CSU Summer Session 2021 will be more affordable and flexible for undergraduates

Summer session plays an important role in supporting the Colorado State University journey for students with an affordable option to stay on track, catch up, or get ahead on credits. For 2021, CSU is expanding this opportunity for low-income students and non-residents, thanks to the support of Provost Mary Pedersen.

An analysis of Summer Enrollment and Student Success by CSU Institutional Research, Planning and Effectiveness has increased the University’s understanding of how engagement in summer session can contribute to students’ success. As students are facing unprecedented challenges, CSU has made a commitment to making summer courses more accessible, affordable and flexible for undergraduates, according to CSU Summer leadership.

Nonresident undergraduate students participating in summer session have benefited from a tuition reduction since 2015. However, this upcoming summer they will pay less.

The CSU System Board of Governors has reduced the nonresident undergraduate base tuition rate by 30%. This rate change extends to all summer session courses for which students register through RAMweb, regardless of delivery method, and applies to all credits beyond the previous 3-credit allocations.

Colorado residents

What about Colorado residents? Last year, the Office of Financial Aid awarded the need-based CSU Tuition Assistance Grant to summer session students for the first time. This, combined with the summer federal Pell Grant, helped increase enrollments of low-, limited-, and middle-income students by 24.5%. The CTAG will be available again in summer 2021.

“Historically, financial aid for summer session amounted to what a student might have left over from the fall and spring terms,” said Tom Biedscheid, assistant vice president of enrollment and access. “If a student was full-time and had to borrow all of their student loans to cover fall and spring, that meant they had nothing left for summer. So, summer session tended to only see students who were fairly well-resourced and able to afford it. We are excited to have the CSU Tuition Assistance Grant available so summer session can be more accessible to a much broader group of students.”

Students who receive the Western Undergraduate Exchange scholarship may apply it in summers prior to their eighth fall/spring semesters at CSU. Office of Financial Aid counselors are available to assist students in exploring other summer financial aid options including grants, scholarships and loans.

Additionally, the Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President is extending the temporary S/U grading and course withdrawal accommodations for the Spring 2021 and Summer 2021 semesters.

To address some of the extraordinary challenges resulting from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, CSU will again offer (as it did in Spring 2020 and Fall 2020) undergraduate students the option of Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U) grading instead of a traditional grade (A-F) for Spring 2021 and Summer 2021 semesters. S equals a grade of C or above, with a U carrying no credit for a D or F. Graduate students will work with their individual programs should they have questions.

In addition, CSU will offer the late course withdrawal option without tuition refund for undergraduate and graduate students.

In response to the Colorado Department of Higher Education roadmap to build on college affordability, CSU introduced Accelerated Programs as a Provost’s Initiative under former Provost Rick Miranda. Since Fall 2020, the pilot has grown from seven programs to the involvement of 10 academic departments, with three additional options to be added soon.

“It is our goal that the list of programs continues to grow,” said Director of CSU Summer Anne Van Arsdall. “We have learned from other institutions offering accelerated programs that they not only offer a flexible alternative to the four-year degree, they allow students the opportunity to begin earning professional salaries earlier, enhancing their lifetime earnings, while also contributing to increased retention and graduation rates.”

Whether pursuing a four-year degree or an Accelerated Program, undergraduate main-campus students can begin registering Tuesday, March 23, at noon in RAMweb.

Summer session courses are offered in a variety of term lengths, including four, eight and 12 weeks. Options are plentiful, with increased online and hybrid courses, as well as face-to-face, research, field studies, study abroad, and other experiential courses. Students can use the Courses at a Glance tool to filter for summer courses by course delivery type this year, in addition to subject, term, and AUCC category.

Learn more

To learn more about any of these opportunities for students, and additional resources, including summer housing, employment, and tips for being successful in the condensed summer terms, visit the CSU Summer website or contact Anne Van Arsdall, CSU Summer director or Ellen Audley, program coordinator.