How do I Choose the Best University Summer School?

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen

There are many university summer school programs. Some are tailored to youths or to high school students. Others are an extension of the academic year and might serve the general population that lives near the school, or college students who wish to finish their degrees more quickly. Obviously differentiating between each kind of program will be a first step toward choosing one. Then additional considerations, which are often highly individual, may factor into decision-making.

Woman holding a book
Woman holding a book

The first type of summer school may be offered to youths who are grammar school or junior high students. These typically don’t offer college credits but they might have a wide variety of educational or fun courses that students can take. Many of these programs might function like a summer day camp, where students attend for half or whole days and participate in lots of different activities, while others are more academic based and could focus course on sciences, math, or writing. Students may be able to enroll in one class only, or they might have to enroll in several. Costs can vary, but there may be some scholarships available for qualifying students.

Choosing university summer school programs for youths is often a matter of looking at programs, seeing if they offer interesting courses for kids, and determining transportation. Those people who live in large cities may have a number of programs to choose from. Even those in smaller areas may be able to find at least one at a community college, private school or state school that has a summer program.

University summer school for high school students may or may not involve earning actual college credits. It should be noted that eligible students, usually those that are at least 16, might be able to take any class they would like at a community college for credit. Community colleges very often have a summer term, and many high school students choose to take a summer class so they meet all requirements for graduation sooner and can take more high school electives. Summer classes that have college credits are usually very rigorous. They can involve several hours in class daily, and several hours outside of it studying. Most are very different than high school and can require some adjustment.

Other university summer school options for high school students are still geared toward high school students. They may not offer college credits and might be constructed in a similar way to youth college programs. Students could take one or more classes that focus on areas of interest, but they typically wouldn’t need to study much outside of these classes. Location and types of programs available will vary.

College students can have options to do university summer school through the university they already attend, or they might choose to take a class or two through a university close to a parent’s home. In the first couple of years of school signing up for classes at junior colleges is a good and cheap option. Typically those students who stay at their main university to do a summer term will pay more in tuition.

Sometimes a university summer school program doesn’t take place on a college campus. It might mean students do field work for various professors or it could involve travel and learning in historic places around the world. These programs usually require the student to pay some tuition and travel costs, but they function more like vacations though participating on things like digs can be hard work. Such programs are available from a wide number of universities, but choosing one from the school a person attends may be most helpful. It’s a great way to get to know supervising professors who might later write letters of recommendation for the student, for graduate school or places of employment.

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen

Tricia has a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and has been a frequent wiseGEEK contributor for many years. She is especially passionate about reading and writing, although her other interests include medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion. Tricia lives in Northern California and is currently working on her first novel.

You might also Like

Readers Also Love

Discuss this Article

Post your comments
Forgot password?