Why Take Online Courses Over the Summer

By Danni White on May 16, 2017

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After all the exams, essays, class projects, and lectures, the last thing you want to be concerned with is taking a class over the summer. Seriously! Summer is for sunny weather, sandy beaches, top-down car drives, and rocked out concerts. But before you leave all the summer classes to the nerds and bookworms, think again.

Free time is always in high demand but giving up a few minutes each day over the summer could translate into being ahead of the class when the fall semester rolls in.

When I was an undergraduate student and even as a graduate student, I initially considered taking a break over the summer each year. But after taking my first summer classes as a freshman, I made sure to take summer classes each year because doing so has a couple more perks than it does pains.

If you’re curious as to what online summer school is all about and whether it is a good idea for you, here are some things to consider.


Unlike the fall and spring semesters where you have to be on campus each week, taking summer classes allows you a range of options. One of those options is online learning. You can choose to take classes online at your convenience and study at your own time and pace. Be sure to check with your school to make sure your credits will be accepted toward your degree program.

Get ahead

Online summer classes offer a great opportunity to get ahead of your peers. This doesn’t mean you should go and rub it in their faces. But you can get all of the general education classes or a particularly difficult class (e.g., algebra or earth science) out of the way so you can focus on your core major courses during the regular school term. Being ahead of the game never looked so good.


Online courses are typically structured in a cooler, more relaxed manner than on-campus courses. This should not be mistaken to think that you don’t have to work just as hard or that you can skip out on doing an assignment. The same level of focus and dedication applies. But you’ll experience more freedom in terms of attendance, what you wear, and in-class interaction and group study meetings.


I cannot say that the workload is easier in an online class than in an on-campus class. But if you can carry a similar level of willingness to work hard and commitment to completing the assignments, you will do just fine. Don’t get upset if a teacher doesn’t respond to your questions immediately; they’re also trying to enjoy their summer. Some courses have less writing while others have more writing. It all depends on what you choose to take.


The cost of college is already increasingly expensive. The last thing you need is more college debt to think about. Even though you will likely pay several hundred dollars for an online class, you will be having the cost of commuting back and forth to campus, paying for lunch and snacks, and eliminating additional costs like new outfits every other week. On top of that, it is often cheaper to take courses during the summer than the regular school year.

Anywhere, everywhere

You can still hit the beach, go on that road trip, head overseas, and hang out with friends for a weekend because you can keep up with assignments with your laptop. We often talk about the downside to living in the digital age but learning on the go, anywhere and everywhere, is one upside, making learning more versatile.

Transfer credits

This is a pretty cool part about taking online classes during the summer. Credits are typically easily transferrable to your primary learning institution. Be sure to check with your educational institution to ensure credits from the online classes you plan on taking will be accepted especially if you’re taking them at another college.

Learn something new

If you want to try something that is not part of your core learning program, taking an extra class outside of your field may be the answer. For example, this summer, I am taking programming classes, completely different from my major in psychology but I’m sure it is going to be both fun and challenging.

Get to graduation faster

Taking classes each summer during your school year may allow you to graduate early while your peers have a semester or two left in their academic career. After you walk across that stage, you can take some time off to prepare for a job or do some of the things you love.

There is always a way to advance your education, consistently grow so you can be a better student and a better employee, and stay ahead of the curve. Once you consider all the great benefits of online summer classes, you may find yourself rethinking spending three months on vacation and heading to your computer for a class in art history or sociology.

Danni White is a developmental psychology graduate student at Liberty University. She works in the digital publishing, media, and technology industries. After this degree, she will go on to work on a PhD in social psychology in which she hopes to do research on perception and social cognition’s impact on human behavior. She hopes to apply this research in corporate HR departments and community-based organizations. In her otherwise limited spare time, she blogs, writes and reads. She loves coffee, sports, music, cooking, meeting new people, and binge watching Netflix.

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