Are you getting excited for summer? Or are you afraid that the summer classes you signed up for will ruin your summer break? Taking summer classes comes with many advantages. Here are a few:
Summer classes are short – Who doesn’t like a four to eight-week class, rather than a 16-week class? Depending on the class, the work could be more intense, but it might be worth it for you if you can earn three credit hours in half the usual time. Not only will your class be shorter, but it may be smaller, allowing you to get more one-on-one help from your professor.
Catch up or finish early – Have you dropped or received a failing grade for a class? If so, you can retake it and make up the grade during the summer. Doing this will help you catch up and allow you to finish your degree on time. Graduating on time means finishing in four years; at most colleges, this means taking 15 hours each semester or an average of 30 hours per year. So, if you have passed all your previous classes, but only took 12 hours, a summer class can keep you on track to finish in four years or even help you finish early.
Get a prerequisite out of the way – A prerequisite is a course you need to complete before moving on to a different, usually higher-level course. If you have a prerequisite holding you back, use the summer time to get it out of the way. This will give you more flexibility with your schedule next fall. Several degree plans require prerequisites semester after semester. If you don’t plan the order in which you need to take your classes, your degree plan can be derailed if you end up having to push everything back because of ONE prerequisite.
Stay in the mode – Some of us might like attending school continuously throughout the year to help us stay in the mode. You don’t have to take the most difficult class available to get the benefits of summer classes. You can take a less challenging class that still counts toward your degree. You’ll earn credits and keep your brain active.
You can still enjoy the summer break while taking summer classes. Just know you will need to manage your time wisely. Like any other class, summer classes may be offered online, giving you more flexibility. If online classes aren’t an option, taking a summer class at your local community college is another option, and it can save you money.
There are also a few things you may want to consider before signing up for summer classes. These classes are often more intense because the same material that gets covered in a semester is being taught in less than half the time. If your class isn’t online, you’ll need to make sure you can attend every class. Summer classes have little flexibility on attendance, and you may not pass if you miss even just one class. Finally, you may not have financial aid available to help cover the costs. Always check with your financial aid office to find out if you’re eligible for aid. As with anything else, consider all options and see what works best for you.
I am a bilingual (Spanish/English) coach with an educational background in personal finance. I recently obtained my Master’s in financial planning from Texas Tech University, where I also gained practical experience in coaching students. While at Texas Tech, I coached my peers about their educational and financial concerns through individual coaching sessions and presentations. As a first-generation and minority graduate, I understand that succeeding through college can be difficult at times. I believe I can relate to what you are going through emotionally, mentally, and academically. Having recently graduated myself, I hope that with my education, experience, and empathy, I can provide you with the right tools to help you achieve your educational and financial goals.
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