Q: Are there specific student loans for part time students in college, or do part time college students apply for the same financial aid and student loans as full time college students?
A: For federal financial aid, including federal student loans, a student’s full or part time status can affect how much financial aid they will qualify for, or if they will qualify at all. Most schools will consider anything over 6 credits as part time, however part time and full time student status requirements can be different for each school. Students must check with their school to be clear on the requirements for fulfilling part time student status. Part time students are eligible for federal financial aid, including federal student loans for part time students, while students who are considered below part time are not eligible for federal financial aid.
For some federal student loans, such as the Perkins and subsidized Stafford, the amount a student will qualify for can be dependent on their status as either a part time student or a full time student. The amount a student will receive from federal student loans that are not based on financial need (unsubsidized Stafford) will typically not be related to their status as a full or part time student (students must be a part time student to qualify for federal student loans). As for private student loans for part time students, typically students must be enrolled at least part time in an undergraduate program at an accredited and approved college or university to qualify. If a student is considered as part time status by their college or university, they should be able to apply for FAFSA and private student loans in the same way full time students do.
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