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Summer 2021 classes to be offered online, maintaining reduced tuition

Illustrated by Yifei Zhang

By Hajera Naveed     2/2/21 10:02pm

Classes for the 2021 summer term will be delivered in an online format, unless otherwise specified, and at a reduced rate of $300 per credit hour for Rice undergraduates, according to a memorandum from Provost Reginald DesRoches.

According to the memorandum, the tuition rate jumped an extra $50 from $250 per credit hour in the Summer 2020 term, when the reduced prices were first introduced. Visiting student costs have jumped from $500 in the previous summer term to $750 per credit hour this upcoming summer. 

Students will still be eligible for financial aid on this reduced tuition rate, similar to last year, and aid will be dependent on whether the student qualified for aid during the 2020-2021 term. 

The tuition reduction was a major factor for some students to enroll in summer classes last year. Kaitlyn Liu, a Wiess College sophomore, said reduced tuition influenced her decision to enroll in summer classes. 

“I definitely think the cheaper tuition was super helpful because it meant that you could get a class or requirement out of the way without having to worry too much about the cost,” Liu said. 

According to Caroline Levander, the vice president for global and digital strategy  of Rice Online Learning, the decision to go fully online in the summer semester was supported by the fact that students responded well to the online format last year. 

However, Rice will monitor the situation and may be able to make adjustments to the current schedule, according to Provost Reginald DesRoches.

“We decided to go with online, based on the COVID situation at the time, and our thinking that we would likely not be in a position to be [in person]  with the presence of the COVID-19 virus,” DesRoches said. “We will continue to monitor the situation. We may be in a position to pivot a few classes to dual mode if the situation with COVID-19 has changed by the time that classes start this summer.”

DesRoches also added that this decision will partially be dependent on the availability of vaccines for the Rice community by the start of summer classes. 

Alekhya Gurram, a Will Rice College sophomore, said she took three online classes last summer and is considering taking some in the upcoming summer term. 

“I wish I could’ve interacted more with the students in each class, but overall the professors provided lots of support. I would definitely take summer classes online again if I could fit them into my schedule. They provide the ideal virtual environment to highly focus on a particular subject,” Gurram said.

According to  Levander, Rice is offering the same range and amount of classes as last summer, with a focus on “high-demand” courses, as stated in the memorandum by DesRoches. 

A listing of the current courses available to register in the summer semester can be found here, as well as the academic calendar for Summer 2021. 

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