Early reports suggest that summer enrollment is up at colleges across the country, likely due at least in part to the recession. Since summer jobs are harder to find and some summer internships have also been taken off the table, more students are looking to summer classes as a way to stay productive between spring and fall semesters. Dwindling college funds and other economic difficulties may also be pushing students to try to finish college as quickly and cheaply as possible. Most state colleges and community colleges offer summer classes, as well as many private schools.
Summer classes are a great way to keep yourself on track for graduation, as well as to get required courses out of the way as quickly as possible. While more time might be spent in the classroom at once, summer terms are shorter than regular semesters, so that class you've been dreading won't seem to drag on quite as much. Summer classes often come with smaller class sizes and more support from the instructor, in addition to longer class times, so they can also be a good way to master subjects that might otherwise be a struggle.
One problem that comes with summer enrollment is finding financial aid, however. Often, schools award fewer summer scholarships and depending on the school's approach to summer aid awards, students may have already used up their federal aid for the academic year, or may have to reduce the amount they receive the following fall and spring in order to pay for summer. Some schools are working to make it easier to pay for school in the summer, though, as a piece in Inside Higher Ed reports. Several have instituted summer payment plans similar to those available during the regular academic year, while others are offering tuition discounts and summer scholarship awards. You may also be able to apply other college scholarships towards your summer tuition, or even still win scholarships this summer.