Can Summer School Save You Money?

Summer break is coming up, and you have to decide on a plan. Do you take classes, do you work, or do you go on a vacation? If you're thinking about summer classes, it's possible you could spend less time in school overall, and save money by doing it.

money

Taking Classes vs. Working Over the Summer

Summer break is a time when most students are excited to relax from studies. Some consider this down-time an opportunity to work and save money for next semester's books and high tuition costs. Others use this time to go back to school and take a summer course.

There are many benefits to taking summer courses. To cash in on those benefits yourself, begin by planning out your entire program during your first year of college. This step can save you money, because you'll prepare yourself for tough-to-schedule courses that may require you to take an additional semester beyond your four years. With an organized plan in mind, you can then decide if summer courses are for you. You may find some of the following points helpful in making this decision.

Speed up Your Program

Taking courses for a summer semester can eventually lead to cutting out an entire year or three semesters of school. Some schools offer significant discount prices for their summer sessions, so you can spend less on overall tuition costs. Also, with an entire semester or more cut out of your program, you'll save on loans that could accrue high interest over time.

Paying up front

Your financial aid package may not have enough funds to cover a summer session, so you may have to pay upfront for classes. While this can be a tough decision, it can lead to pretty good savings over paying for a full semester. And whether you pay for this in one payment or with a payment plan, you won't use a loan to cover your costs. With no loan, there will be no interest for you to pay later.

Cross-Registration

Whether or not you're living on campus during the school year, consider cross-registering with a small local college for summer courses. Many colleges accept these transfer credits if it meets a requirement in your degree program or if your college does not offer it. In other words, if you're studying literature and you want to take an elective on fairy tales, you can take it at a local university - if yours doesn't already offer it. Cross-registration helps you save money because you can take courses at a less expensive college.

When to Work

Of course, some students get jobs when they go home for the summer. If you happen to be one of these students, you may be thinking it's not worth taking a summer course. You may think you could work full-time and save money for the following school year. While this is a great option, consider how much money you'd be making (part-time or full-time) over the course of the summer.

Ask yourself some questions first ...Would you save enough money over three summers to cover the cost of the semester you might be able to cut out of your program? Is it worth giving up time that you could spend with friends or volunteering to boost your chances of a possible scholarship? Or, here's an idea - why not do both? Working part-time and taking courses part-time could help you save money for the next semester and cut back on your future course load.

Now that you know how to save money with summer courses, find out how you can save money with online courses.

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