The Dos and Do Nots of Taking Summer College Courses as a College Student

The Dos and Do Nots of Taking Summer College Courses as a College Student

This 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 when you're still in college but would like to complete a course online.

DO - Consider Online Summer College Courses

Happy students taking summer classesConsider 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 and take classes online.

Online courses give you the freedom to take courses immediately and 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.

DON'T - Assume You're Too Busy to Complete Classes Over Break

Fitting college classes in a summer scheduleTaking an extra course over summer allows you to spread out your time commitments during the summer and during school year. Online classes allow you to hunker down and move through material when you have time, and back off when you don’t.

Tip: After finishing one class, consider starting another right away. By taking one course at a time over the entire summer, you may be surprised by how many college classes you will have successfully completed by the end of summer and how many college credits you have managed to earn at an ultra affordable price.

DO - Complete General Education Courses & Prerequisites

Best classes to finish fast online in summerComplete required general education or prerequisites for your major by taking online classes. You can even get a head start on next year's coursework to give yourself a more balanced course load.

Here's a list of classes that StraighterLine students often complete in a month or less, ideal for summer break!

  1. Cultural Anthropology
    Enjoy a fantastic introduction to cultural anthropology. A student favorite! This course is commonly taken for humanities and/or social science general education credits.
  2. United States History I
    Learn more about history in the US prior to 1861, European exploration and colonization of the New World and examine the impact on Europe, Africa, and the young United States. One of our most popular courses at StraighterLine!
  3. Medical Terminology
    A popular course for students planning to pursue a nursing or other health science degree. Med Term introduces elements of medical terminology, including etymology. This is an ideal class to take in the summer in preparation of your fall core classes, plus it is a student favorite.
  4. Introduction to Religion
    Need to earn humanities credit? In this popular course, you'll gain a comprehensive overview of cultural religious phenomena in a global world, including commonalities and differences among religious traditions and contexts.
  5. Introduction to Philosophy
    Immerse yourself in an introduction to the field of philosophical inquiry.  You'll examine the history of Western thought, from the famous Greek philosophers up to cutting-edge intellectuals of today. Perfect for poolside contemplation and you'll earn three credits.

Online college writing classIf you have more time to dedicate for your studies, we highly recommend taking an English composition course. Our writing comp classes are among the most important college courses you can take; a strong foundation in college level writing can really help set the stage for college success.

  1. English Composition I
    Improve your writing skills with this in-depth approach to various writing genres, and enables students to write a selection of essays including a comprehensive research paper. This is a highly supported courses -- you'll have full access to our writing center including online tutors and reviews of your drafts.
  2. Business Communication
    A very popular class, Business Communications helps students learn how to write in a professional tone for a cross section of business-style documents, extremely practical for your academic and professional career.

Take an online college math class this summerSummer is also great time to complete a required math class.

  1. College Algebra 
    College algebra is usually a mandatory college class for students working towards earning an AA, BA or BS degree. This is our most popular course.
  2. General Calculus I
    Whether you are a high school student looking to get a leg up on your fall semester or a college student who wants to get advanced math requirements out of the way, summer offers a great time for focused math coursework. In this course, you'll study the principles of calculus: derivatives, integrals, limits, approximation, applications and modeling, and sequences and series.

Tutoring and a full suite of wraparound services are included in all our courses, including our math classes, and are available 24/7. You will have all the support you need to complete your required courses over the summer.

DON'T - Forget to Verify Credit Transfer

Make sure you verify with your academic advisor if your school will accept the college courses you want to take for full academic credit. If you aren't attending a StraighterLine partner college, we recommend that you verify that your school will accept ACE Credit recommended courses for transfer. It's a good idea to get this verification in writing to avoid any hassles later on. Speak with our student support team if you have questions.

DO - Take Advantage of Your Online Course Options

Save money on college classesTake advantage of the low cost structure of online college course providers. At StraighterLine, our courses start at $59 with our $99 per month membership (that can be paused and restarted at anytime).

Tip: The more classes you can take online with StraighterLine, the more you can 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 $20,900 at a public institution and $45,370 at private ones, according to recent data from the National Center for Education Statistics.

Tip: Many accredited colleges and universities have transfer agreements with online college course providers, community colleges, and international schools that are based exclusively on learning outcomes. Plus, StraighterLine has over 150 partner colleges that guarantee credit transfer with of our courses for their degree programs. Check out the course equivalency guides for your school on our partner page.

DO - Take Courses Not Available at Your School

Take a class online By enrolling in online classes this summer, you can complete courses you couldn't take at your current college due to over-subscription issues or because you couldn't fit the course into your life because of scheduling or financial concerns.

Also, online classes allow you to avoid those huge lecture halls often reserved for general education coursework.

DON'T - Delay Your Graduation Goals

Don't delay your graduation date just because you don’t have access to a required class or had to withdraw. After all, self-paced online 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.

Wondering what the best course to fit in over the summer are? Be sure to check out this list of  recommended summer courses!

Choose an online class

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