Summer Sessions

Term A: May 31-July 1

Term B: July 5-Aug. 5

Term C: May 31-July 5

Term D: May 31-Aug. 5

University of Colorado senior Eric Rehnberg is doing whatever it takes to get his degree in four years, including using his summer to take classes.

With tuition at an all-time high and a struggling economy, Rehnberg said he’s doing what he can to help his parents save some cash. He said graduating a semester earlier than expected will help remove some financial pressure.

Rehnberg, along with about 8,000 other CU students, began summer classes Tuesday — many in an attempt to stay on track for graduation.

After attending the University of Oregon for a year and studying abroad for another, Rehnberg came to CU with plenty of credits, but was still behind when it came to his two majors.

Upon returning home to Boulder, Rehnberg found that in-state tuition at CU made college more affordable for his parents.

“It’s not credits, but specific classes that put me behind,” Rehnberg said. “I don’t think I could get out in four years without summer classes.”

Rehnberg is taking his four summer classes this year in order to graduate on time in May of 2012 with two bachelor’s degrees –environmental studies and international affairs.

“I want to help my parents by getting out in time,” Rehnberg said. “Plus, I’m ready to be done.”

Richard Nishikawa, summer dean for the College of Arts and Sciences, said summer provides a good opportunity for students to catch up on credits or get major prerequisites out of the way.

“We will see a lot of students who are looking to make up time before graduation,” Nishikawa said. “But I think what you’ll find is that each student has a very individual story as to why they’re taking summer session.”

CU senior Virginia Graeber is taking her second summer course, but it is not enough to change her expected graduation date this December.

Graeber is taking behavioral neuroscience this summer, a class that fills a core credit, because it would conflict with a required course in the fall.

“It was the only way I could take the class I wanted,” Graeber said. “Plus, I really like summer classes. They are faster and give you time to focus on just one thing at a time.”

Nishikawa said summer also offers students solutions to scheduling conflicts, a chance to increase their grade point average, or even graduate a semester early.

CU junior Nick Holloran is using summer to make up for a year he took off to work before his sophomore year.

“I’m planning on making up about a semester by taking summer classes,” Holloran said. “Every semester counts.”

Besides extra time to squeeze in credits, summer classes offer a more focused curriculum in a quick time frame.

“I just enjoy summer classes more,” Graeber said. “It gives you less time to forget the stuff you’re learning and you don’t have to try to balance several classes of information at once.”

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