Summer sessions offer students a variety of choices

Jennie Kushner

For students planning to spend the summer in Tuscaloosa, there are an array of summer classes available.

Summer school tuition rates for undergraduate students is rising $29 per class for in-state students, and $54 for out-of-state students, according to the Office of Financial Aid.

Capstone International is still accepting summer study abroad applications and does not differentiate costs based on in-state and out-of-state fees, said Angela Channell, assistant director of Capstone International’s academic programs.

“Facility-led student programs are a tremendous deal for out-of-state students because there isn’t a tuition differential,” said Channell. “In-state students can spend the equal amount of what it would cost to be on campus when calculating living expenses. Quite often, the only difference is airfare.”

Channell said Capstone International’s study abroad rates have not increased in cost, and students can use scholarships and financial aid for overseas and facility lead programs.

For students interested in studying locally, the University is allowing Pell Grants for summer school, said Helen Allan, associate director for student financial aid.

The Federal Pell Grant Program provides need-based grants to low-income undergraduate and certain post baccalaureate students to promote access to postsecondary education, according to ed.gov.

“This year is the first year that Pell Grants are going to be available for eligible students in summer school,” said Allan. “A student had to have used the grant in the fall and spring semesters of this year.”

Undergraduate tuition rates for 2010 summer school are based per hour. One hour for a resident is $325 and $850 for nonresidents. Other enrollment costs include course fees, dining dollars and parking.

The journalism department will be offering two new classes in the interim session, said Jennifer Greer, chairwomen of the journalism department.

“During the interim session, we offer classes that are unusual and maybe different, but they work really well,” Greer said.

Greer said a special topics class will be offered that focuses on photography in the Black Belt. Students will visually tell stories and produce photo essays.

The English and journalism departments will be collaborating to offer a class focus on writing for teen and women’s magazines, Greer said. It is a class geared towards students looking to write for magazines like Vogue or Seventeen, she said.

“During the summer sessions, we tend to offer a lot of core classes because that’s what people need to graduate,” Greer said.

Greer said taking a summer class is an intense experience, but a student can embrace the topic and explore something new every day.

“You feel like you’re living it, you pack a lot of learning in and it’s good for students who need consistent reinforcement,” she said.

Some students said they enjoy the fast pace of summer school. Sam Haney, a junior majoring in general business, said this would be his second summer in Tuscaloosa.

“I really enjoy the consistency of summer school,” he said. “I learn better when I go to class every day and the topics are really stressed over and over again.”

Greer said taking basic requirements in summer frees up possibilities for the opportunities the University has to offer such as the study abroad programs.

“It’s easier to take advantage of those opportunities, when you do go abroad, you can take cool, fun classes that take advantage of where you are in the world.”

Registration for summer and fall classes opens April 12. Interim session begins May 13 through May 26. Session one of summer school begins May 27 through June 29, the second on July 6 through Aug. 9.