The Do's and Don'ts of Taking Summer College Courses Part 2

Do: Explore the variety of subject areas available for college credit through online courses. Pay attention to subject materials that interest you, but may not be available at your high school. When you do enter college, you’ll have a head start on your major, and most likely will be able to access more advanced courses faster. Earning college credits before college, while you’re still a high school student, could save you thousands of tuition dollars as you accumulate enough credits to possibly bypass a semester (or more) of college.

Don’t: Be surprised if you are able to advance farther than you ever thought possible in challenging college course material. One of the advantages of online learning is the ability to get one-on-one tutoring precisely when and where you need it. Online education allows you to speed up through parts you “get” and to slow down through parts you are having trouble “getting.”

Do: Try on college-level course material in the summer and see how it feels. Maybe you never thought you were college material. You won’t know unless you try. With low cost online college course providers like StraighterLine that charge $99/month for unlimited courses (with a $39 registration fee per course), you can afford to take a chance on yourself without fear of putting yourself deep into debt.

Don’t: Assume you’re on your own. Sure, there is plenty of video instruction online where you are left exclusively on your own to consume. However, when it comes to taking summer college courses online, particularly when you sign up for a class through a high-quality course provider like StraighterLine – you will have access to a tutor who you can work with one-on-one as you go through course material. And since you will be earning real transferrable college credits , at StraighterLine you will have access to a personal Student Advisor to help you navigate the credit transfer process.

Do: Accelerate your preparation for AP tests. Did you know you can take certified AP courses online? Why not prepare yourself to successfully take AP tests – and potentially enter college with credits already earned by passing AP tests. Keep in mind, taking AP courses online in the summer may free up your class schedule come fall so you can take other AP courses and possibly pass even more AP tests for college credit. The more advanced credit you earn before college, the fewer semesters of college it may take to earn your college degree. Think about what you could do with the time and money you could save.

Don’t: Forget that as you apply to colleges down the road, your academic record goes with you. Why not impress admission officers by showing them you have what it takes to be successful in college. College credits you earn before college can indicate in a real tangible way that you are motivated, committed to your education, and would make an excellent candidate for acceptance into college, no matter whether the school is a traditional “brick and mortar” university like Harvard or an online one like Western Governors University.