As YU increases its number of summer course offerings from thirty-four in 2016 to forty-five in 2017, it has also upped tuition by $15, from $525 per credit in 2016 to $540 per credit in 2017. In addition to the continuing $200 in registration and university fees paid by all students, most students enrolled in a standard 3-credit course will now pay $1820 instead of last year’s $1775 tuition. Visiting students will continue to pay an additional $65 application fee prior to enrollment, and all students enrolling in labs will still be subject to any additional lab fees.
Sofia Binioris, Director for New Programs and Special Initiatives at the Katz School, noted that this is “within a normal annual increase” range. Provost Selma Botman said that the university has “adopted minor increases due to regular rising costs.” The percent increase in tuition is 3% this year, which is actually lower than the 5% increase between 2014 and 2015 from $500 to $525.
Another notable change to this year’s summer courses is on the administrative end. Previously managed primarily by the Office of the Provost, the courses are now being overseen by the Katz School of Graduate Studies.
“Summer courses have always been made possible through a collaboration between university administrators and faculty in YU’s three undergraduate schools,” said Botman. “As YU’s Summer Session has expanded over the past few years, we have asked the Katz School to take on a leadership role. Summer school remains, however, a collaborative effort that includes Katz administrators, deans, chairs and faculty of the three undergraduate schools.”
Forty-five classes are being offered over the course of the two sessions, excluding YU’s three travel programs. Pending enrollments, there are currently seventeen online, two blended, and twenty-six on-campus courses. The number of repeating courses—those with identical course numbers which are being offered either both online and on-campus, or those being offered during both first and second session—totals four. Excluding these repeating courses, the total course tally is forty-one.
Additional repeating slots of certain courses may be added in response to popular demand as the enrollment period continues, while under-enrolled courses may be cancelled. Just as second and third slots of online Account Principles II were added prior to the start of first session last year, Binioris suggested that a second slot for Physics I Lab may be added to meet already evident student interest. The school has since added second and third lab slots.
The Katz School partly shaped its course offerings based on a survey it conducted in the fall, and also worked with the undergraduate deans and department faculty of Stern, YC and Syms to determine what students might need to take in order to fulfill their major and general requirements. The preference of the course instructor, or the home campus of the department that recommended the course, frequently determined whether a course would be offered on Beren or Wilf.
Some price increases have also been applied to YU’s summer travel courses. Returning this year is the month-long archaeological fieldwork Honors course in Gath, Israel in July, which cost $3500 last year; this year it will cost $3700 to account for a $200 increase in room and board. Two new Honors courses on the “Dutch Golden Age” will both span New York City and Amsterdam and cost $540 per credit, plus $200 in combined university and registration fees and the additional cost of independently arranged airfare. Depending on the price of airfare, the cost of these latter two courses for a given student could either increase or decrease. All other costs—including in-country transportation, room and board, and food—will be subsidized by the Straus Center for Torah and Western Thought.
The number of online courses is consistent with last summer’s count. Binioris said that though there will still be seventeen offered overall, “the university’s repertoire of online offerings grows each year,” since over time new courses have been added while others have been selectively preserved. For instance, Forensic Psychology will be making an encore along with Terrorism, while Human Physiology—a combined lecture/lab—will newly be taught partly online. For the first time, there will also be a Jewish History course taught fully online.
“There were significantly more people in online courses than in face-to-face courses,” Binioris noted of last year’s enrollment pattern. “We’ll see over time if that continues or if it’s more about what we’re offering, and less about the format. I think even knowing how busy YU students are in the summer, it makes sense that the online courses are really attractive. You can still have a life outside school, and you can take a job or internship or summer camp or whatever it is you want to do, and continue to make progress.”