Summer school used to be for students who had fallen behind, but, as I realized, taking summer classes is the perfect way to get ahead. People are always surprised to hear that I graduated college in three years instead of four, while double majoring, and spending a semester abroad. For many students who are finding themselves on the five year degree track, it might seem almost impossible. My secret: summer classes. Here’s why you should consider taking them too:
Summer tuition will save you money
Many universities charge less for a full-time course load during the summer months. For example, my alma matter (the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee), charges almost $1000 less to take 12 credits during the summer than they charge to take a full course load during the fall and spring semesters. Taking summer courses several years in a row might even lead to graduating early, which will save you even more in the long run.
Taking summer classes can free you up during the semester
Enrolling in summer classes, whether full time or part time, means that don’t need to take the same classes you normally would have during the semester, which fees you up for other things. Taking 15 credits instead of 18 during the semester will be a huge relief for students who have trouble balancing school, student groups, and working. Having a lighter course load might also lead to better grades, because you have more time to concentrate on your other subjects.
Your General Education classes can be taken care of more quickly
For a lot of college students, sitting through the first couple of semesters of required Biology labs and English classes can be frustrating when all they want to do is go onto the classes required for their major. A full time course load during the summer can shorten the time you spend on your GenEd requirements and let you move on to higher level classes. Another advantage is that you move forward more quickly in your academic standing. Two full summer semesters will usually put you a whole year ahead in academic standing.
You get more individual attention
Getting to know the professor is sometimes diffucult in a lecture that tops 100 students, but summer classes might give you the individual attention and help you miss from High School classes. Fewer students enroll, so the classes often offer more one-on-one interaction with the professor. This can be a great help later on when you’re looking for letters of recommendation, because a professor from a class of 20 is much more likely to remember you than one from a class of 50.
What should I do if my college does not offer summer courses?
Unfortunately, there are some colleges that do not offer courses in the summer, and there are students who move away from campus during the summer months. My advice to you would be to talk to am adviser at your college and see what other alternatives are available. A local community college or public university may offer summer classes, and your home university might accept the credit as a transfer. There are also many universities that offer classes online, which your university might also accept.