In-state students who want to enroll in summer classes at the Colorado State University Fort Collins campuses will have more support than ever thanks to an additional $640,000 in one-time, need-based financial aid recently approved by the Board of Governors.
This means nearly 1,000 students will receive support from the CSU Tuition Assistance Grant in Summer Session 2022, an increase from the 600 who benefited the previous two summers.
“We are very grateful to the CSU Board of Governors for investing in our summer tuition assistance program with this infusion of funds as part of a $1 million package they approved specifically for increasing financial aid to students,” said Provost and Executive Vice President Mary Pedersen.
Last fall, the board committed $9 million in new resources for CSU over the next three years to support increased financial aid for rural and lower-income students; further development of data tools to analyze and inform student success decision making for all students, investments in academic and co-curricular improvements to support marginalized populations, faculty professional development, academic enrichment, and targeted interventions at the college and department level; and more.
“The timing of this large infusion for the Summer 2022 session is critical given the impacts of COVID, and the extenuating financial circumstances some of our students and their families have faced these past two years,” Pedersen said. “These additional funds will be incredibly impactful for our students who want to attend summer classes to allow them to stay on track for graduation, but otherwise might not be able to afford to do so.”
Removing barriers to academic success
“There are two great time-saving benefits to summer classes,” said Anne Van Arsdall, the director of CSU Summer. “The first is getting caught up on courses needed for graduation, and the second is getting ahead on credits.”
Many students also take advantage of these sessions in order to complete accelerated degree programs where they can graduate in three years, enabling an earlier start to their careers and more earning potential.
However, low-income students and other historically underserved groups may have barriers to completing summer classes, in part due to exhausting their financial resources during the fall and spring semesters.
That’s why in recent years, the University has worked to expand summer support in multiple ways.
“All of these efforts have definitely made summer participation more possible for students of a limited income,” said Financial Aid Director Joe Donlay.
This has included expanding work study during the summer.
“One of the biggest concerns for students is employment in the summer: many worry they may have to go home and work,” Van Arsdall said. “However, there’s lots of campus employment, and that includes expanded work-study for summer 2022.”
CSU also offers prorated on-campus housing and dining for students enrolled in at least one credit within the four, eight, 12-week, or varying length summer terms.
Last year, CSU rolled out a summer rate change where non-resident undergraduate students pay 30% less than base tuition for main campus courses when they register through RAMweb. In addition, the Western Undergraduate Exchange is continuing to provide greater access and affordability for nonresidents.
CSU is also offering a leg-up to first-year students through the Bridge Scholars Program, which provides residential college-life experience to applicants who come from first-generation and underrepresented backgrounds.
This summer program offers academic skills and college preparation through group study, tutoring and supplemental instruction, and also allows the Bridge Scholars cohort to create long-lasting connections and become future campus leaders.
“Expansion of the Bridge Scholars Program helps CSU recruit and best support dynamic student leaders, whose positive contributions to our university are felt far beyond their own individual and typically highly laudable achievement,” said Steve Dandaneau, the associate provost and executive director of the Association for Undergraduate Education at Research Universities. “Likewise, expanded summer work study helps keep CSU Summer affordable for all students who seek its benefits and are very often enriching learning experiences in themselves.”
A variety of options
This summer, CSU will offer more than 1,700 sections with varying term lengths and instructional methods, including face-to-face, online and hybrid.
Students can use the Courses at a Glance tool on the CSU Summer website to filter for summer courses by course delivery type this year, in addition to subject, term, and AUCC category.
Van Arsdall said many students use the summer to focus on more challenging courses and experiential learning opportunities that they may not have time for during the fall and spring.
“There are so many experiential learning opportunities during the summer on the mountain campus and beyond,” Van Arsdall said. “This is a great time to do internships, study abroad, and participate in the field experiences and research they might not be able to fit in during the fall and spring.
“The summer is certainly a great opportunity to get hands-on.”
Registration for summer classes begins on RAMweb at noon on Tuesday, March 22.