Considering Summer School? Pros & Cons

College students using laptop on campus lawnMay rolls around and college is out for the year. You finally get a break from hours of studying, sitting through lectures, and doing countless assignments. Sleeping in every day and lounging on the pool deck awaits you. You can’t hardly wait to spend 3 months homework free.

However, you may want to consider taking a summer course. If you are not planning on working during the summer, spending 6 weeks earning some more college credits may be a wise idea. If you are considering taking a summer class, consider these pros and cons.


1) Get a semester ahead

You may be able to take a few classes that will bring your graduation date closer.

2) Re-take a class

If you failed a class or didn’t do as well as required, you can use a summer class as an opportunity to retake it. You will probably still be able to graduate on time if you do this.

3) Less Work

Although you may be expected to read a lot, you will probably not have to complete as many assignments. Professors know that they have a limited amount of time to deliver a lot of information. They may make decisions as to what information can be cut and what must be included.

4) Less Students

There are usually a significantly smaller amount of students in summer classes. This will allow more teacher-student interaction.

5) More laid back

Summer classes tend to be more relaxed in atmosphere. Professors and students can often bring up interesting subjects and voice their own opinions and knowledge.


1) More Reading

You are basically learning the same amount of knowledge as a traditional semester class. However, you are doing it over several hours every day of the week for a shorter time. You may be required to read extensive amounts every night or only have one week to complete a paper.

2) Cost

Summer classes are typically more expensive than a traditional class. Financial aid may be limited for a summer semester. However, student loans or work-study positions may be available.

3) Attendance

Because each class is several hours long, you cannot afford to miss even one. Most summer classes have very strict attendance policies. Missing one summer class is usually equivalent to missing an entire week of traditional semester classes. If you know that you are going on vacation, don’t plan on taking a summer class.

4) Professors

Professors may be more critical of grading and harder during summer courses. They will expect a lot of devotion and hard work from you.

5) Class time

Because you are doing an entire semester in only a few weeks, every minute counts. You will probably not get out early or have free days off. You can expect to sit through hours of boring lecture. You may get bored easily and lose interest.

For some students, summer courses offer a way to graduate early or have an easier senior year. They can offer the time and devotion during the summer months while their friends are out having fun.

For other students, sitting in a class for hours on a hot summer day holds no desire.

Before registering for a summer course, consider all of the pros and cons of taking an entire semester in only a few weeks.

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