As most college students scatter for a summer of work or vacation, a wave of others has poured onto the Indiana University campus.

The 39th annual Mini University has attracted about 520 students from 28 states this year for a week of learning, which began over the weekend.

The Mini University is considered one of the country's leading adult-learning vacations.

"We're constantly on 'best of' lists. It varies between the top eight or top nine learning vacations in the country, depending on whose list it is," co-chairwoman Jeanne Madison told The Herald Times.

Topics range from "Making Health Care Affordable," to addressing "Alien Invaders and Native Biodiversity in Indiana" and "The Sustainable Table." Others include a class on Bob Dylan and the Beatles and one on jazz music in Indiana.

In all, 105 faculty members will be involved in teaching 103 classes.

The project is co-hosted by the Indiana University Alumni Association and the School of Continuing Studies.

Despite the hard economic times, this year's Mini University quickly sold out, with registration reaching the cap of 520 in just three weeks. Registration is $275.

"I've attended other national conferences talking about Mini University, and we are the envy of many organizations who say they could never get their faculty to volunteer to do something like this. This is not a paid gig for them," Madison said.

She said about half the participants are Indiana alumni, and the rest are "people who have made IU their second home in some ways."

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