For many undergraduate students the question of whether or not to take summer classes arises every May. Taking summer classes allows you to graduate early, get back on track if you transferred or switched your major, double major, get a hard class out of the way and it even enables you to take less credits during the academic year so you can hold internships and jobs during the regular school year. On the other hand, summer classes can be a little pricier per credit. In the long run though, the cost outweighs having to stay an extra semester or year.
Some universities and colleges offer summer classes that are as short as six or even two weeks which allow you to still enjoy your summer but accomplish your academic goals. There are opportunities to take daytime, evening, and even online classes so that you can still work and intern. I am currently taking four summer classes. I am a double major and it is helping me stay on track to graduate on time. In order to be able to work and intern, I opted for a short two week intensive course, an online course and two night courses.
Having taking summer classes before, I also feel as though I am conditioning myself to stay in an academic mindset. When regular classes resume in the fall I no longer have to prepare myself for the “traditional” classroom structure. Finally, the class size is optimal to learning. Traditionally, summer classes are small in professor to student ratio. From my experience, all of my classes have been no larger than 15 students. Summer classes are also great in the regard that you can have more personalized attention if you are a struggling in a particular subject.
In all, I believe the pros of taking summer classes far outweigh the cons. Consider the financial responsibility in the long run and visit your financial aid office early to become knowledgeable of your options such as scholarships, grants, and loans. Finally, evaluate how taking summer courses can improve your GPA, help you reach your academic goals, and success in the long run.
Have you ever taken or are considering taking a summer course? If so, how have or how will they affect you academically?