How Do I Take High School Classes Over the Summer to Get Ahead?

Sunday, November 26, 2023
How To Take Summer High School Classes To Get Ahead

As an achievement-minded student, you might be looking to take advantage of opportunities over the summer to get ahead in your high school classes or in the knowledge you know you’ll need as you enter higher education and your future. 

If you are behind on your required high school credits or would like to take extra classes over the summer to enhance your knowledge and leave more room for other classes during the regular school year, you have a few different options to do that.

You also have the option to take extra classes outside of your high school or even take advantage of opportunities to learn outside of the classroom.

Below are several ways you can utilize your summer months to advance your learning and better prepare for your future:

School District Summer School

There is nothing wrong with staying in your district to make things a bit simpler for you and your parents or guardians. The easiest way to get ahead over the summer is to take summer school classes through your high school or school district. 

A good first step is to look at the classes offered over the summer to find out if any of them will augment the classes you’ve already taken. Don’t overextend yourself and take classes that don’t fulfill a certain requirement. You might even take summer school classes to advance your degree to either graduate early or have more room for electives.

Chances are, you might have to take classes at a different high school than your home high school, but this option is also usually either free or cheaper than other summer classes or programs you might encounter.

University Summer School

If you aren’t interested in your high school or school district’s summer school options, you can always take a look at different summer programs and courses at colleges and universities either near you or somewhere you can travel over the summer. 

While some of these options can add up quickly, most will offer some form of scholarship option depending on need or merit. Some colleges and universities even offer online high school and, might offer summer courses through those programs as well. 

This is a sure fire way to fulfill high school requirements while also possibly getting a good head start on your college degree. They also are a good way to get out of your comfort zone in a college setting before the Freshman year begins. It will help you socialize with other students on a smaller, more concentrated scale.  

Online Classes

You can also register for extra online courses to get ahead through online learning platforms like Udemy, Coursera, edX, LinkedIn Learning, etc. 

These courses cost money but they often provide alternative classes compared to what your high school registrar might have available. 

Students spend their summers learning different practices (like coding languages, for example), thus gaining further skills that will not only help them succeed in high school but also add to their college application.  

Take SAT or ACT prep Classes

If you know you have to take the SAT, ACT, or another standardized test to prepare for college applications, you can also take prep courses for these tests over the summer. 

This will allow you to get ahead over the summer without waiting until the last minute to take prep classes or going into these tests without any preparation at all.

Hopefully, you’ll have more free time over the summer, so you can really focus on prepping for these types of tests and leave your school year to master your high school classes.

Summer Abroad and Summer Volunteerism

Getting ahead does not always require taking classes within a classroom. You can do a lot of learning outside of the classroom as well. 

So, consider taking a few weeks or months over the summer to go on a volunteer trip or study abroad. 

Taking a trip to study abroad or volunteer will give you an experience that will teach you different types of lessons than you can learn in a high school classroom, and you can also add these experiences to your resume for college applications. Chances are you will be going to a college inside your state or close by. Even if it is across the country, you may not be attending an international university for all four years. By studying abroad, you can access a more well-rounded experience between high school's rigidity and the smaller-town feel of college. You can find scholarships relevant to these experiences with NSHSS and NSHSS partners too. 

Learn a New Skill

Even if you don’t have a lot of extra time or funds this summer to take a structured program, summer classes are a chance to acquire new skills that will pay off in the long run.  

Take music classes or watch YouTube videos to learn a new craft.  


Whatever you do, you can use your summer wisely by expanding your mind and experiences, even if you have to do that from home. These are small steps toward a better future, but they are invaluable resources to utilize and will be time very well spent. It never hurts to push yourself by trying new things!