Punishing the ambitious

Lack of summer financial aid and sufficient campus jobs are hurting students.

It’s time to stop punishing students for taking summer courses. Not only do students pay the exact same tuition rates for shorter classes but, in addition to that, services are slashed during summer. Everything from computer labs, Coffman Union, University Counseling and Consulting Services, and campus convenient stores are either not available during summer or close early. While it’s understandable that students should make certain sacrifices because fewer of them are attending school, students seem to be the only ones making sacrifices. It is time for the University to meet the students halfway by examining the employment and financial needs of summer students.

According to the Institute of Research and Reporting, from the students registered during the regular year, approximately 36 percent of them take summer classes. There are 17,953 students who attended summer in 2004 compared with the average of 49,719 who attended fall and spring; this is a significant number. Campus life this summer is just as lively as it was last summer. While all of these students are on campus and taking classes, University Dining Services and others do not hire students during summer. Because there is less traffic, business is slower and, thus, not as many people are needed to work. In the end, people with seniority are given priority to keep their jobs during the summer and the students are ousted.

While it might be harder and financially unsound to provide jobs for students on campus, the state should provide students with more financial aid during the season to help students make ends meet. A student paying regular tuition should at least reap the benefits of paying regular tuition and enjoy the expected services they would enjoy during the year.

With the current situation, students who want to get ahead by taking summer classes are left with the burden of finding off-campus employment and paying tuition without the help of some loans only available in fall and spring semesters. This combination of being without an on-campus job and lack of financial aid essentially punishes students who wish to spend their summer studying.