Home > Resources > College Prep > College Classes

College Classes

College classes are different from high school classes, but how they are different is subject to opinion. Some say that college is nothing but piles of reading and memorization, while others say classes focus primarily on critical writing and critical thinking. Everyone’s college experience is different, so if you choose your classes wisely, you will be successful.

Fulfilling Requirements

Most colleges and universities have general education requirements that students must fulfill to graduate. Every department will also have specific requirements for students enrolled in that major. Whatever the case, most classes are “required” by a major. This does not mean your classes will be easy. There will always be a couple of classes that are dreadful. However, if you choose your major wisely, most of your classes will be exciting and valuable.

When choosing classes, keep a list of required credits and classes. Pick gen-ed courses that interest you. For example, humanities requirements have many class options. A Shakespeare course, creative writing course, or electives on pop culture fulfil the same requirement. For non-humanities majors, look for fun options like an elective on pop culture. If the course topic is fun, you will be more engaged and keep up your GPA.

If your course requirements are strict choose your professor carefully. Having the right professor is the difference between a great semester and a terrible semester. Research professors to see who has gotten the best reviews, and understand their style of teaching. Make sure their teaching style compliments how you learn. For classes within your major or minor, take classes from a professor whose academic interests align with yours.

Reasonable Expectations

Have reasonable expectations of yourself and your professors. It is not smart to take one year’s worth of classes in one semester, or take a full semester of difficult classes. You can push yourself without overloading your schedule, destroying your social life, and lowering your GPA. Know your graduation requirements, and plan ahead of time to avoid overloading any semester.

Use time management skills when scheduling classes. Factor in the time it takes to get to your first class in the morning, and to walk from class to class. Being late or missing class regularly is unacceptable, and will ruin your GPA. Students who are chronically late or absent not only fail, but often have to retake the class.

On Campus vs. Online

If you have a busy schedule, consider taking online classes. Online degree programs are growing rapidly, both through distance-learning programs on traditional campuses and online universities. As a result, many students have the option of taking one or more class online. If this option appeals to you, check with your college to see what they offer.

Qualities to look for in a good online course, include course objectives, available resources, and academic support. Maintaining discipline and understanding material can be challenging, so having a support system to keep you on track is important to be successful. Commit to your course. Execute the same study strategies and time management skills in your online class as you would in a traditional classroom. If you stay on top of your online classes, you will be able to enjoy having a more flexible schedule.

Latest College & Financial Aid News

Introducing Scholarships.com’s Online Education Section for Students

September 17, 2020

by Izzy Hall

It’s new. It’s different. It can be frustrating. It’s probably how you’re experiencing school these days. It’s online education. The coronavirus has rapidly expanded the adoption of online, virtual and distance learning, from college all the way down to elementary school. As a relatively new practice, schools, students and staff have all had to make adjustments to their curriculums and their expectations. Students may be wondering – how can I be successful in online school? How can I make it work for me? Our new Online Education section has the answers to all of your online learning questions. [...]

Facebook Launches New College-Only Student Platform

September 15, 2020

by Susan Dutca-Lovell

Facebook is returning to its roots with the launch of Facebook Campus, a college-only space designed to help students connect with fellow classmates over shared interests, according to the press release. The social media giant, which had originally started its life as a networking site for college students, is now refocusing its efforts on connecting students, particularly in the wake of COVID, even if they are away from college. Here's what you can expect from the new Facebook Campus platform if you are a college student: [...]

Remembering 9/11

September 11, 2020

by Izzy Hall

Today marks the 19th anniversary of the devastating September 11th terrorist attacks on the United States of America. We honor those who lost their lives in the attacks on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon, as well as the first responders who gave their lives rescuing survivors, and the passengers of Flight 93 who thwarted the hijacker’s plans. The events of September 11, 2001 touched the lives of all Americans and redefined a generation. Now, even in the midst of another national crisis, we feel it is appropriate to take the time to remember this tragedy. [...]

Last Reviewed: September 2020