, academics, students and faculty.
“The faculty who teach in the summer expect to get paid, and so you have to price it at a level where you’re going to discount it for students but have enough money to be able to pay the faculty, and so we did some modeling. We looked at various scenarios,” said Alva.
Scheduling will also be prepared in the best possible way that accelerates student graduation.
“We wanted to make sure that when we schedule the classes, we’re scheduling around a template so that the student doesn’t see the two classes that he or she ” are scheduled in conflict with each other,” said Alva. “So if you’re scheduling, schedule with the students needs in mind. We looked at the degree audits of the students who are closets to graduation, and we identified the courses students nearest graduation had kind of the highest need to take before they could graduate, so we put those classes in front of the department chairs.”
Alva hopes that students will take advantage of the new opportunities provided during summer enrollment.
“I think that summer is a great opportunity to make progress in reaching your career goal and your graduation goals,” said Alva. “Also, it’s a beautiful campus. It’s a great place to be during the summer … I invite people to see summer as sort of an opportunity to stay connected with the campus, to make progress toward their degree and to enjoy the very best that we have here, all year round,”
For more on the break down of summer 2016 tuition fees, visit http://www.cpp.edu/~summer/fees/index.shtml.
Sungah Choi / The Poly Post
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