Has a full schedule kept you from taking on a full-time semester load in school? Many times, juggling a full-time job with family and going to school will leave you overwhelmed. If this sounds like you, maybe being a part-time student can benefit you. Read on to learn about what being a part-time college student looks like.

TAKING ONE TO THREE COURSES INSTEAD OF FOUR TO SIX

At many universities, a full-time student has to take a minimum of 12 credit hours which can be anything between four and six classes. On the other hand, a part-time student can take between one and three courses which means they have a lot more time for non-academic responsibilities. 

PAY OFF CLASSES WITHOUT TAKING OUT STUDENT LOANS

Another benefit to being a part-time student is that school is more affordable! If you’re working while going to school, you might even be able to pay for your classes without taking out student loans. This will save you a lot of money in the long-run because not only are you not paying off student loan debt, you also won’t have to pay off any accumulated interest from taking out the loan. 

YOU MIGHT NOT QUALIFY FOR FINANCIAL AID OR SCHOLARSHIPS

With all of the benefits of being a part-time student, there are also some negatives to consider. One of these is the possibility of not qualifying for financial aid as a part-time student. Additionally, you might not qualify for scholarships because many of them require you to be a full-time student at a university. Thus, when deciding whether or not to be a part-time student, make sure you have the funds to cover the cost of your studies.

RISK OF BEING LESS INVOLVED ON CAMPUS

Another downside to being a part-time student is that you become less involved on campus. For older students with jobs and families, this might not be much of a problem. However, if you’re a younger student, being less involved might mean missing out on the “college experience.”

Overall, part-time schedules are perfect for students with busy schedules who aren’t looking to finish school in four years or if they simply need to take a class or two to advance a career. Like with any decision, consider what you gain and lose as a part-time student before you register for courses.

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