University of Wisconsin is offering $250,000 in summer term scholarships, which is 10 times the amount from last year.

UW currently offers more than 1,000 different summer courses, but the program will expand with an addition of nearly 100 new summer courses.

Jeffery Russell, dean of continuing studies, said the effort to expand the summer courses is part of the chancellor’s initiative to reduce the amount of time it takes to earn a degree.

“We want to make a wider array of courses available to move students towards completion of their degree,” Russell said. “The goal is to help our students with this.”

Summer courses are often similar to those offered during the fall and spring terms except they are taught in a condensed and accelerated format, Russell said. Rather than taking the normal 14 weeks, students can take summer courses that are three, four or eight weeks long, depending on the class. 

One of the main benefits of taking courses during the summer is that it allows for more flexibility. Students can work part-time and still continue moving toward earning their degree, Russell said.

Many of the new courses UW will be adding are online,  allowing students from across the globe to take them, a UW statement said.

“When we survey our students, the undergraduates are more interested in getting ahead of their coursework and advancing toward the completion of their degrees,”  Russell said. “The students hope to accomplish this in the summer.”

Scholarships for the summer term are only offered to students who attend UW during the regular school year, and any undergraduates on campus can apply for these scholarships, Russell said.

The summer term does, however, provide “a UW-Madison experience” for students who attend other universities, according to a UW statement. This allows such students to fill requirements not available elsewhere as transfer credits.

The applications for summer term scholarships are due on April 5 and awards are expected to be handed out in early May. Students can begin enrolling in summer courses at the end of March, Russell said.