Part Time Students and Financial Aid | 04.16.09

Posted in FAFSA, Financial Aid, Stafford Loan, Student Loans By Student Loan Network Staff

Are you working full time and going to school? It is more common now for students to work while they are obtaining pictheir 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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8 Responses to “Part Time Students and Financial Aid”

  1. Justin says on June 8, 2012 at 2:34 pm:

    I wanted to know if you go to school full time and dont work and volunteer is there ways of getting more financial help?

    Reply To This Comment
    • Vicki Livesay says on July 25, 2012 at 5:16 pm:

      You can still receive the full amount of federal student loans and also (if you are eligible) the Pell Grant. You might also want to check with your school to see if there are in in-house scholarships if the amount of the loans and Pell are not sufficient to pay for your tuition/fees and books/supplies needed. If you are required to purchase tools, etc. for your studies, then the school should have cut-rate tools you can purchase or know where you can buy tools that will not be so expensive. I only need books for my studies but I have found that eBay and Craigslist have reduced the cost of my books dramatically. For instance, a book I needed last semester was $260 at the school’s bookstore and I got it from eBay for $5.00 + $2.95 shipping. Try it!

      Reply To This Comment
  2. gustavo says on January 16, 2012 at 12:22 pm:

    Im part-time student this quarter but i needvthe full amount of my loan will it be less because im doing only 6 credits. im taking the auto body tech course i need the full amount for tools what can i do?

    Reply To This Comment
  3. Whitney says on April 17, 2011 at 4:49 pm:

    Hi, the university I’m going to requires me to take a math class before being able to be a fulltime student. So I will be taking 8 credits at the university and then another 8 at a community college near by, until I can have full status. However, when applying for Financial aid, can I put full time student…because I am, its just split between the schools for one semester.

    Reply To This Comment
    • Student Loan Guru says on April 18, 2011 at 3:16 pm:

      @Whitney- You will have to check with your school’s financial aid office. They are the ones that make the call whether you are full time or not, as this depends on whether or not cross-registration is allowed with other area schools.

      Reply To This Comment
  4. Deonte says on August 13, 2010 at 11:26 am:

    ummm i wanted to know sumthin i was giving 2,775 for school as a part time student but my account charge was only 602 so after they take that out of the 2775 would i get the rest of the money on will they take more because im only parttime?

    Reply To This Comment
  5. Part-Time Income Advocate says on December 10, 2009 at 12:16 pm:

    Everybody wants to make extra income, especially when you can do it at the comfort of your own home.

    The only way that I can see possible for people to be making part time income would be through the Internet.

    I know six first steps to make part time income.

    Reply To This Comment
  6. Australia Part Time Jobs says on December 1, 2009 at 7:29 pm:

    its good information for those who are searching part time jobs. part time jobs for students is common in nowadays…most of the students are doing part time jobs while they are earning their degrees…

    Reply To This Comment

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