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The Pros and Cons of Summer Classes

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at WPUNJ chapter.

It’s about time to register for classes for summer and the fall. While you plan out your fall semester schedule, you ponder whether you should take that Intro to Psych class in the summer and get it out the way so you can take an upper-level course in the fall. Before you register for that summer class, read up on Her Campus WPUNJ’s pros and cons of summer classes.



Getting Ahead of the Game

Taking summer classes allows you to finish your prerequisites early and may allow you to finish school sooner. While your friends take Statistics I in the fall, you’ve already moved on to Statistics II (because you took the 100-level the previous summer). Summer classes are a great way to get those GE/UCC courses out of the way, so you can move on the more challenging courses. Depending on your major and the amount of classes you take, summer classes may allow you to graduate sooner than your peers. Instead of graduating in four years, you may graduate a semester, or even a whole year, early.

Getting the Hard Classes Out of the Way

Have a Chemistry class that you are dreading? What about Calculus? Take those classes during the summer so that you can put all of your energy into getting the grade and learning the hard stuff. During the summer, you won’t have to worry about other courses, so your focus will solely be on one or two classes. It is a lot easier to concentrate on your summer classes when you do not have other classes and extracurricular activities vying for your time.

May be Easier

Summer classes may be easier because your focus is just on a couple of classes as opposed to a full course load. You have a lot more time to devote to your summer classes, than you would to classes taken during the school year. As a result, you may achieve better grades in your summer classes. Also, some professors may take it easy on students during the summer. Just as you want to enjoy summer, they do too!



Easy to Slack Off

Who wants to spend the summer in school? No one. It can be very difficult to focus on your summer class when you have so much time on your hands. It can much more difficult to focus when you see your friends posting pictures of their vacations and outings on Facebook, while you’re stuck in Hunziker. If you’re a procrastinator like me, you will probably partake in all the fun summer activities and wait until the last minute to complete your assignments. Once you fall behind, it is harder to catch up. This is especially true for summer classes where a class may last only three weeks (depending on the course).

Faster Pace

Summer classes are much shorter than courses scheduled in the fall or spring semesters. As I mentioned above, some summer classes may only last a couple of weeks. That means you are getting a vast amount of information in a short period of time. You may be required to turn something in every day. If taking summer classes, you must stay on top of assignments and due dates. Do not enroll in summer courses if you cannot handle the pace as it can become overwhelming.


It’s no secret that taking summer classes is expensive. Depending on the amount of classes you plan to take it can cost thousands of dollars. William Paterson University currently charges $313 a credit (which totals out to $939 for your average three-credit course). If you are taking more than one class, you are looking at costs in the thousands. If you are taking online courses, you have to pay a distance learning fee of $120 for each online course, and if you’re taking a science class, you’ll likely have to pay a lab fee. And this is only for in-state undergraduate students! The cost for out-of-state and graduate students is even higher. If you plan on taking summer courses, ask financial aid about options for paying for it or start saving up now.


So, there you have it, collegiettes. If done right, summer classes can be a rewarding experience. They can provide an opportunity to boost your GPA and get on the fast track to graduation. They can also drain your bank account and ruin your summer experience. Summer classes are all about planning and preparation. Don’t wait until the last minute to decide to enroll in summer classes, as the decision can be costly.


 William Paterson students, for more information on summer classes, click here.


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Danielle Brantley is a senior at William Paterson University in Wayne, NJ. She is a Marketing major with minors in Social Justice Studies and Psychology. Danielle is a contributing writer for Her Campus WPUNJ as it finally launched in March 2013. She also works for Information Systems at WPUNJ as a Technology Consultant and for the First-Year Experience office as a Peer Leader. She has also written for The Beacon, WPU's student-run publication. Danielle enjoys writing, shopping, listening to music, and watching YouTube.
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