Over 56,000 students enrolled in summer classes with the University, a 16.5% increase since last year, a press release said this week as students began their programs.
Incoming freshmen can take classes online at the University before the traditional fall start, and the number is up 74% since last summer, according to the release.
"With many summer plans changing for students, the demand for classes was likely to increase. This year, classes that would have been offered on campus were made available to students through remote options. Additionally, some ASU classes are being offered with multiple start dates," said Matthew Lopez, associate vice president of enrollment services, in an email.
Summer classes began May 18, with more than 5,200 classes, the release said, including modules specific to global pandemics and the new coronavirus.
Classes relating to COVID-19 happen later in the summer and cover topics including managing grief, criminal justice leadership and economic uncertainties during this time and moving forward.
The release and accompanying testimonials quote three students in summer classes for different reasons. One student is pursuing two degrees, another is taking required general education courses and another is hoping to study abroad later in school.
They expressed appreciation for the expedited application process and said being home was a good time for focused study.
The students tune in to online classes from all over since being displaced after a multitude of changing circumstances due to COVID-19.
ASU is not the only school with increased summer enrollment, Indiana University, University of Georgia and the University of Central Florida are all reporting record highs. At every school mentioned, most classes are taking place online.
Lopez thanked faculty members who were quick to make changes to spring and summer classes. He said he was proud of students for "flexibility and determination."
"The record enrollment in summer classes shows the dedication of our students," Lopez wrote.
Students enrolled in summer classes are offered lower prices and scholarships for completing credit hours, something the University championed in the release. First-year and transfer students receive a $500 tuition reward for every three credits, the typical amount for one class.
The University reports summer classes have a reduced price compared to the typical fall and spring semesters. Excluding college fees, resident students taking three credit hours pay roughly $1,507. Non-residents would pay $2,512. During the spring semester, residents taking three credit hours and excluding college fees paid $2,451 while non-residents paid $3,756.
Tuition and fees for online and out-of-state students has not been set yet for the fall semester.
The University is planning to have students on-campus in the fall with numerous changes to daily activities. President Michael Crow has mentioned possibilities of decreasing class sizes and shifting campus housing to one person per room.
No plans are 100% set in stone, but Lopez wrote the success of online learning both during the latter half of the spring semester and during the summer sessions will not impact the University’s decisions about the fall, rather guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Arizona Department of Health Services will aid further decision making.
Piper Hansen is the digital editor-in-chief at The State Press, overseeing all digital content. Joining SP in Spring 2020, she has covered student government, housing and COVID-19. She has previously written about state politics for The Arizona Republic and the Arizona Capitol Times and covers social justice for Cronkite News.