Part Time Students and Financial Aid | 04.16.09
Are you working full time and going to school? It is more common now for students to work while they are obtaining their degree. And even more common is the use of financial aid and student loans to pay for their tuition. There can be a gray area about how much you are eligible to receive if you are not attending school on a full time basis. So first lets clear up what is considered full time and what is considered part time.
Your school determines your official status. Most schools classify 12 credits as full time, while other schools consider 9 credits full time. For part time students it is usually 6-9 credits, and anything under 6 credits is usually considered below part time (which means you would not be eligible for aid or federal loans). Remember that school’s determine your actual status, and not every school uses these guidelines to determine a student’s status.
So that being said, if you are eligible for grants from the Federal government, then your grant amount is directly correllated with your status, so you will get less if you are a part time student. Loans can be different, and this is where we enter the grey area. The subsidized Stafford loan and the Perkins loan are loans that are based on financial need, meaning you have to show you need those loans in order to get them. These loan amounts can be decreased if you switch from a full time student to a part time student. Unsubsidized Stafford loans are not based on financial need, which means that regardless of your status (but must be at least part time) you can typically get up to the amount in which you are eligible for based on your classification as a student (independent v. dependent). I use the word “typically” because there is no clear cut “rule” for this, and it up to the school and their policy, but most school’s do work this way. If you have an experience with the financial aid office regarding your part time status and your financial aid please post a comment.
Points code: parttime$$$
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