Financial Aid for Part-time Students

The cost of colleges is predominantly increasing every year. Many students are trying to find out ways to manage these costs. Part-time schooling is one of those. Here is everything you need to know about the financial aid available for part-time students.

Updated by Sreelekha R K on 2nd March 2020

The cost of colleges is predominantly increasing every year. Many students are trying to find out ways to manage these costs. Part-time schooling is one of those. By applying for half time in school, you might be able to maintain some time to work, take care of certain responsibilities and look after your family. And with lesser course credits, you will be paying less every semester. Here is everything you need to know about the financial aid available for part-time students.


What is the difference between full-time and part-time students?

It is important to know the difference between full-time and part-time before starting to think about financial aid available.

  • The major difference between these students is the number of credit hours they take to complete a semester. Full-time is basically a minimum of twelve credits. Part-time is usually between six and eleven credits. According to this, a full-time student spends more time in the class in a semester than a part-time student.

  • Part-time students will have to pay tuition fee based on the number of credits. So according to this plan, they pay less than full-time students for a semester. In a few colleges, you will have to take permission to attend more classes than what is said to be a full course and you may also have to pay for those extra classes. It is better to keep that in mind when choosing as to how many credits you want to take in a semester.


Financial Aid for Part-time Students

If you are not opting for the traditional way of education, and still in need of financial aid, there is no need to be tensed about it. Knowing these ideas will be helpful in that case to make the right financial decision.


Federal aid for part-time students

It is good news for the students attending part-time that they are also eligible for federal financial aid. The Department of Education demands that you only have to be registered half time to qualify for direct loans. It has lower interest rates and flexible repayment plans. The application process is the same as full-time students. You will have to fill up the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) form.  Do not forget to keep an eye on the deadlines to apply for it. Here are three important types of federal student loans which will be helpful to you.

Direct Subsidized Loan

You will have to prove your financial need in order to be eligible for this loan. The final decision of how much money you are allowed to borrow will be made by the college. It is important for you to know that the government will pay the interest while you are studying and also during the grace period. This is an advantage to all part-time students who are seeking financial aid.

Direct Unsubsidized Loan

As direct subsidized loans, even in this type of loan, the college will be the one to decide how much money is allowed to be borrowed. But unlike the previous one, you do not have to prove your financial need to be eligible and also you will be responsible for the interest amount. 

Direct PLUS Loans

Parents PLUS loan is a choice for you. According to this loan, your parents can take a loan in order to help to cover your educational requirements. They can borrow up to the cost of attendance and other financial aid you have received. The important point here is your parents should not be having any unfavorable credit history and they will be solely responsible for the interests. 


Private student loans for part-time students

It is better to try out all other options in federal financial aid, scholarships and grants before opting for a private loan. Private loans do not involve government. As the name itself indicates, its private loans which are offered by a financial institution like banks for higher interest rests. Also, the repayment method and duration might vary. You must be having a good credit score in order to be eligible for this loan. So it is important to find for best private loan lenders.


Part-time jobs

Since you are taking up part-time college, you will be able to take up a part-time job which will help you to maintain your college costs and also to avoid taking loans. It is always a better choice to save money instead of taking loans. You will not have to pay any interest also.