What Is Part Time in College?

by Greg Pretak
College books

A part-time college student takes fewer classes than a full-time student, but usually also works a job. There are different factors to take into account when considering part-time versus full-time status, such as money, family and personal outcome.


A student is considered part time if he is taking between one and 11 credits. Full-time status is 12 credits and over. A semester load of at least six credits is generally required for financial aid eligibility.


Money is often a big factor in the decision whether to attend part time or full time. The ability to work and take classes allows a student to still maintain an income. However, it may be beneficial to take time off of work to earn a degree as a full-time student.

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Take your family into consideration when deciding whether to go to college part time or full time. A mother of two may only want to go to college part time so she can still spend time at home with her children.


Going to college part time will allow a student to work and get a degree. However, it will take longer to earn a degree. Going to college full time will allow a student to earn a degree in a shorter period of time but work less often.

Financial Aid

Financial aid is available for both part-time and full-time students. There are loan programs and aid for students, such as FAFSA (Federal Student Aid) and Sallie Mae (Private Student Loans, Federal Student Loans, Private College Loans).

About the Author

Based in the Northwest Hills of Connecticut, Greg Pretak has been writing travel- and hiking-related articles since 2008. He holds a Bachelors of Science in communications and marketing from New Haven, Conn.

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