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Are Summer School Classes Right For You?, By: Eileen Nugraha

Apr 12, 2022 01:24 PM
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We are now approaching that time of year when classes are finally wrapping up, and all that’s left to do are those last few assignments before you can relax and let loose for summer break. Summer break = no school… or so you think.  

You might have heard the idea of summer school floating around, and although the last thing on your mind right now is doing even more school, summer school can be a great opportunity in your educational path. However, it is important to know if summer school is right for you before signing up because it can be very different from the courses you take in the regular school year. So, here is a list of some of the pros and cons of summer school. 

PRO #1: Summer school can help you graduate early  

If you are looking to graduate early, summer school is an excellent way to do so. By taking additional classes during the summer, you can work towards your degree quicker than if you were only to take courses during the Fall/Winter term.  

TIP: I would highly recommend researching and planning which classes you need to take. It can be tricky to find out what classes you need. Consider visiting your Academic Advising Offices to ask for help in planning your course loads for both the Fall/Winter and Summer terms.  

PRO #2: Summer school can help spread courses out throughout the year 

Enrolling in summer school could allow you to take a lighter course load during the Fall/Winter term, spreading out your course load more evenly but still keeping you on track for your expected graduation date. 

For example, at York University, a full course load during the Fall/Winter term is 30 credits. Summer school allows students to take a maximum of 12 credits. So, throughout the year, I could take around 21 credits and do 9 credits in summer school. This makes it so my course load is lighter and more manageable during the year. This could be extremely helpful if you find yourself overwhelmed with school work.  


PRO #3: Summer school classes are usually smaller 

Classes during summer school are usually smaller, which can be beneficial if you enjoy learning in that environment. Smaller classes may mean a better connection with your professor and more in-class discussions.  


CON #1: Some courses may not be available during the summer 

One big thing to consider is that some courses, usually available in the Fall/Winter term, will not be available during the Summer term. If you need a particular class for your degree, it is important to check if these classes are available during the summer.  


CON #2: Summer classes are faster-paced with more assignments and class time 

Because professors need to fit in a semester (or two) worth of course content into only a few months, you will find that professors will cover two or more topics during the week. This also means more assignments and more class time. This is something to consider if you prefer a slower learning environment or are taking a course that requires more work than usual.  


CON #3: It may be difficult to get OSAP funding for classes 

The process for getting OSAP funding for summer classes may take longer and depends on whether you are taking a full course load. I highly recommend doing research to find out what OSAP funding is available for summer school for your post-secondary institution.  

For example, when I took summer classes in my first year, it was challenging to get funding because I was only taking half the course load. In the end, I had to enroll in another class to be considered a full-time student because the OSAP application for full-time summer students was much easier.  


I hope that this post was able to clarify what summer classes may look like. Please be sure to check your post-secondary institution’s website for more information about summer school if this is something that you are considering!