Colleges typically have summer school open to all undergraduate and graduate students. They may even have special programs for high school students.
According to the stereotype, a typical summer school student is someone who hasn’t been doing well.
The jock who flunked math or the girl who didn’t earn enough credits now has to study and take more classes when they could be partying and enjoying their summer vacation.
In college, you quickly find out that this isn’t true.
Summer school can offer college students with a variety of options that classes during the regular academic year don’t provide.
Facts About Summer School
Summer school is traditionally a short term over summer. It can last the whole summer or be as short as a month. There can even be multiple short terms over the course of one summer to give students the ability to fit school into their summer schedule.
Credit for summer school classes is typically the same as for regular courses. This is because summer school classes usually meet every day, which allows them to offer equal credit to regular courses and still finish in the short summer term. Because of the intensity of each class over a short period of time, most colleges usually allow you to take no more than two classes per summer term.
Depending on your school, the college can offer housing, meal plans, transportation and even scholarships to pay for everything. Wellesley College, for example, charges a certain weekly rate for housing in a residence hall and multiple weekday meal plans for both resident and non-resident students.
Why Take Summer School?
Summer school is worth serious consideration. For some students, certain required classes might have been completely filled up in their first year. Rather than waste time and enrollment space on those classes in the next semester, summer school is a chance to take them.
You might still have certain classes left to take for your major or maybe you’re double-majoring, but are unable to fill everything in because of credit limits per semester. You can take classes in summer school to fulfill these requirements.
Even if there are no credit limits, it’s wise for first-year students to go light on the credit load in the beginning of their college careers so they can get acclimated to college. Summer school is a way to get on track.
Who Can Take Summer School
Colleges typically have summer school open to all undergraduate and graduate students. They may even have special programs for high school students. Stanford University, for example, has both undergraduate and graduate summer school programs. It also has two separate programs for high school students, one for current high school students and another for recent grads who have yet to attend college.
Opportunities for high school students such as these are great ways for incoming freshmen to adapt to college more quickly and get a head start on classes.
The Community College Option
Some colleges offer articulation agreements and programs with local community colleges that allow students to take summer classes at a community college and have the credits transfer. This is a very cost-effective way to get college credit, taking advantage of the often substantially cheaper price per credit at community colleges.