Summer College For High School Students

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High school students who are a year or two away from attending college can start taking classes now at some colleges and universities. Rising juniors campusand seniors may find that they are eligible to take summer courses at any number of schools, without being formally enrolled.

There are quite a few advantages in taking summer courses long before receiving a high school diploma including:

  • Summer classes allow students to get a feel for a prospective college while earning college level credits. If a student has an enjoyable experience, he or she is likely to apply as a full-time student.
  • In some states or with certain schools, programs are in place that allow students to take summer classes for free. The University of Chicago Graham School, for example, is inviting talented Chicago Public Schools students to take classes in Arabic or Chinese this summer.
  • Students can typically take the same classes as other freshmen students and apply college credits earned while yet in high school to the college they eventually attend.
  • For students needing remedial high school courses, local community colleges are sometimes their only option for catching up. Many school districts have cut back on their summer remedial courses, necessitating that students look elsewhere for assistance. Community colleges present one way that high school students can meet their academic requirements.

Of course, taking summer college courses can be a financial challenge for some families, given that student loans may not cover these costs. Community college tuition is the most reasonable while tuition for one or two summer courses at certain elite colleges can cost thousands of dollars.

Ultimately, finishing high school with 12 to 24 college credits already in hand can be advantageous for many students, giving academically-gifted students a head start as well as an edge for their college years.

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