UK sees record summer class enrollment

By Sarah Pickerel

Although it may appear summer class enrollment is down by the bare classroom buildings and the few stragglers that can be found walking around campus, a record number of 9,303 students enrolled in summer classes this year.

The UK Office of Enrollment said one reason campus might seem a little barer than usual could be the increased number of available online classes. The College of Arts and Sciences piloted 30 new sections of online courses this summer, according to the enrollment office.

Jason Pieratt, associate registrar for enrollment management, said online classes along with public relation efforts and increased financial aid for some students helped contribute to the record enrollment.

“The government made additional financial aid available to Pell Grant students for the 2010 summer term,” Pieratt said. “Historically, Pell Grant awards were usually available only for the fall and spring terms.

“There were several PR efforts by UK Enrollment Management and (the College of Arts and Sciences) this spring to make students aware of the new online courses and the benefits of taking courses in the summer terms,” Pieratt said.

He said there are several reasons why summer and online classes are so beneficial for students.

“More distance learning courses, with the addition of the new (Arts and Sciences) online courses, allow students to work during the day or live at home over the summer and still take UK classes,” Pieratt said. “(Student are) completing courses in four to eight weeks (and) getting ahead to have a quicker time-to-degree.”

The Office of Enrollment found the record summer class enrollment as no surprise because of a record enrollment of 25, 819 in the spring semester, providing a larger pool of students for summer sessions.

With such a large percentage of the student body enrolled in classes this summer, the Office of Enrollment believes summer school enrollment will continue to increase.

“With (Provost Kumble Subbaswamy’s) War on Attrition, UK is enrolling more students who are academically prepared to succeed,” Pieratt said. “And UK is retaining more students because of providing more academic and student services.”