Summer Courses? Here’s What You Should Consider

For college students, summer courses can be a good way to get ahead, earn some credits, and learn something new. If you’re in a program where there’s some flexibility with regards to the types of courses you take, it can be overwhelming to narrow down your list of options. The key to choosing the right summer courses is taking the following factors into consideration:

  • Your regular course load

  • The length of the courses

  • Your financial situation

  • The types of summer courses offered

Your Regular Course Load

The number and type of summer courses you take can affect the number and type of winter and fall courses you’re required to take. Taking some summer classes can lighten your course load during the rest of the school year, which can be very helpful for some students. That said, keep in mind that some degree programs may not allow summer courses, and some require students to take at least five courses per term. Figuring out which classes to take and when to take them can be confusing, so always ask your academic advisor first. It’s also important to keep in mind that dropping down to part-time status during the academic year may change the access you have to on-campus or student government-run services; make sure you check with the Registrar’s office about what a part-time Fall or Winter course load could mean for you.

The Length of the Courses

Mistakenly, some students are under the impression that summer classes are shorter than fall and winter semester classes. While that is occasionally true, summer courses are often the same length as fall and winter courses. This should be a major consideration if you’re balancing work and school. For many students, the summer provides an opportunity to work more hours and make more money, so taking courses that last the entire summer can make this more difficult.

Remember, though, that the length of a course can depend on the course type. Shorter summer courses are often a condensed version of fall and winter term courses, so keep this in mind as you create your course schedule. It may be counter-productive to take a condensed version of an important class, especially one that’s vital to your program.

Your Financial Situation

When you’re a college student, finances are a major part of every decision you make. Your financial situation affects everything from the food you eat, to where you live, to the courses you take. Financial assistance and student loan programs only provide a certain amount of money per year and may not fund summer courses. Additionally, taking summer courses may expend precious funds needed for fall and winter courses. So it’s imperative to consider your financial situation and options before signing up for the summer semester.

The Types of Summer Courses Offered

Although it’s possible to take courses during the summer months, the variety of courses offered can be somewhat limited. For this reason, you shouldn’t assume that any and/or all of your pre-requisite courses will be available. Fortunately, there are typically plenty of electives offered in the summer term and you may also have the opportunity to take some of those classes online.

Whether you’re planning to take courses this summer or you are thinking ahead to the fall, don’t forget to secure a quality student rental. London, Ontario offers many options for off-campus student housing, but only Foundry First offers premier housing at affordable prices, just steps away from Fanshawe College.