Should You Register For Summer Classes?
You’ve just completed a grueling academic year and you can’t wait to enjoy an extended break. Late nights out with friends, sleeping in ’til noon and heading to the beach on a whim are some of your dreams for this summer.
Those dreams may not be completely realistic or might at least distract you from what you know you really should be doing and that is taking one or two summer classes and putting off your downtime until later in the summer.
Why on earth would anyone want to take classes during the summer? There are a number of reasons, each worth your consideration as you contemplate registering for classes.
An available prerequisite — You’ve been trying to take Professor DoGood’s Foundational Principles of Leadership class for the past year, but this prerequisite to your Business Management course is hard to get into. Except, of course, if you take it this summer. Forget trying to take this prereq in the fall as you’ll be waitlisted — the summer class is open and you’ll knock it out in six quick weeks.
Academic improvement — Some students fail a class or receive a poor grade, a mark on their academic progress they must or may want to change. That tough Geophysics class you took last spring was hard to handle and you had to balance it with four other courses. That “D” grade has pulled down your GPA, a scar that won’t quickly heal without taking the course over. Set aside six weeks this summer to tackle the one course that has given you problems. Turn that “D” into a “B” or better!
Finish early or catch up — A summer college class or two can help you finish college early. Not every student minds finishing ahead of their graduating class, preferring to get school out of the way as soon as possible to pursue a career. On the other hand, you may have fallen behind your graduating class. Summer courses can help you get back on track, giving you time to play catch up.
Of course, summer classes aren’t for everyone and the following considerations can impact your decision:
You are burnt out — Summer gives students a chance to recharge. If you’ve absolutely had it with classes and need a break from your rigorous and disciplined academic schedule, then a rest is needed. Avoid the nervous breakdown and occupy yourself in other ways.
Financial aid isn’t applied — Financial aid has helped you through college thus far, but summer classes are not covered. If you can’t afford to pay for tuition, books and room & board out of pocket, then summer classes are not an option. Put away the credit card too — taking on debt that you can’t possibly manage will sink you.
You’d rather work — Many students spend at least part of the summer working, perhaps because they have to. Working during the summer allows you to gain experience and can be just as valuable as taking a class when applying for a job later on. Don’t pass up an important summer gig that can open doors for you following college.
If you attend college away from home, you may be able to take classes at a local college and transfer these to your school. This option can be helpful to students wanting to be near family and friends, as well as give themselves a break from a familiar academic setting.
See Also — You’ve Been Wait-Listed. Now What?”