Summer College Courses: What to Consider

Summer College Courses: What to Consider
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    You've seen them around for a while: summer college course books that are pushing classes that begin as early as May and end as late as August.


Normally, most students take a break from their studies, choosing to resume their academic pursuits in the fall. Summer college classes can be beneficial — here’s what to consider if you are weighing that approach.

Finish College Early

Take classes over the summer and you can graduate earlier. This is important for those students that desire to compress their time and obtain a degree sooner rather than later.

Summer classes can also lighten course load the rest of the year if students prefer to spread out their studies. Instead of taking 15 or 18 credits you can take 12 and make up the classes over the summer.

Take Remedial Courses

That “D” you got in your science lab can come back to haunt you. It will also pull down your GPA and is not transferrable. Perhaps what you needed was more time to study that course. If so, one summer class devoted to a remedial course can improve your grades.

Ask your advisor how a remedial course works. Most colleges eliminate the lower grade from the GPA, but they may reflect that grade on your transcripts.

Concentrate on Fewer Courses

When all has been said and done, you have just one class to take over the summer. Unless, of course, you choose to take two over back-to-back summer semesters.

If you take one course, you can devote all your time and energy to that course. You’ll also find your class size smaller and your professor accessible. The pace may be quick, but you’ll have the class done sooner too.

Transfer College Credits

One of the big benefits of taking summer college courses is that you usually can transfer these credits to another college. This can be a terrific option for students that attend college far from home. Find a local college, take classes while there, and live with your family while still getting to see your friends.

Check with your college to ensure that the credits, indeed, transfer. Typically, you’ll need at least a “C” grade to have those counted. Make sure your visiting school sends the transcripts to your regular school.

The Fly in the Ointment

Though summer college courses present a number of advantages, there are also some distinct drawbacks that should be considered as well.

First, is the loss of earning opportunity. If you take summer classes you’ll have little time to do anything else as classes are concentrated and the homework can be intense.

Second, you may need a break from your studies. By taking summer classes you may miss out on the refreshing you need. You’ll still have a few weeks off before you return for the fall, but that break may not be long enough.

See AlsoRaise Your GPA With Summer College Courses


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Categories: Academics