As the single mom plans her education path to get the certificates and degrees she feels that she needs to advance her career, she finds that she has to conform to the time available between her family and her job. A lot of non-traditional students find themselves in this situation.
When a student goes directly from high school into college, they have the financial resources and the available time to commit to a full schedule of classes, homework and study. The single mom isn’t blessed with this option. Luckily, with the availability of online courses and those that are scheduled for evenings, she doesn’t have to give up her dreams of advancing her career by adding a degree to her resume. She can even choose part time course work.
Before mom decides if she will be a full time or part time student, she should research the pros and cons. Go into the process with an open mind, or you may find that you are missing a lot of options.
Colleges differ on what they consider the requirements that define full time students. Check the minimum requirement of the full time student, and you may find out that it fits the same description that you imagined was part time.
Some courses are more time demanding than others. In some cases one or two classes will take up all of the time that the single mom has available to devote to her studies. Other classes can be completed with a lot less effort and mom can easily complete the requirements of being classified as a full time student and still remain within the time she has set aside for school.
The scheduling flexibility most institutions of higher learning offer to their students means that the single mom can choose the time she will be devoting to study. This can help to make her class scheduling more efficient. It may allow her to squeeze and additional class in that will bring her into the full time student category while still giving it a part time definition on her busy daily planner.
Before the single mom decides that she will choose to classify herself as a part time student rather than full time, she should double check with her advisor to make sure that she will not be putting any financial packages she is using for tuition in jeopardy. Many grants, scholarships and financial aid are only given to students who pursue their studies full time. Taking a partial load may mean that she has to pay for these classes and the associated expenses out of her own pocket. There is also the possibility that a temporary change from full time to part time will make it harder, if not impossible, to get the additional monies back if she decides later to return to full time status.