Things to consider before enrolling in summer courses …
Do you need to catch up on your course plan? Are you trying to graduate early? Just interested in putting some fun courses on your schedule? Taking summer courses may be for you. However, there are a few things to consider before signing up for a summer semester.
Financial aid and cost
We all know that school can be expensive. Paying for another semester may not be ideal. That said, I found the summer courses much more affordable.
Like the rest of the school year, tuition varies based on residence and whether you are a full or part-time student. As with the rest of the year, in-state students pay less than out-of-state students and part-time students pay less than full-time students. Part-time students generally pay by credit, as full-time students are given a fixed tuition rate. That being said, you only become eligible for financial aid if you attend school full time.
Be sure to check your school’s policies and cost.
During the summer, you will probably take fewer classes than any other semester. At my school, full time starts at eight credits and the maximum number of credits you can take is 12. This is a big difference from the rest of the year where full time starts at 2pm and ends at 9pm.
The lower number of credits is due to the fact that most summer courses are only taught during the middle of the summer. This means that conferences last longer or more often, and you have more work to do in a short period of time. You will likely have more work to do outside of class to prepare for tests or projects. These classes are designed to give you a break before the next semester.
However, not all classes are like this. You will find classes that run throughout the summer. These will feel more like your standard classes and will be less demanding for the most part. It is important to check the course execution dates before enrolling.
There are many distractions during the summer season. You are probably used to having a long summer break, especially if you are finishing up your freshman year at college. This is the lecture we’ve all heard before, “Use your time wisely and prioritize.”
Even if you are tired of it, it is important to remember this motto when taking summer courses. It can be tempting to skip a class or put off that work you really need to get started. Like any other semester, it’s easy to fall behind, except it will be even harder to catch up. Fast-paced courses mean it’s even more important to stay on top of your work.
Another option for summer courses is to take some online. My first summer in college, I only took online courses. These allow you to travel, visit your home, or have a more flexible schedule while taking courses.
It is important to have a good computer that is capable of running videos and opening documents. It is also required to have a good internet connection. I recommend having the school email on your phone in case you receive important messages from your instructors.
Online students earn state tuition. However, there may be many fees. I found it cheaper to take my courses in person than online.
Another expense to consider is supervisors. Military members can obtain free supervision through bases or education officers. Some public schools or libraries may also offer free services. Another option is an online monitoring service. ProctorU is a service accepted by many universities. A service like this offers its service by monitoring you through your computer’s camera. If this is something you think might interest you, read my review on ProctorU.
In closing, there are many factors to consider when deciding to take summer courses. Weigh the cost against the benefits it can bring you in the future. Be sure to see how the classes are structured. As I’ve said several times, be sure to check your school’s policies and pricing. Every place is different.
I wish you the best in your studies and in the future. Happy learning!