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Short summer could short-change some Ohio State students

The quarter-to-semester switch will bring a shorter summer and fewer installments of tuition that will be paid in larger increments.

Next summer’s classes will be the start of the semester schedule at Ohio State. The initial switch from Spring Quarter 2012 to Fall Semester 2012, including a Summer Session, will result in a loss of about four weeks of summer because of the transition from the quarter schedule.

Some are concerned that a shorter summer will mean less time for students to work to make money to pay tuition.

If a student works for 40 hours a week and is paid the minimum wage of $7.40, he will make $1,184 in four weeks before taxes.

“I think the biggest thing is just so that (students) know the summer of 2012 is going to be four weeks shorter than any summer that they have experienced, so that they can sort of plan ahead with their income and that sort of thing,” said Niraj Antani, a second-year in political science and philosophy.

Brad Myers, university registrar, said students who are concerned about a shorter summer could think about working a few extra hours or consider the use of more financial aid.

“I think the best thing folks can do is kind of plan knowing that that’s going to happen,” Myers said.

Taylor McConney, a first-year in special education, said she is not looking forward to the loss of four weeks next summer.

McConney said she will have to start putting her own money toward tuition in her upcoming years, so “it’s the wrong time to have a short summer.”

Summers under semesters following 2012 will not be as short.

There will be 74 days from the end of Spring Quarter 2012 final examinations on June 7, 2012, to the start of Fall Semester on August 22, 2012. This summer will have 102 days from the day after Spring Quarter final examinations end to the start of Fall Quarter.

The summer of 2013, which offers a May Session and Summer Session, will be 111 days from the day after the Spring Semester final examinations to the first day of the Fall Semester.

The switch to semesters will also mean a change in the amount of tuition paid at one time.

There will be an increase in the increment of tuition paid during semesters because the tuition will be divided into two semesters versus three quarters, Myers said.

The estimated cost of attending full-time during the 2010-2011 year for three quarters at the Columbus campus is $19,584 for Ohio residents and $33,768 for nonresidents, including tuition, fees, room and board, according to the Undergraduate Admissions and First Year Experience website.

Dividing the cost into three quarters would mean Ohio residents pay $6,528 per quarter.

Under semesters, using the same tuition figure, Ohio residents would pay $9,792 per semester.

The tuition is the same price annually, but fewer payments means that in a semester, each payment for an Ohio resident will increase by $3,264 for tuition, fees, room and board. For a nonresident, the quarterly tuition would be $11,256. The tuition per semester would be $16,884.

“Students should be reassured, however, that their financial aid will be delivered in a similar manner,” said officials from the Office of Student Financial Aid in an email. “Since students will receive the same amount of financial aid in any given academic year under both the quarter and semester systems, the amount they receive per term will be greater per semester than per quarter.”

Myers said preparing for payments in two installments rather than three could be helped through students and families financial planning. He said students could take advantage of the payment plan.

Paige Premec, a first-year in psychology, said she prefers tuition payments divided in three rather than two.

Premec, who said she is not an Ohio resident, does not like the idea of taking out bigger loans.

“I’ll have to take out more at once,” Premec said.

Ginny Layton, university bursar, said the Tuition Option Payment Plan (T.O.P.P), which allows for fees and expenses to split into two payments per quarter, has been recommended to increase to a three payment installment plan under semesters.

Layton said the idea has not yet been formalized.

“There is the potential that (T.O.P.P) will be more popular when we are on semesters,” Layton said.

Myers said students should think about the new payment structure as a different budget model.

“If it’s the same price, it won’t affect overall,” said Hannah Patton, a first-year in exploration.

Patton said she is not worried about the increase in the amount of tuition paid in fewer installments.

“Know in advance how much money you’re going to want to set aside or be available when your fees are due in August,” Myers said. “It is going to be higher than it is now, but then you’re going to have fees due in December for January again, but then you won’t have fees due in March.”

 

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