Pros and Cons of Taking Summer Classes

There are pros and cons of taking summer classes that you should consider

Flickr user Andy

“Summer school” may bring a sense of dread to high schoolers, but it takes on a new meaning once you reach college. Many students enjoy taking summer classes since campus is less busy, or to get a head start on earning credits while they work, or even to catch up to ensure they graduate on time. But for every benefit there’s a drawback, and vice versa. Here are some pros and cons to taking summer classes.

Pro: You don’t have to overload your fall and spring semesters.

With summer courses in the mix, you can ease off during regular school sessions. This can make your course load much more bearable. They allow you to spread out

Con: Summer classes can get expensive.

Summer courses aren’t generally covered under scholarships (although there are some scholarships that do help). And because most people only take one or two courses, you’ll likely have to pay by credit hour taken. There are other options, such as community college courses, but you’ll want to make sure those credits will transfer.

Pro: You can graduate earlier.

Who doesn’t want to graduate early? It opens up different opportunities for employment after graduation since you won’t be competing with the majority of your fellow graduates. Especially if you take your courses at a community college, you might make it more affordable.

Con: Summer courses can be super intensive.

This is especially true of the four- and six-week programs. You have to keep in mind that summer courses include just as much information as your normal courses, but all that information is compressed. Classes are usually 3-4 hours a day, 3-5 days a week. It can be a lot to take on.

Pro: Summer courses are a great way to deal with gen eds.

Once you finish your general education courses, you get to take the “fun” classes, the ones that are actually in your field. So the sooner you finish the mandatory classes, the sooner you can take things you’re interested in!

Con: Sometimes you need a break to avoid burnout.

Unless you’re used to the constant grind of year-round school, summer courses might be rough. Most of us like to have a summer break, even if it’s used for work or an internship. Constant learning can take a lot out of you, and burnout can linger for a long time.

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