An introduction to summer courses

Courtesy of UCR Student Conduct

If you are still wondering what to do this summer, then you might want to consider taking summer courses. There are a variety of reasons to do so, including getting ahead on units or fulfilling degree requirements.

Summer courses at UCR are divided into sessions which range from three to ten weeks in length with each course worth four units. To receive summer financial aid, the unit minimum is to register for a total of eight units for summer session. This means that you can sign up for one course to take the first five weeks of summer and a different course the last five weeks to satisfy the eight units.

Depending on the course, you might end up taking a class that is fast paced compared to the same course during the academic year. You should take this into consideration when planning your summer course schedule. If you don’t want to stress with many assignments, then you should limit yourself to one course during each session.

For those that have vacations planned, online summer courses are a great option to complete requirements that fit around your schedule. Online courses are like normal courses in which you login to an online classroom during the specified time. However, online courses offer you the option to participate from the comfort of your own home. While you still have assigned work, you can rest knowing that you won’t have to worry about getting to campus. The University of California offers different online summer courses hosted by different campuses, across various sessions.

If the course you plan on taking is not offered online, then make sure to plan for your housing and transportation. If you live nearby, then you can commute to campus. If that’s not the case, you can also request summer housing through the school or look for a summer lease at an off-campus apartment.

For most people, taking summer classes at a community college is a more affordable option, than courses at UCR. If you plan on taking summer courses at a community college, make sure to register for the specified college for the term. Also, make sure that if you plan to request financial aid, send your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and other important documents to the college. If you attend summer courses outside of UCR, remember to send your transcripts to the university to receive credit.

It’s not too late to register! With community college and university summer courses, you can still register a day before the first class. Additionally, you can also still apply for financial aid. Even though the aid won’t be as high, you will still receive some aid which is better than attempting to cover all of the summer session costs out-of-pocket.

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