Last week, we talked about the importance of getting a summer job and doing consistent community service while you are still in high school. But for seniors who have gone through the whole college application process and are preparing to leave home in a few short months, we have slightly different advice. We think graduating seniors should consider is taking a class during the summer. Here are our thoughts on why this gives incoming college freshman a leg up, what classes are best to take, where to take them, and how to ensure that college credit will be applied.
Why Seniors Should Earn College Credit During the Summer
Graduating high school students are usually feeling pretty good. They’ve made it through all four years of high school, they’ve applied AND gotten accepted to college, and they are looking forward to flying the coop. As parents and educators, we should feel rightfully proud of them. But this doesn’t mean they should get a free pass to goof off all summer. Here are a few reasons why taking at least one course before the fall semester begins makes good sense.
What Class Is Best to Take?
As noted above, it’s a good idea to take a class in a particular area of weakness. This obviously varies from student to student, but we do see many students who struggle with math. So we recommend that students who want to major in pre-med or business but aren’t super strong in math get the math requirement out of the way with a summer course. Because they will only be taking one class instead of the usual four or five, they can devote much more time and focus to the material. And not having a math class to worry about freshman year can make the transition to college easier and less stressful for many students who do not have an interest in pursuing math to a higher level.
Another reason why we recommend taking a math course during the summer is that, because math courses are usually fairly uniform, it is often easier to transfer math credits than credits from other classes.
Making Sure the Class Credit Transfers
If a student takes a course during the summer and doesn’t receive credit for it, they will still be better prepared academically, but the other benefits will be lost. So how to ensure that credits will be accepted by a specific college? We recommend both talking to the individual school and checking https://www.collegetransfer.net/ or https://www.transferology.com/.
The Elite Academics Guide to Summer Vacation will continue through the month of May. Stay tuned for thoughts on when to take the ACT/SAT (for incoming juniors).