The Do's and Don'ts of Taking Summer College Courses as a College Student

Beth Dumbauld

college_student_summer_laptopThis summer, invest in yourself by taking online college classes to earn college credit. By taking your summer college courses online, you can learn anywhere, anytime – and at your own pace.

Here are the essential do’s and don’ts of taking summer college courses:

DO: Consider the flexibility and convenience that online summer courses offer a busy college student. Even if your summer plans include a job, you can still keep a full work schedule when you take classes online.

Online college courses give you the freedom to study any time of the day or night. By taking online courses this summer, you can start whenever you want and complete your required college courses at your own pace  – allowing you to fit your summer academic goals within the confines of your work, family or social calendar.


With the online revolution in education, there’s no reason to pay name brand prices for generic courses when store brands will suffice.



DON'T: Assume that you are too busy to make academic progress during the summer. You’ll find that online college courses allow you to hunker down and move through material when you have time, and back off when you don’t.

Tip: Keep this process going, and over the course of a few weeks or months, you may be surprised by how many college courses you have successfully completed and how many college credits you have managed to earn at ultra affordable prices.

DO: Complete required general education courses or prerequisites for your major by taking online classes this summer. With the online revolution in education, there’s no reason to pay name brand prices for generic courses when store brands will suffice.

DON'T:  Take online college classes without verifying first if the school to which you’d like to transfer will accept those college courses for full academic credit. While many colleges and universities do accept ACE Credit recommended courses for transfer, not all of them do.

Tip: It’s your job to verify that your school will accept ACE Credit recommended courses for transfer – and get it in writing to avoid any hassles later on. High quality online college course providers will have Student Advisors who can help guide you through this process.


You can conveniently take college courses for credit online that are equal to or above the required standards at on-campus colleges and universities.



DO: 
Take advantage of the low cost structure of online college course providers. These days, you can start taking college courses online for as little as $99 per month through StraighterLine and earn fully transferrable college credit.

Remember to check if your college accepts ACE transfer credits. Since over 2,000 colleges and universities do, there’s a good chance yours does as well. (And of course, if you’re taking courses at StraighterLine, those courses are guaranteed to transfer to partner colleges.)

Tip: The more ultra affordable courses you take online through low cost college course providers, the more you save on your degree.

DON'T: Confuse the quality of learning outcomes with price.

You can take college courses for credit online that are equal to or above the required standards at on-campus colleges and universities – and save thousands towards your degree - even more when you factor in the average annual cost of tuition, room, and board is $14,300 at a public institution and $37,800 at private ones, according to the most recent data from the National Center for Education Statistics.

Tip: Many accredited colleges and universities, in fact, have transfer agreements with online college course providers, community colleges, and international schools that are based exclusively on learning outcomes. These degree programs are part of the competency-based education movement.

DO: Take online college courses you were prevented from taking at your current college due to over-subscription issues or because life got in the way. Due to budget cuts, many colleges and universities are being forced to “ration” some of their most popular and/or required courses.

DON'T: Delay your graduation just because you don’t have access to a required course or had to withdraw. Consider this: online summer college classes don’t fill up and don’t have quotas.

Tip: With online college courses, you can quickly and affordably take the courses you need this summer, transfer the credits back to your college or university, get back on track to earn your diploma on time – and avoid a mountain of student debt.

Do you have experience with earning college credit over the summer? What are your favorite tips for taking online courses?

Online Summer College Courses

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