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Summer school starts June 1 [WEDNESDAY] at East Central University with a carpooling program to help cut transportation costs for students, staff and faculty who live outside Ada.           

“Gas prices are high,” said ECU President John Hargrave, “but we don’t want that to keep anyone from coming to school this summer. We’re happy to offer this program because it could save students money.”           

Summer school enrollment is still open, but the deadline is near for beginning freshmen to apply. Beginning freshmen need to complete the admissions process to be ready for freshman orientation and assessment on May 31 [TUESDAY] before they can enroll. ECU will be closed for Memorial Day on May 30 [MONDAY].           

Students can complete an application for admission or readmission online at by clicking the “Apply” button at the top of the page.           

Beginning freshmen can call the Admissions and Records Office at 580-559-5236 to make sure they have been admitted and can attend orientation.           

Returning ECU students can enroll in the first four-week classes until June 3 [FRIDAY]. Enrollment continues until June 7 [TUESDAY] for eight-week classes.           

Returning graduate students should enroll through the School of Graduate Studies. Beginning graduate students need to go to the Admissions and Records Office. For information, call the School of Graduate Studies at 580-559-5708.            

Transfer students can apply for admission at any time.          

The carpooling service first was offered at ECU in 2008 when gasoline prices reached a new high. ECU has contracted with, a company which matches commuters from the same geographical areas who are going to the same location.            

There is no charge to sign up for the program.            

The Web-based carpooling program is open only to ECU students, faculty and staff. Participants can sign up for potential carpool partners with similar class schedules and commuting preferences on ECU's website at    , which is owned by Datasphere Corporation of Jericho, N.Y., provides the service to companies across the United States and in Canada and Australia. The company stresses that personal information is not released. Users can identify themselves with unique login names rather than their real names.            

In addition, email addresses are not displayed to other users. Initial contacts from a "matches" page, from one user to another, go through the company's server so that the email sender does not see the email address he or she has contacted. The recipient of the email will see the email address of the sender and may or may not respond directly to the original sender.            

That and any subsequent emails go directly to and between them with no involvement by            

ECU officials stress ensuring personal safety by withholding personal information from potential carpoolers, joining a carpool with more than one person, taking a friend to meet a potential carpool partner in a public area before carpooling and making the pick-up, drop-off point a public location until trust is firmly established.           

In addition to saving money on fuel, officials say carpoolers also can save wear and tear on their cars, enjoy less stress, gain extra study time or rest when not driving, meet new and interesting people, increase the number of available parking spaces and reduce air pollution.

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