Reimagining the Summer Semester

Amidst the economic hardships and uncertainties faced by so many during the COVID-19 pandemic, Southeastern moved forward to ensure that students have the best possible opportunities to continue pursuit of their educational goals by significantly reducing the cost of the summer semester. This new program is called Summer Online.

As the name implies, all courses are being provided virtually. This and the wide availability of offerings, in addition to the financial cost reduction, is allowing students to more rapidly advance their degree progress while addressing COVID-19 concerns over in-person contact, helping students to better focus on their studies while helping ensure their health and safety.

By providing the flexibility that online courses offer, more students have been able to enroll in courses at Southeastern during the summer semester. Total enrollment for the semester is 4,215. This is a 10.4 percent increase over last year.

As has been the case in the past, this format has been embraced by both traditional and non-traditional students alike. High school students and students from other universities, who may live too far away to easily commute, have likewise taken advantage of the program to rapidly advance toward their degree.

Communication Sciences and Disorders graduate student Brooke Giaratano studies online.

For those who applied for entry during the summer or fall semester, all application fees were waived through July 31. This removed a possible initial barrier for individuals considering beginning or returning to college, as well as students from other schools who wished to try courses at Southeastern or more quickly reach their degree goals.

To help all students pay for their summer courses, they were provided with reduced tuition. A $300 credit was placed on the fee bills of both undergraduate and graduate students. This credit helped significantly lower the overall cost of attendance this summer. It also effectively made the cost for most undergraduate students less than $325 per credit hour.

Fees were also waived to lower the cost of attendance even further for the summer semester. These included all student-assessed fees, benefiting all students, and non-resident fees, allowing out-of-state and international students the opportunity to take classes for an exceptional value—whether as part of their ongoing studies at Southeastern or to transfer back to another institution. The fee waivers were given to both undergraduate and graduate students.

Chief Enrollment Management Officer Kay Maurin said Southeastern is committed to ensuring the population it serves has access to higher education during this challenging time.

“We care about the financial health of our students. Southeastern is waiving these fees for the summer semester due to the evolving nature of this unique time and need for summer classes by so many students,” Maurin said. “We want our students to be able to continue with their educational goals, even during a time when they may be experiencing hardships in other areas of their lives.”

The online classes are currently underway, allowing students to earn credits in as little as one month. This innovative new Summer Online initiative is part of Southeastern’s ongoing commitment to remaining one of the best values among four-year colleges in the region—providing an affordable, high-quality, and supportive education centered around the needs of today’s students.

By Sheri Gibson and Tonya Lowentritt
Top image: Communication Sciences and Disorders graduate student Brooke Giaratano studies online.

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