By Brooke Bailey and Ryan Daugherty
Students often take summer classes to get ahead in their degree. While these extra hours help with scheduling, many students struggle with the cost.
At Baylor a three-hour class costs $3,054 during the summer—that’s $1,017 less than a three-hour class during fall or spring.
Students must also consider student fees, which include a general fee of $95 per credit hour, a minimum course fee of $50 and a matriculation fee of $100.
Parking, meal plans and on-campus living are also options to be considered. Those costs during the summer can add up to $3,073.50.
Summer meal plans range from $271.71 to $670.07 per session. Bearbucks is another optional fee.
The cost and fees have some students concerned about how they will afford summer tuition and whether summer classes at Baylor are worth the cost.
Cleburne senior Karalynn Reynolds said summer school at Baylor isn’t worth her time or money. Baylor tuition has already cost enough, and tuition is lower at other schools, she said.
“As someone who is already building a lot of summer debt from four years, it makes a lot more sense to go somewhere cheaper,” Reynolds said.
Reynolds said she thinks her time is spent better doing other things than taking expensive classes at Baylor.
“It seems more beneficial to work during the summer to make money instead of taking classes,” she said.
For students who do want or need the summer hours, some look at other options besides Baylor.
Farmers Branch junior Brittney DeVine said the cost is enough to consider taking classes at another school.
“I think it definitely makes Baylor students question where to take their summer classes,” she said. “The cost is definitely going to be a factor in whether or not someone is going to stay at Baylor for the summer.”
For some Baylor students who are staying in Waco for the summer, McLennan Community College may be a more affordable option.
Summer classes at MCC run as low as $106 per credit hour for McLennan County residents. Texas residents pay $124 per credit hour and out-of-state residents pay $181.
Student fees at MCC are $9 per credit hour.
Riesel junior Kaitlyn Wooley said she opted for summer classes at MCC over Baylor.
“It was cheaper and easier,” Wooley said.
Wooley said summer school at MCC allowed her to focus on classes outside of her major that were going to take up time.
DeVine also said MCC was a good choice for summer school.
“I was taking Spanish, and Spanish is really hard at Baylor,” she said. “I can go to MCC and take an easier class for way cheaper and still get the same credit.”
DeVine she thinks the quality of the classes she took at MCC was the same as it would have been at Baylor. Her Spanish professors at MCC teach at Baylor as well.
“My professors at MCC had taught at Baylor before, so they knew the Baylor standard,” she said. “I didn’t get any less of an education by going there.”
Quitaque junior Lauren Young also said her preference for summer school was not Baylor.
Regardless, Young said she anticipated that the summer load at Baylor wouldn’t be as hard as the regular school year.
“I had hopes that it would be easier and not as much work during the summer,” Young said.
Although MCC offers summer school at a lower price, some students prefer gaining class credit from Baylor.
Lorena junior AJ Wolfe said classes at Baylor are worth the cost.
“I love the cost of MCC, but the atmosphere at Baylor is a lot better,” Wolfe said. “The professors show a real passion for what they are teaching and care that you learn the things that will help you in your career, not just what will help you pass the class.”
Students taking summer classes at Baylor find different ways to cover the cost.
Some students’ parents help pay the bills, while others seek outside work or financial aid assistance.
DeVine said while her parents would be willing to pay for Baylor summer school, they opted to take advantage of MCC’s lower costs.
“I’m very fortunate that my parents can pay for summer classes to further my education,” she said.
Colony junior Rachel Miller said she is going to have to pay back some of her tuition later.
“I’m going to have to take out student loans, I don’t know from where yet though,” she said.
Financial aid can help ease the cost, but students must petition for their existing scholarships to count for the summer.
To be eligible for this scholarship opportunity, students must be graduating in summer 2013 or fall 2013 in seven or fewer undergraduate semesters.
Students can also use their scholarships for summer classes if they are graduating in spring 2014 or later. Time at Baylor must be completed in seven or fewer undergraduate semesters.
Students must also fill out a request form titled the SFS Summer @ Baylor 2013 found online at the student financial services website. An academic advisor must sign the form.
The scholarship award amount cannot exceed summer tuition. Scholarship money used toward summer tuition will count toward the maximum semesters of eligibility. It only applies for students who have received the Regent’s, President’s, Provost’s, Dean’s or Transfer Scholarships.
Summer school at Baylor is divided into three terms: the Minimester, which runs May 20 through June 7, Summer I from June 4 through July 9 and Summer II from July 11 through Aug. 14.
Students can also enroll for a full summer term, where they can take classes from June 4 to Aug. 14.
Registration for summer classes began March 27. The last chance to register is different for each term.
Registration for Minimester ends the first class day, and Sessions I and II end the third class day. For students enrolled in the full session, registration ends on the sixth class day.
Available classes can be found online at https://www1.baylor.edu/scheduleofclasses/.