Campuses Remain Busy During Summer

By Staff
June 22, 2009

The economic downturn has resulted in making colleges and universities much busier this summer, as more students enroll in summer courses and more campuses rent out their facilities to boost revenue.

The Daily Dunklin Democrat in Missouri reports that at Three Rivers Community College, enrollment increased by 5.8 percent for the summer 2009 semester. Similarly, reports that area colleges are seeing a jump in summer enrollment.

"My guess is that summer jobs are harder to find for students, and they decided that if they are not going to be working, they might as well be going to school," said Beth Keehn, director of enrollment at Ohio State University Lima Campus. The institution has seen a 12.5 percent increase in enrollment.

Enrollment for the University of Northwestern Ohio's business program increased by 33 percent, while the College of Technologies saw an 8 percent increase. "People are coming back to enhance their skills, maybe acquire a few classes or two to enhance their positions," explained Jeff Carey, director of adult admissions at UNOH.

Iowa's Quad-City Times reports on similar record enrollment at area community colleges, which officials attributed to the recession. "It's hard to find jobs," explained Erin Snyder, assistant director for enrollment at Eastern Iowa Community College District. "Instead of getting that part-time job, students are working on their college education, which could provide them with a fairly significant savings over the summer, even if they do just one course."

The New York Times reports that institutions are increasingly renting out their campuses to day camps, conferences, private parties and film shoots in an effort to generate revenue. At Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, for example, two day camps will pay to use the facilities this summer.

"The overall landscape now is one in which you've got to become leaner and meaner and more competitive, and that means trying to find more sources of revenue," said Tim Kelly, a spokesperson for the college, who was quoted in The Times. "Summer is an important piece of the puzzle."

At Manhattanville College in Purchase, New York, the institution receives more than $300,000 renting out the campus to a seven-week sports camp. Additionally, the campus is used for a summer institute for gifted children, an adult theater camp, a music festival and a swim program.

"If you add up all our summer programs, it's probably in the $750,000 range," said Greg Palmer, vice president of operations at the college. "It's not an incredible amount of money, and I'm sure a lot of bigger colleges do a lot more. But our endowment has taken a hit like most schools', and for us it's very important."

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