KENNESAW — Many college students may see their summer break as an opportunity to catch up on sleep, get a fun summer job or catch up with old friends.

Record-breaking numbers of Kennesaw State University students, however, have added one more item to their summer to-do list: take advantage of summer classes that allow them to either get ahead or stay on track to graduate in their intended timeframe.

More than 20,300 students have enrolled in the summer 2021 semester, an increase from their reported summer 2020 enrollment of 19,978. According to KSU, the increase in enrollment is reflective of an overall increase each year for the past three years.

The MDJ spoke with several students about their choice to take summer classes. All students noted the unique opportunity provided by summer class offerings to either get ahead or stay on track in their respective degree programs.

Rising fourth-year student Tiara Banton, a psychology major from Loganville, said she took summer courses on film and theories of personality to maintain the typical four-year timeline for most college students.

“Just to graduate on time, like within the four year thing that everybody else does, or tries to achieve,” Banton said. “Just to not be in school for so long, taking four classes in regular spring and fall (semesters) would take me a little longer. I’m not doing anything at home, so I might as well.”

For rising second-year Jared Dejoya, an accounting major from Kennesaw, the decision to take two summer classes included weighing the impact of a potentially heavy schedule on his mental health.

“I wanted to take more (classes), but I didn’t know how it would affect me mentally. I wanted to have summer to chill, and not have all the time for school,” Dejoya said, noting that the two classes would put him on track to graduate earlier.

The increase comes after last fall’s news that KSU became Georgia’s second largest university behind Georgia State University, after hosting nearly 41,000 students on campus.

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