Hot ticket for summer? Classes at UC Merced

MERCED -- The University of California at Merced is poised to double the number of students in summer school this year compared with last year.

More than 2,000 students have enrolled in summer session, and classes don't start until June 14.

Last year, UC Merced had just under 1,500 students attending its summer program, said Kevin Browne, assistant vice chancellor of enrollment management.

The number of units students are taking this year has doubled as well, he added.

Many students are looking at summer school as a value, Browne said, because fee increases don't kick in until the fall, he said.

"Summer is 17 percent less expensive than fall," Browne said.

Roughly 30 incoming UC Merced freshmen are headed to campus this summer to get a jump-start on classes. Browne called this "starting smart," saying students get a chance to familiarize themselves with the city and the school.

Students from other UCs who are returning home to Merced for the summer also are enrolling at UC Merced.

At other UC campuses, summer sessions are also shaping up to be record-breakers in terms of enrollment.

According to UC Berkeley officials, more than 13,800 students are planning to take summer classes, the highest number of students it's ever had over summer.