Most Utah universities have seen an increase in enrollment for classes during Summer Term, possibly due to classes being held remotely.
In Summer Term 2019 there were about 6,500 students enrolled in classes at BYU, and as of June 23 Summer Term 2020 there were about 7,900 students enrolled.
BYU spokesperson Todd Hollingshead said some of the increased enrollment is due to missionaries unexpectedly coming home early due to COVID-19, but that doesn’t completely account for the increase. “Some of it also is a result of moving to remote instruction,” Hollingshead said.
According to Hollingshead, summer term enrollment has always been a bit lower than spring term. He said there are likely a lot of factors that influence this including students pursuing summer internships and students wanting a bit of a break before fall semester.
BYU sophomore Trieste Sessions recently took Spring Term classes and is now starting Summer Term as well. She said she would have rather had the classes in person, but she still chose to do online. “I was planning on moving to Provo for school before the pandemic and I decided to move anyway and do the classes online,” she said.
BYU student Sam Lambert agreed that he would rather have taken classes in-person. He took six credits in Spring: a grammar class and a creative writing class.
“I think the grammar class was very well adapted for the Zoom format, with good participation and such, though my other class wasn’t quite as well adapted and would’ve been much better in person,” Lambert said.
BYU student Bailey Hill said he was originally hoping to take classes in Spring and Summer but his enrollment was contingent on the options and availability of online courses. “When it was announced that it would be all online I decided to take full advantage of the opportunity to knock out several classes I need for graduation,” he said.
Hill says remote classes enable students to have the opportunity to travel and enjoy a bit of summer vacation without having the restricted mobility that comes with on-campus classes.
Other universities in Utah have also seen an increase in enrollment for Summer 2020.
University of Utah spokesperson Morgan Aguilar said Spring said preliminary data shows there will be an increase for 2020 Summer enrollment, but the official numbers cannot be confirmed until the end of the term in August. Aguilar said it’s difficult to guess why the enrollment is expected to increase without any survey data or official numbers at this time.
According to Darlene Dilley, Dixie State University’s assistant vice president for enrollment management, enrollment for Summer 2020 as of June 22 is 2,078 and trends ahead of where it was last year.
Geoff Matthews, UVU associate director of reporting, analysis and data management said enrollment numbers aren’t finalized yet for Summer Semester but there are about 11,550 students enrolled compared to 11,297 last summer.
Matthews said UVU has been growing a lot over the years and this summer could be a continuation of that growth.