As colder temperatures settle into the area, summer may seem far away. Course registration, however, for both summer sessions opens on Dec. 7, and this summer, students who enroll will see a break in their tuition bill.

The Virginia Tech Board of Visitors approved a 10 percent reduction for summer session enrollment compared to regular session hourly rates beginning in summer 2013 on a pilot program basis. The board approved the change when it set tuition and fees for the year at its May meeting.

Regular tuition for the fall and spring semester for the 2012-13 academic year costs $382.75 per credit hour. The cost will be reduced to $344 per credit hour for both summer sessions next year.

“This discount is an opportunity for students to earn credits while saving money and making progress towards their degrees more quickly,” said Wanda Hankins Dean, assistant vice president for enrollment management and university registrar. “In addition, it helps Virginia Tech uphold goals within the Virginia Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2011, known as ‘Top Jobs 2011,’ such as promoting progress towards a degree, expanding access, and optimizing physical resources beyond the traditional academic year.”

Brooke Hines of Hopewell, Va., a senior majoring in hospitality and tourism management, has used summer classes to stay on track for graduation. “Summer sessions allow you to take courses you need in a smaller class environment,” said Hines. “In addition, Blacksburg is an awesome place to live during the summer. There is always something to do.”

Virginia Tech Summer Sessions offers more than 1,800 class sections with smaller class sizes. More than 250 online classes also are available during the two six-week sessions. In addition to regular and distance learning courses, students can participate in internships, co-ops, and research opportunities for credit.

The summer tuition reduction will also be beneficial for newly accepted students who may apply to Virginia Tech Summer Academy. The program allows first year students to jump start their college careers by enrolling in six degree-applicable credits in a specially designed program of academic and co-curricular activities. Academy participants take a learning track of two courses in discipline-specific areas. Some tracks are specific for certain majors, while others fulfill general education requirements. Faculty members in each track collaborate to integrate learning objectives in the two courses.

Outside the classroom, academy students participate in workshops and seminars to become familiar with the university and its academic support resources. New student orientation activities are incorporated into the academy schedule.

Peer mentors are assigned to the students to provide guidance and to plan community-building activities such as socials and trips off campus.

This summer will be the second time that the Virginia Tech Summer Academy will be offered. Additional learning tracks will be available in 2013. Details on the courses as well as an application for the upcoming year will be posted soon on the summer academy website.

Overall, the program’s first participants expressed the benefits of the academy and appreciation that they attended. “Coming to summer academy has been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, besides deciding to come to Virginia Tech,” said Joe Jajonie of Virginia Beach, Va., a freshman majoring in building construction. “This whole program is really about getting settled down at Virginia Tech. It’s been great to get this chance to adjust myself to the culture and meet friends.”

Course request for both regular summer sessions runs from Dec. 7, 2012, through Feb. 8, 2013. Web drop/add opens on March 16, 2013.

The first summer session starts Tuesday, May 28, 2013 and ends Monday, July 8, 2013. The second summer session starts Tuesday, July 9, 2013 and ends Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013.

Undergraduate students may take up to nine credit hours per session. Graduate student may take up to six credit hours per session. To qualify as a full time student for financial aid purposes, six credit hours must be taken in one session. For more information on financial aid for the summer, visit the Office of University Scholarships and Financial Aid website.

For additional questions about summer sessions or Virginia Tech Summer Academy, visit the Office of University Summer Sessions website.

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