Full-time Versus Part-time: Which is Best For You?

Are you in two minds between part-time and full-time course? Consider your course load, your workload, your family and peer groups and what you want from a university education to choose the best option. Read on to find how you can choose the right fit for you.

Updated by Smriti Singh on 8th April 2020

It is quite common that students and their parents at the early stage search for various academic options that are available for them right after high school. However, the academic option sometimes depends on the amount of time spent on the course and that it should be based on what is best for you as a student or parents.

Difference between Full-time and Part-time Student

The difference between part-time and full-time studies are discussed below:

  • On the basis of Time- A full-time program usually takes one to two years to finish the course. Whereas part-time programs can take four years to complete a particular course. A full-time student usually takes four classes or a minimum of twelve credits during a semester. Whereas a part-time student generally takes two to three classes or a minimum of six to eleven credits during a semester. Thus, a full-time student spends more time in the class during a semester as compared to the part-time student.

  • On the basis of Money- There is no doubt that a full-time student requires more financial aid than a part-time student because a full-time student takes more classes therefore they have to spend more as compared to a part-time student. A part-time student pays per credit. Once a full-time student reaches enough credits, tuition reaches a cap. It means that a student taking eighteen credits will pay the same amount in tuition as someone taking a minimum of twelve credits.

  • On the basis of Immersion- Full-time allows immersion, where students are involved in on-campus activities. It is an important part of learning, creating networks and meeting other students with similar interests, which could be useful for your future professional career. Of course, these activities are also present to part-time students, but the limited amount of time spent on campus can make it difficult to participate.


Which is Best For You? Let’s take a closer look

To decide whether you will benefit from part-time or full-time, consider the following options:

  • Are you afraid to drop out or in a hurry to graduate? Go for Full-time. Why?Various studies show that university students who enroll full-time and take a minimum of twelve credits per semester are more likely to continue their studies, save money and graduate

  • Do you have a family? Go for Part-time. Why? As you have a family or you are a primary caregiver, full-time probably isn’t your best choice. Part-time study allows you to make your study experience flexible and meet your needs. While it will take longer to finish your study or degree or certificate, you will be able to care for your loved ones and at the same time go to school.

  • Do you want to work while studying? Go for Part-time. Why? Working and studying full-time is not feasible, but working and studying part-time is. It is quite easier now as the colleges and universities are providing hybrid and online courses too.

  • How old are you? It depends. Why? If you are a part-time student, you are more likely to study with the older students who are working, have family or have various responsibilities. This might matter if you are a younger student. But if you are an older student, you might consider whether you want to be among your peers or not. Younger students generally go for a full-time degree as they do not have extra responsibilities. Whereas, older students go for a part-time degree.


Conclusion

The decision to attend full-time or part-time completely depends on you. There are unique opportunities as well as threats with both, so it is totally up to you to decide what you can handle. Try to make the choice that fits your lifestyle needs and choices.