Winter Session course prices rise three percent: More students choose to take classes over extended winter break
Winter Session enrollment increased this year, even as prices rose three percent, the current rate of inflation.
According to SRU Student Accounts, last year the total cost for a three credit hour semester undergraduate, web-based course was $903 for Pa. residents.
This year the price went up to $929.40 which is about a $26 increase.
According to the annual inflation rate of three percent, the cost of tuition is the required amount.
The Winter Session was offered first in 2011 due to students’ demand.
Elliott Baker, the executive director for Academic Records, Summer School and Graduate Studies, said former provost William Williams came up with the idea to add another term to the school year.
“He saw other schools taking the opportunity so we wanted to as well,” Baker said.
Baker said that the Winter Session has mainly two purposes for students.
One is students with deficiencies in their grades see this as an opportunity to get back on track with the credits they should have earned to graduate on time.
Secondly, students see this opportunity to get a head start for the spring semester and potentially graduate earlier or alleviate their work load for the spring.
“[Provost] saw that students can use this as a self-service and a way for the university to collect additional revenue than earning from the traditional fall and spring terms,” Baker said. “He saw that students would go to other schools to take courses over break.”
Despite some complaints from faculty and students on how the break was too long, Baker saw the benefits.
“For the second Winter Session this year, there was a tremendous increase in students enrolled in the classes,” Baker said. “Clearly students saw this as a good opportunity and embraced it.”
The Winter Session term had an increase in the number of courses offered. Plus, students saved on room and board, and out-of-state students had reduced prices.
“It’s a convenient way to earn additional credits,” Baker said. “For every course that was offered, enough students wanted to enroll in them.”
According to the State System budget set in June, cuts had to be made on courses.
All Winter Session classes were web-based except for internships.
No on-campus housing or meal plan was available since there were no on-campus classes.
According to Winter Session Important Notes for Students, grades were due January 22.
Students could not register more than seven credits unless an Excess Hour Form was approved by the student’s advisor, chairperson and dean.
Students who completed final credits toward graduation due to Winter Session graduated in January and have the chance to walk through the December ceremony.
The enrollment of all full-time, degree/certificate seeking undergraduates and students receiving athletically-related student aid is about 7,961 students. As of fall 2012, 92 percent of undergraduate students enrolled and eight percent of graduate students enrolled.