Summer Classes 101: To Register or Not to Register?

On one hand, getting some credits out of the way would be great, but is a summer class really right for you?  To take a summer course, a person needs to have:

First of all, there is an issue of money.  Summer courses generally cost more than a couple hundred bucks, unless you are taking them at a community college.  If you are a freshman or sophomore, look into how many courses you can transfer in from your local community college.  Transferring in a pricy lab course could save you hundreds!

Also in terms of money, will you be living at school or commuting? With the way gas prices are right now, that might not be too much of a difference…  Housing at school for the summer may not seem like a ton of fun, but it might beat out long commutes on crowded highways in the summer heat.  Don’t forget to take gas and wear and tear on your car into consideration (that is if you have a car).  Train passes and bus passes can get pricy as well depending on locations.  A lot of this decision making has factors specific to your personal situation.  Just be sure to factor everything in before registering.

By taking a summer course or two each summer, a student can graduate a whole semester early, which will save money on a semester’s worth of meal plans and housing costs.  Just food for thought…

Also in terms of money, were you planning on working?  Taking a class over the summer is very time consuming.  Working full time and taking a few credits can leave you so drained that come September, you are in need of a break.  Be sure to balance working and schooling without overdoing it!  Telling a boss early that you can only work part-time during the month or two you will be in school tends to be the best way to go.  Don’t forget to leave time in your schedule for homework and some summer fun.

Even after you choose to take a summer course, your decision-making does not end there.  Will you be taking an online class or an in-class lecture?  Like anything, there are pros and cons to consider.  Online classes mean no commuting and a more flexible schedule, but they make procrastination easy.  In-class lectures give you more structure which can be an academic advantage, although you will be commuting.  Facing a teacher is also something to consider.  How much do you rely on communicating with your professor?  Is the professor you will be taking known to be a slow with getting back to students?  Check all of these things out before registration!