The Pros and Cons of Taking Summer Courses


There are many reasons people choose to take summer courses at their university, an affiliate university, or community college. Below I go over some of the pro's and cons of taking summer courses at your university verses taking summer courses at a community college or nearby school instead.

Your University: 

If you are a local student and would like to get in an extra class, complete a pre-req or take classes for fun, commuting to and from your university might be an option for you. Taking classes directly from your university has it's advantages like:

  • You don't have to worry about transferring the credit back to the university after you've taken the class.
  • You don't have to apply as a visiting student to take classes, and you can register when you register for the rest of your fall classes.
  • Can take classes online or in person

Though there are some downsides to taking summer classes like:

  • Cost. It can cost a couple thousand dollars to take a single course at your university
  • Longer class lengths
  • More condensed information and a fast paced environment (This can be a pro or a con depending on your learning style)

Community College or Other Institution:

If you are going back home and are nowhere near your university the next best option to taking summer classes is either taking them online or taking them at a community college. Here are some reasons why that might be the best option for you:

  • It can be closer to home
  • Easier to take classes (and get into them)
  • Much,much cheaper than university summer courses
  • Smaller classes sizes and slightly longer

There are also a few reasons why you might not want to take classes at a Community College or nearby university:

  • Can be hard to get yourself registered for classes
  • You're classes might not transfer (always check with your university!)
  • Financial Aid might not be available for you - This can be on a case by case basis so always check first!
  • They might not offer a class that you need.


Overall, there are a lot of different factors you need to consider if you think you are going to take classes over the summer. Always consider what you need before you sign up for classes (like if you want to work over the summer instead) and make sure you are taking the right classes for your major. Meeting with your advisor is always a good idea in these cases as they can help you make the best decision for you!