When you think of college students, most of us tend to imagine fresh faced kids straight out of high school, but there are many different kinds of students out there, not all of whom choose to go to college full-time. It can be incredibly expensive to get an education, which is why the number of part-time students is on the rise.
You also have parents, people looking to learn a new skill, and full-time employees look to advance their career all heading back to college, and all on a part-time basis. Even just going a few hours per week can cause a financial strain, so let’s look at some aid options for part-time students.
We should start this out by saying that in order to qualify as a part-time student, you need to be enrolled for at least 6 credit hours per semester. That is a pace that will need to be maintained in order to qualify for any sort of financial aid program.
If you are currently employed full-time and looking to go back to school, you may consider asking your company to help pay for your tuition. Of course, this is only something you should do if you plan on staying with that company, and are looking to learn something that will be of a benefit to them as you move forward. If that is not the case, then you will have to consider other options.
The vast majority of the financial aid handed out to students comes via the federal government. The programs offered by the government are pretty wide and varied, which means you can usually find a loan or grant that suits your specific situation.
In most cases, federal student loan amounts are determined by how much you contribute towards the school tuition fees, as well as your level of need. For example, a single parent with a low annual income is more likely to receive aid than a married adult with a relatively high household income. The more money that you can receive through grants, the better, as that money does not need to be repaid.
Another route that you might take is to talk to the school that you are interested in attending. They all offer numerous scholarships and awards, not all of which are reserved for full-time students. Each application is dealt with on a case by case basis, so it really is worth taking the time to see which, if any, scholarships or award you might be eligible for.
If none of that works, then you may well have to go to your bank to seek out a private loan. The banks may be more inclined to work with you if you have a steady monthly income. People who work full-time and choose to go to college half-time may well be the best candidates for a student loan from the bank.
There are plenty of financial options out there, so be sure to exhaust them all so that the amount coming out of your pocket is as little as possible.