As spring semester comes to end at Salt Lake Community College, registration for summer semester has already started.
Students who commit to summer classes will sacrifice some freedom in order to get closer to their degree.
“The summer schedule is not as complete as our fall and spring semesters, but students can usually find enough Gen Ed courses as well as some program courses to help them progress,” says academic advisor Danny Sanchez.
Despite the fewer number of classes available, knocking out any general education requirements over the summer will leave students prepared to take more fun classes in the fall.
“The classes I find interesting aren’t offered in the summer, so that’s why I get my Gen Eds out the way during the summer,” says SLCC student Don Aivan Walker.
Summer classes are also four weeks shorter than normal. Students who can adapt to the quicker pace will see a benefit, even if they take just one or two classes.
“Some students do not like the total length of the [summer] semester compared to fall and spring, but if they look at it as gaining the same amount of credits in a shorter period of time, then it is definitely to their advantage,” Sanchez says. “And if they schedule right, they will still have ample time to enjoy the nice weather and weekends.”
One disadvantage to the summer semester is that students normally do not have financial aid or grants for summer courses.
“Some students who have received federal financial aid in fall or spring [or both] may have exhausted their Pell grant funds so they may be limited to only loans which some do not want,” Sanchez says. “So summer semester proves difficult for those students who do not qualify for waivers, scholarships, student aid, or even employer-supported aid.
“We have a difficult time trying to entice these students to take classes in summer when they could be working or just taking a break until the new financial aid year starts in fall.”
As of last week, enrollment for summer semester is not at the same level as last year, but Sanchez expects that to change since there are still a few weeks left to register.