As of Aug. 30 only 61 of the 1,396 main campus traditional undergraduate students who attended the 2003-2004 school year took summer courses offered at ULV this year, which was 10 more than last year.
According to ULV’s research analyst Gretchen Atkinson, of the 61 students enrolled in the summer, six were freshmen, four were sophomores, 12 were juniors and 39 were seniors.
Because of tuition costs, the majority of ULV students take summer classes at their local community colleges.
“You have to pay the part-time unit rate in the summer, which is $550 a unit,” said Eric Bishop, associate dean of academic support and retention-matriculation services. “It’s harder for the traditional undergraduate students because there are no financial aid sources for them in the summer since financial aid is only dispersed in fall and spring.”
According to Bishop, students took a variety of classes at ULV during the summer, including general education classes, core classes and upper division classes.
Jill Hundshamer, a senior child development major, was one of the few students who took classes at ULV.
“I tried taking classes at Mt. SAC [Mt. San Antonio College] once, but I couldn’t transfer the classes and I didn’t want to go through that again,” said Hundshamer, who took online classes for both History 110 and Core 340. “It was much easier and convenient.”
Senior liberal studies major Christine Rich is a student who preferred taking summer classes at ULV for its intimate atmosphere.
“I wanted to go to La Verne,” said Rich, who was enrolled in an early childhood studies class. “I know a lot of people here, there are small classes, it’s a small campus and the teachers can pay attention to you.”
However, the majority of students at ULV were like Sonia Nuñez, a junior psychology major, who took classes at her local community college.
“It’s so much cheaper,” said Nuñez, who took an art design class at Glendale Community College.
But, just because it is more affordable, it does not guarantee that ULV students preferred taking classes at a junior college.
“There were over 40 people in my class,” said Natasha Rotar, a sophomore accounting major who took astronomy and history at Mt. SAC. “It was a totally different atmosphere.”
Bishop agreed with Rotar: “A majority of students take classes at junior colleges because it’s only $25 a unit, but it’s strictly because of cost.”
“At junior colleges, you would be facing crowds and you would have to pray for open classes and hope that you can get in. In most cases, ULV students are their last priority.”
The lack of students attending ULV in the summer is a problem Bishop is trying to solve. Bishop is currently trying to determine a summer tuition rate that is affordable for the students, like making it $125 a unit so a class is only $500 or $600 instead of $2,500.
Bishop would also like to see ULV have a full summer schedule by attracting students from other colleges.
“State schools and community colleges are so impacted that if we had a full summer schedule at a reasonable cost, we can attract students who could not take classes at CSUs or JCs,” Bishop said. “In the last few years, JCs have had a limited summer schedule.”
Overall, the majority of students would rather take summer classes at ULV, but are unable to because of the tuition rate.
“I like taking summer classes at La Verne,” Hundshamer said, “But I hate paying $4,000 to take them.”
Nila Priyambodo can be reached at email@example.com.