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Setting summer program costs

Posted By Meghan Cassidy M.Ed., Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Hi all,

I'm interested in learning how different schools set the cost of their summer programs. At Hampshire College we run 4-week long college programs and 2-week long pre-college programs. I'm relatively new to summer programs and would like to get a better idea of how other schools set these amounts (tuition, housing, meals, etc.) I'm taking all of our anticipated program expenses into account, but any suggestions would be great.

Looking forward to meeting you in a few weeks in Kansas City!



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Maurine K. Powell says...
Posted Tuesday, October 25, 2016
At Oregon State University, we have six sessions ranging in length from 1-week to the full 11-week (quarter) term ( Tuition is charged based on the credit hour, not the length of the course. Thus, tuition (per credit) is set to the same (or quite close) rate as that of the academic terms ( The departments determine the specific courses to offer, with recommendations from Summer Session based on trend/course analysis, as well as hire and pay faculty directly. Therefore, from this the departments/colleges can determine breakeven for both UG and GR level courses. For example, the department may have determined that standard breakeven for an UG course is a minimum of 10 students, where breakeven for a GR course is 4 students. This information is used as a general guideline for determining if a course will/won't be offered, as there are some courses within a department that draw in large numbers of enrollments, which can be used to help offset the shortfalls of other courses that are necessary to run in support of student success/graduation, but do not draw strong enrollments.

Housing/dining costs associated with any program (pre-college/college) are based on what the housing/dining office establishes for the particular term or time frame services are needed, and/or what we can negotiate with them in order to help get a new program off the ground (

Would love to continue this conversation at the conference or by phone if you need information sooner, rather than later!
Reni Powell, Asst. Director - Oregon State University (541-737-3993)
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Angela Cason says...
Posted Tuesday, October 25, 2016
This brings up another question - are most institutions offering the same level of financial aide for summer courses as they do for the regular semesters?
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Auden Thomas says...
Posted Tuesday, October 25, 2016
These are just the type of questions that can be informed by NAASS's Joint Statistical Review - check it out at The latest report contains data tables about summer session tuition and fee discounting, as well as information on revenue models for both public and private institutions of higher education. Also, I'll put in a plug for the panel of JSR data user presentation at the Kansas City conference.

Auden Thomas, Skidmore College
Co-chair, NAASS Quality & Research Committee
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Meghan Cassidy M.Ed. says...
Posted Thursday, October 27, 2016
Thank you, all for the helpful feedback and resources!
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