Can I Get Financial Aid if I Am a Part-Time Student?

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You may be eligible for financial aid if you are enrolling as a part-time student. Financial aid consists of grants, loans, and work study employment. Part-time students are eligible for some federal grants, including the Federal Pell Grant and the FSEOG (Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant). Part-time students are also eligible for the Perkins Loan and for federal work study programs. However, students must be enrolled at least half time to apply for the Stafford Loan. Part-time students will generally receive prorated financial aid awards, based on part-time enrollment.

Pell Grants are awarded generally to undergraduates, though exceptions may apply. FSEOG Grants are awarded to students who demonstrate the most financial need. FSEOG Grants are prioritized first for those who are also receiving Pell Grants. Other federal grants (including the Academic Competitiveness Grant and the National SMART Grant) are not available for part-time students.


Your school may also offer its own financial aid for part-time students. Check with your institution’s financial aid office. Determine the number of credits that your school defines as part-time, as this may differ between institutions. See the glossary at the US Department of Education’s Federal Student Aid Web site for a good description of “half time” or part-time status. This definition may help you understand what this can mean at different educational institutions.


To begin the process of applying for financial aid, go to FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is a comprehensive application form that needs to be filed for any financial aid you apply for – federal, state, or school-based. Visit for a large database of articles about financial aid. For a general article about part-time students and financial aid, visit

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