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Record-breaking summer enrollment reflects Sun Devil appetite for accelerated education

Students show tenacity through challenging times

ASU Tempe campus
August 09, 2021

Gone are the days when the calendar turns to May and ASU classrooms are quickly abandoned for the summer. Now the summer term is a golden opportunity for Sun Devils to enhance their education by enrolling in courses that allow them to either graduate early, catch up or expand their credentials through multiple majors.

Arizona State University ended its 2021 summer sessions with record-setting enrollment. ASU enrolled more than 60,000 learners this summer — that’s roughly the same population as Palo Alto, California. The summer enrollment was up more than 20% from the 49,000 enrolled in summer 2019 and surpassed the previous record set in summer 2020 enrollment.

President Michael M. Crow said the numbers highlight the many students who wanted to kick-start their education before the fall semester or use the summer to accelerate their path toward graduation.

“Enrollment in ASU summer school courses this year is another sign of our students’ resilience and commitment to their goals during these challenging times,” Crow said. “Their tenacity and effort motivates everyone at ASU to continue doing our very best to ensure access to higher education, regardless of where students are in their learning journey.”

Summer enrollment graphic

International students helped fuel the surging enrollment.

In addition to the 60,091 enrolled students this summer, nearly 3,000 more took University Learning Courses. Students in these classes can begin at no cost and pay for the credits after successfully completing the course.

ASU’s enrollment teams played a large role in the record numbers, officials said, including direct outreach to enrolled students through personalized and interactive messaging on platforms such as Sunny, ASU’s chatbot, to help students navigate summer enrollment.

The university also worked to increase access to more learners, making it easier for visiting university students, incentivizing newly admitted students to begin their academic journey early and expanding the types of courses offered with flexible start dates.

The summer success is expected to be followed by surging fall enrollment. ASU anticipates a university record for the number of new on-campus first-year students, as well as a record total university enrollment.

Top photo by ASU

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