The benefits of taking summer courses include smaller class sizes, accelerated learning and keeping oneself in the mode of going to school and doing homework. Other benefits are reducing the time it will take to graduate and being able to carry a lighter course load during the fall, winter and spring. Some people also take into consideration the fact that campuses are less crowded during the summer months, because most students are on vacation. This aspect of summer courses probably is most appealing as a benefit to students who find it stressful to look for a parking spot and get to classes during the other semesters.
Smaller class sizes generally mean that each student has a better chance of receiving individual attention from the instructor. Students who find certain subjects challenging might want to take them as summer courses to take advantage of this benefit. Friendships also tend to be formed more easily because a smaller number of students interact with each other, resulting in an atmosphere that is more relaxed during the fall, winter and spring. Many people have discovered that taking summer courses helps some students remain focused on getting their education until they graduate, because they do not totally break their routine with a vacation. Those who are disciplined and already committed to earning their degree might not view studying during the summer as a benefit.
One of the principal reasons that many people choose to take summer courses is the benefit of reducing the number of years it will take them to complete all of the required classes leading to a degree. If students study during the summer each year, particularly those who attend what are traditionally four-year colleges and universities, they probably can graduate in four years or less. The same principle applies to earning a degree at two-year colleges.
Many traditional students attend school full-time while working part-time. This can be a very demanding schedule that can easily become even more stressful in times of sickness or family emergencies. Although it is often possible to attend summer school full-time, few people choose to do this unless they will be taking the last classes they need for graduation. Summer school generally is viewed as a time to carry a lighter burden while continuing with one's education. A lighter schedule during the summer can even make for a lighter schedule during the other semesters.