The Burning Question: Summer Session Pros and Cons

For many students, the warming weather doesn’t exactly mean a cool-down in the class workload. Instead, a large number of students will be using this summer as an opportunity to keep busy during the traditional vacation months by taking summer courses.

And while the summer is as good a time as any to get some learning in, if you’re one of those students thinking about registering for a summer course, be sure to weigh out the pros and cons beforehand so you know for sure it’s right for you.


  • The chance to get ahead Summer courses are the perfect time to get a prerequisite out of the way, take a tough class that will need your full attention, or just quicken the pace in order to graduate sooner. Two full summer sessions oftentimes can mean graduating an entire year earlier.
  • The ability to make up for lost time By that same token, summer courses can also be a great time to keep your graduation goal where you want it. Some of the most popular reasons for taking summer courses are to retake a class for a better grade, or to make up for a semester off to erase previous setbacks.
  • The smaller class sizes Summer classes are not only a good time to give one or two tougher classes your full attention, but also receive that same treatment from professors. Smaller class sizes, common during the summer, can mean more flexible teachers and more hands-on time in class and during office hours.


  • They’re demanding One of the many things to consider when registering for summer classes is to know just how demanding they will be. While professors will be more hands-on and maybe even more lax during the term, the classes themselves are usually accelerated and have longer hours as a result.
  • The expenses Before signing up for a summer class, also make sure to look into how expensive they will be. Depending on if you take your class at a community college, online, or otherwise, costs may be inflated during the summer to account for government cutbacks.
  • The distractions While it is good to keep busy during the summer, spend some time before you register thinking (realistically) about what your summer plans look like. If you’re going home or will be around friends, for example, it may be harder to stay focused and engaged. A good way to learn more about staying focused during the summer is to talk to someone (like a counselor or student) who has experience with summer classes. 

Need help deciding on your summer plans? Ask ACI on Twitter at @ACISpecBenefits or on facebook, Google+, Pinterest, or YouTube. Also feel free to contact ACI Specialty Benefits at (800) 932-0034, or email

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About ACI Specialty Benefits

ACI Specialty Benefits ranks in the nation’s Top-Ten providers of Employee Assistance Programs (EAP), corporate wellness programs, student assistance, corporate concierge, and work/life services to corporations worldwide. ACI partners with clients to Perk Up employee engagement and performance with benefit programs that improve morale, productivity and the bottom-line. With a 95% customer retention rate and over 7 million lives covered. ACI remains a privately-owned specialty benefits corporation, headquartered in San Diego. For more information, visit or call 800.932.0034.
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