The student news site of Adlai E. Stevenson High School


The student news site of Adlai E. Stevenson High School


The student news site of Adlai E. Stevenson High School


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Staffers defend lower prices, alternatives to summer school price hikes

There’s 104 days of summer vacation and the annual problem of our generation is still finding a good way to spend it. While some pick up shifts at McDonald’s and others choose to travel abroad, one choice has become increasingly expensive: summer school. 

Stevenson students chose to take summer school for a couple of reasons, including their parents wanting them to be productive over the summer, they don’t have enough space in their schedule next year, or they need to fulfill their graduation requirements. However, enrolling at Stevenson’s summer school carries a hefty price tag of $400 for one semester, or four weeks, of instruction. 

In stark comparison, nearby schools present a more financially accessible price. During the summer of 2023, Vernon Hills HS offered courses at $200 per semester and Lake Zurich HS costs $250 per semester for an equivalent period of coursework. 

Despite the expensive summer school costs at Stevenson, 70 percent of the incoming Freshman class choose to enroll in a course– the most popular of which is World History. Along with earning credit, some students see it as their first chance to learn with a new group of peers, become acclimated to the environment, and get a taste of Stevenson’s rigor.

Classes like Health, US History, and Government are popular for upperclassmen to make space in their schedules for various electives. As students who choose summer school for this reason, it becomes increasingly apparent that prioritizing electives as a break affords students to both explore interests, nurture passions, and cultivate well-rounded educational experiences. 

However, pursuing these experiences should not be overshadowed by financial burdens. While Stevenson offers opportunities for low-income families to ensure no student will be held back by financial constraints, Stevenson does not consider the difference between disposable income and wealth. 

This perpetuates inequality by assuming most students can pay for it if they do not come from low-income families. While many Stevenson families do not qualify for the free and reduced lunch program, some of them would struggle to pay $400 on top of all other student expenses such as school supplies, clothes, and expenses for any extracurriculars.

The most immediate solution is to adjust prices, however the administration should consider other potential solutions to promote learning. One such solution lies in Stevenson allowing students to take accredited free online courses. Alternatively, Stevenson can offer scholarships so that students can pay less for the summer school courses they have to take.

Another is to allow enrollment at a community college’s programs and transferring credits from their class. With robust dual credit systems at Loyola ($195) and the CLC Tech Campus classes already in shape, the framework using college credit is already set for Stevenson.  

Ultimately, “Success for Every Student” is a motto which Stevenson does not reflect through its payment models. With a plethora of reasons to sign up for summer school, Stevenson should prioritize reducing the costs of classes to remove the financial burdens of pursuing an education. 

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