School’s Out for the Summer...Or Is It?

Summer's usually a time when students kick back and relax, free of the worry of courses for at least a few months. But taking that time off and doing nothing can lead to brain freeze in the fall, and an increasingly popular choice is taking summer courses. So what's a happy medium? Online summer courses.

1. Your Time is More Your Own

Instead of having to show up at class at the same time every week, you have the freedom to go through the classes at your own pace. And you're not stuck inside a windowless, unairconditioned classroom, either. If you want to download your material and work on it at the park or on a beach, you can do that.

Taking online classes during the summer also means you can give your summer job the availability they demand or the one that nets you maximum hours and pay -- while you're earning college credits.

2. You Can "Study" at Any University without the Costs

Have your eye on a transcript that lists courses from an elite school, but can't afford their tuition or living costs? Take online classes from them, especially if your school has a transfer agreement in place that lets you pay your college's tuition rate.

If there's no transfer agreement in place but the courses you need or are interested in are somewhere halfway around the world, just make sure to check with your college first. Some courses either aren't transferable or they may not exactly equal what you think they should, and it's always a good idea to clear the red tape before you apply and pay fees.

3. You Don't Have to Worry About Transportation

During regular semesters, finding a parking spot is anywhere between murder and impossible. It also costs a lot, so many students turn to a buss pass. But that option isn't always so better because there are hundreds of students trying to take the same bus as you to get home, and you also have to deal with super slow roadways because of rush hour.

The problem is solved with online courses during the summer. No cruising the parking lot waiting for a spot to open up, no shelling out hundreds for a summer parking pass, and no waiting for the bus when the sun's beating down on you and there's no shade.

4. There's Still a Summer Waiting for You

One of the biggest reasons students don't take summer college courses is because they fear it'll waste one of the last opportunities they have for sitting around and relaxing.

Summer courses, though, are much shorter than their regular counterparts, leaving you with a lot of free time. And if you're taking them online, that means you can schedule your summer around your courses instead of the other way around. Plus, the faster you finish them, the more of your summer is left. Bonus tip: that road trip you want to take? It can happen because you won't miss anything from not having to show up at the actual campus.