- The Washington Times - Friday, May 22, 2020

Arizona State University, one of the nation’s largest public colleges with heavy online enrollment, is reporting a nearly 17% boost in attendance for its summer courses.

More than 56,000 students are taking summer classes, a record-breaking number, the school said.

Other online schools, such as Strayer University and Capella University, are anticipating enrollment boosts, as well.

Summer courses have gained new appeal with many of the nation’s students stuck at home or away from work because of the coronavirus, Arizona State said. The school expanded its offerings to 5,200 courses, including a slate of credit-bearing courses about public health and pandemics.

“Our faculty have shown remarkable adaptability and an unyielding commitment to student success by making classes available through remote options and offering multiple start dates this summer,” Executive Vice President and University Provost Mark S. Searle said in a statement.

Also, 74% more of this year’s incoming freshman class are starting courses this summer rather than waiting for the fall, the school’s spokesman said.

“I have been trying to pursue two degrees and graduate in time, which meant extra credits that I had to take,” said student Venkata Masagoni, who lives in Hyderabad, India, and is taking 12 credits online this summer.

Traditional college campuses are reporting a hit to projected fall enrollment numbers, however. The Colorado Community College System is reporting a decrease of 22% in enrollment compared with a year ago. The University of Wisconsin system has boosted its admission rate to 56% from last year’s 48% to buffer against a hit from COVID-19.

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