High costs for summer hurt out-of-state students

Whether you did poorly in a class and wanted to retake it, or you merely want to get ahead on credits, summer school provides that extra opportunity.

Unfortunately, if you’re an out-of-state student, you can kiss any hope for reasonably-priced tuition goodbye.

Summer courses cost $774 per credit for non-Arizona residents at ASU (compared to $525 for in-state students), a staggering rate that can cause students to not take advantage of study abroad opportunities, say no to a really great internship that requires them to pay for credit and avoid taking courses all together.

Fortunately, there are alternatives for students who merely want to get a general education course or two out of the way in the summer months.

Rio Salado College offers cheap courses for non-Arizona residents, which is much more affordable than taking the courses at ASU. Many other community colleges in other states offer transferrable general studies classes at a cheap rate if you live in the area.

The only issue with taking summer courses at a different college is that ASU will transfer the credit only, not the grade you received. For students, this can result in a lack of motivation to succeed in the course, as an “A” will do them no better than a “C.”

Also, students may be offered a really great summer internship on the grounds that they receive 1 to 3 credits of tuition for their time. Employers generally prefer to either pay their intern or ensure he or she receives credit for time spent; allowing interns to work for free can cross a barrier of legal and ethical guidelines. The current system that exists causes out-of-state students to have to pay hundreds of dollars to work.

Study abroad opportunities are costly as well. While summer may seem like the perfect time for students to explore another country, many non-Arizona residents simply cannot afford the hefty price of the tuition in addition to other travel expenses.

Besides not being able to take advantage of these beneficial experiences without paying a large price, out of state students may also have a difficult time pursuing all the education opportunities they want while they are at ASU.

Many ambitious students choose to pursue a minor, a certificate program or even a supplemental major — something that will give them an edge when they enter the professional world.

Counselors, parents and professors encourage students to learn as much as they can while they are in school, but sometimes there isn’t enough time in eight semesters for an undergraduate to achieve all he or she wants to.

While there are justified reasons out of state tuition is hiked (students from out of state do not have to pay Arizona taxes), the education system needs to figure out a better solution. As it is now, many students cannot afford to do the things they want to get the most out of their college experience.

Nicole is planning her own, cheaper trip to Europe instead of studying abroad this summer. See how it is going at ndgilber@asu.edu

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