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Summer course fees see large reduction

By Nate Hinson
On March 21, 2018

Academic Dean Jonathan Spiro talks about the university's efforts to lower tuition costs for summer courses, while also adding more options for online courses in the process. Photo by Nate Hinson. 

Cutting summer class tuition in half with the same rate for out-of-state students will entice more Castleton students to enroll this year, Castleton University’s Academic Dean Jonathan Spiro believes.

“For two decades our students have been going to CCV (Community College of Vermont) in summer,” Spiro said. “This summer, we have deeply discounted our tuition.”

Spiro was excited to report that Castleton’s in-state tuition rate is now the same as CCV’s, which means that Castleton’s summer courses are now much more affordable than they used to be.

“Maybe 20 years ago, we used to have a pretty thriving summer school here at Castleton.  Then students discovered that they could take summer courses at CCV in the summer for much lower tuition than Castleton, so our enrollment plummeted,” he said.

Castleton’s price per credit is now the exact same as CCV, and the University offers the same rate for out¬-of-state students.  For in-state students, tuition has been cut in half from last summer.  For out-of-state students, tuition has been cut by 75 percent.

Comparatively, CCV still charges out-of-state students an out-of-state rate.  The difference is between $261 a credit here and $522 a credit at CCV, he said.

“So, it’s a no-brainer!” Spiro said emphatically.  “Our out-of-state students should take summer school credits with us.  You can go back to Connecticut, for example, and take an online Castleton course in the summer for probably way less money than your local community college.  That’s why we’re doing it; we want our students to take Castleton courses.”

The reception among Castleton’s student body has been largely positive.

“I wish it had started when I came here,” said senior student Jacob Peet.

Chinese exchange student, Anique Hou, will be traveling home for the summer break, but she is happy to have the option to continue her Castleton education online before returning the following semester.

“I think it’s good because if I do take some courses now, then I won’t feel so stressed next semester, and I will have more time to do other things,” she said.

Castleton has also significantly increased the number of summer courses students can choose from to more than 40.  More than half of those courses are entirely online, including ones offered in psychology, business, accounting, statistics, history and sociology.

“It’s a really great way for students to catch up and stay on track for their majors,” said Associate Academic Dean Peter B. Kimmel.  “It’s an immersion experience, so it may be a good time to take a class outside of your major or in something you would not otherwise take.”

Students can take summer courses from literally anywhere this summer, and the credits are seamless. Registration is already open.

“It’s an exciting time to be at Castleton,” Spiro said.  “The summers have been kind of lonely around here lately, so I’m hoping there will be more activity around this summer.”

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