There are two groups of students – those who like summer classes and those who do not like summer classes. Rarely is there anybody to be found in the middle. We can make an argument for both sides. With summer classes starting soon, this post may help you decide finally whether or not you plan on taking them if you maybe are still on the fence about it. I will lay out my thoughts for you and let you decide.
Pros – There are many reasons why summer courses can be beneficial to students, now and down the line.
- Shorter Classes. Compared to semester-long courses, summer options are much shorter. Most schools offer classes anywhere from five to eight weeks long during the summer. While there is still the same amount of material to be covered and absorbed, the time to do so is less monumental.
- Save Time. Since the classes offered in the summer are shorter, students who take advantage of them save time in the long run. If a student takes three courses per summer, then they could shave an entire year off of their undergrad time. Imagine turning a four-year bachelor degree into a three-year bachelor degree and getting out sooner than those around you just because you made better decisions with your time.
- Smaller Class Sizes. Let just face facts – summer classes are not popular. Because of this, classes are comparably smaller than the full lecture halls found during the traditional semester. Smaller classes mean more attention from the professor to the students which could possibly mean better grades.
Cons – There are also many reasons why summer classes do not appeal to everyone.
- No Summer Break. Summer break is almost sacred among students. Few things can live up to knowing that after spring finals, you do not have to step back into a classroom for almost three months. Most students go home during the summer or work extra to save up for the upcoming year. No break could leave them broke (more than usual) and homesick. However, most schools offer Summer I courses and Summer II courses so there may still be an opportunity for a small break in there somewhere.
- No Financial Aid. University scholarships and state and federal grants do not (normally) pay for summer classes. If you want to use financial aid in the summer, it has to be set apart when you originally accept your award for the term. This takes planning and last minute decisions to take classes in the summer may result in students paying out of pocket or needing loans to pay summer tuition.
- Getting Burned Out. Summer classes are intense, having to cover the same amount of course material as a full-length courses. Theses challenging classes right after an entire year can burn anyone out, especially if you plan to follow up with fall classes and no break.
I may not have much of a choice when it comes to whether or not I am taking summer classes because of my program start date, but you sure do. Whatever you decide, it needs to be right for you. Education is not universal for everyone. While we may take the same classes, what we learn from them and the pace we take them at is completely up to us. I hope this was helpful in your deciding your educational timeline. Please like my post and subscribe with the “Follow” button at the bottom of the page if you do not already.
Thank you and God Bless!