Even if you’re attending college part-time, you still have access to financial aid resources. If you enroll in at least six credits, federal student loans are an option as are some private student loans. And you can always apply for additional part-time student scholarships as well.
Getting a good education can be one way to improve your earning power and build wealth over time. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median weekly earnings for someone with a bachelor’s degree is $1,173 — compared to $712 for someone with a high school diploma.
However, even though there might be a payoff for completing a degree, it can be difficult to shoulder the cost of college today. Family income has stagnated while college costs have increased over the last two decades. As a result, it might make more sense to go to school part-time and work to pay for college. Other students might be going back to school later in life, amid family and personal obligations that make it hard to enroll full-time.
Financial aid can help you pay for college, but if you’re a part-time student, you might not qualify for the level of aid you expect, and some scholarships aren’t available to those who aren’t enrolled full-time. The good news is that there’s still help available for you.
Here’s what you need to know about getting financial aid as a part-time student:
What Determines Part-Time Status?Full-time enrollment is generally considered 12 credit-hours for undergrads. If you take less than 12 hours, you’re considered a part-time student. You need to take six credits in order to be considered at half-time enrollment. However, grad students and online students might have different criteria for part-time status.
Check with your school to see what qualifies. In order to qualify for federal student loans, you need to be enrolled at least half-time. However, you might still be eligible for some government grants, even if you’re taking as few as three credits. You can find out more about what’s required by visiting StudentAid.ed.gov. It’s also possible to learn about part-time scholarshipsfrom private sources at websites like Scholarships.com, FastWeb, and Scholly.
What Factors Are Considered When Applying for Financial Aid?First, in order to qualify for federal financial aid, you need to fill out the Free Application for Financial Student Aid (FAFSA). The information from your FAFSA is sent to your schools of choice and is used as the school determines your financial aid package. Additionally, there might be separate applications and forms required by the state, or by the school, to see if you qualify for additional scholarships.
Some of the factors taken into consideration when offering you a package include:
Is It Hard to Get Financial Aid for Part-Time Students?If you’ll be enrolled in school part-time, you might be wondering about your chances of getting financial aid. Fortunately, you will likely have options.
“It’s not hard for part-time students to get financial aid,” said Erin Smith, a former financial aid counselor. “However, the amount you receive is affected by your enrollment. As long as you’re enrolled in six credits, you can at least get federal student loans.”
Smith pointed out that with a federal Pell Grant, you can get help with as little as three credits. The amount you receive, though, is based on your enrollment. You might only receive $762 in Pell Grant money for three credits, but if you’re enrolled full-time, you can receive up to $6,095 for the 2018-19 award year.
Additionally, there might be a smaller pool of financial aid opportunities to choose from. Both Smith and Griffin said that it’s possible to apply for scholarships aimed at part-time students, but they are often small-dollar. You can also check with your school to learn about work-study programs, assistantships, and departmental scholarships.
Part-Time Eligibility for Private Student LoansAs a last resort, part-time college students could borrow using a private student loan. Private student loans are traditionally used by full-time students. However, it is possible to use these loans as a part-time student.
Private student loans are provided by banks and financial institutions like Sallie Mae and Discover Financial Services. Salle Mae offers private student loans for students who are considered half-time and even for students who are “less than half-time.” Discover has financing available for students who are enrolled half-time. At Sallie Mae and Discover, the minimum loan amount available to half-time students is $1,000. To qualify, a part-time student must meet the credit and income requirements set by the financial institution offering the loan.
The college financial aid office must certify the amount of the private student loan. In other words, students are able to borrow up to the school-certified cost of attendance. For part-time students, the school-certified cost of attendance is going to be substantially lower than the full-time cost of attendance.
Author: Miranda Marquit
Miranda Marquit has been writing about money for more than 10 years, and is a nationally-recognized financial expert and journalist. She has appeared on Forbes, NPR, CBNC, Yahoo! Finance, and in many other media outlets, online and offline. Her personal finance blog is Planting Money Seeds, and she is a contributor to the Money Tree Investing Podcast. Miranda lives in Idaho with her teenage son and enjoys the outdoors, travel, and reading.
Our research, news, ratings, and assessments are scrutinized using strict editorial integrity. Our editorial staff does not receive direction from advertisers on our website. Learn more here.
The eight Ivy League institutions have jointly agreed on admission policies, which are enumerated in the Joint Statement for Candidates on Common Ivy Admission Procedure.
Download a copy of the Joint Ivy Statement on Admission Policies
Joint Statement for Candidates on Common Ivy Admission ProcedureThe Ivy League is an association of eight institutions of higher education, established in 1954 primarily for the purpose of fostering amateurism in athletics. Although the Ivy League institutions are similar in many respects, each member institution makes its own independent admission decisions according to its own particular admissions policy.
In that the transition between secondary school and institutions of higher education is complex, the institutions have agreed to simplify the process through more uniform admissions procedures. Below is a summary of the procedures under which we are operating, which are shared to provide prospective students with a better understanding of the proces
1. Timing of Decisions Ivy League institutions mail admission decision letters twice annually, in mid December and late March. Those who wish a decision in December must apply by early to mid-November and complete their applications with supporting materials shortly thereafter. A student may not file more than one Early Decision or Early Action application within the Ivy League.
Only the Admissions Office has the authority to make or communicate an admissions decision. Communications regarding admissions status provided by coaches, whether orally or in writing, do not constitute binding institutional commitments.
3. Financial Aid Policies
Princeton University Main Site
Twitter Facebook Instagram YoutubeThe Office of Admission resides within the Office of the Dean of the College
© 2019 The Trustees of Princeton University
May 8, 2018 – Four Georgetown alumnae are among 30 graduates nationwide selected for the highly competitive Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowship.
Anastasia Burnett (C’15), Stephanie Arzate (SFS’15), Yassitoungou Tamdji (SFS’11) and Anna Jozwik (G’17) will use the fellowship, funded by the U.S. State Department, to pursue master’s degrees and join the the Foreign Service after graduation.
Burnett, a child protective services investigator in Charlottesville, Virginia, plans to return to Georgetown in the fall to use her fellowship toward a Master of Science in Foreign Service with a focus on global politics and security.
‘HOYAS FOR OTHERS’The daughter of a disabled Gulf War veteran, the alumna also has worked with Stop Soldier Suicide and the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants in Raleigh, North Carolina.
“I love our school’s motto of living as Hoyas for others,” says Burnett. “It’s one of the main reasons I went on to study social work. I need to feel as if my job is providing me with opportunities to concretely help people.”
Growing up in a Muslim community in Raleigh, North Carolina, she says her background influenced her interest in diplomacy.
“My experiences and those of my community led me to dedicate my career to mitigating the negative effects of armed conflict and, when possible, reducing its existence entirely,” says Burnett, who majored in history at Georgetown.
“It is wonderful to see a College alumna, whose liberal arts education allowed her to develop a deep and well-rounded approach to life, pursue such a meaningful career path. We are truly proud of Anastasia's achievements,” said Christopher Celenza, dean of Georgetown College.
‘GLOBAL CITIZEN’Arzate plans to use the Pickering Fellowship to attend Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies, where she was accepted into the International Development Program.
She currently works as the director of advocacy and strategic communications at Women LEAD Nepal, an organization devoted to women’s leadership and professional development based in Kathmandu, Nepal.
A first-generation college student, Arzate was born in Chicago to immigrant parents.
“Growing up as an American of Mexican descent, my life oscillated between two different cultures,” says Arzate, a culture and politics major, “but Georgetown exposed me to a much bigger world and instilled in me a deep sense of what it means to be a global citizen.”
While at Women LEAD Nepal, founded by two Georgetown alumni, Claire Naylor (SFS '11) and Claire Charamnac (SFS '11), the alumna learned from passionate local leaders.
“I want to change the idea of what it means to be American,” says Arzate. “As the daughter of two Mexican immigrants, I hope I can show the world that the diversity of the United States is what makes it so strong as a country.”
INSTILLING PASSIONWhile at Georgetown, Arzate had several internships centered around women’s rights and a research fellowship at Georgetown’s Institute for the Study of Diplomacy.
“I do not think I would have applied to Pickering if it had not been for Georgetown,” Arzate says. “My time at Georgetown instilled in me a passion for public service and taught me the importance of being women and men for others.”
She and other Pickering Fellows, past and present, have received support from the Georgetown Office of Fellowships, Awards and Resources.
The office provides guidance and support to students and alumni pursuing a broad range of merit-based fellowships, scholarships and awards for domestic and international study, research and professional development.
Over the past decade, more than 25 Georgetown alumni have received the Pickering Fellowship.
FOREIGN SERVICE DIVERSITYTamdji, a project manager for leadership and professional development at a nonprofit management consulting firm in New York, plans to use her Pickering Fellowship to attend Tufts University’s Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.
“Georgetown influenced me and shaped my focus through exposing me and preparing me for careers in international affairs,” says Tamdji, an international politics and African studies major at Georgetown. “I learned how to look at the world and global politics with a critical eye, and the School of Foreign Service gave me the tools to begin to craft concrete solutions to complex problems in the world.”
The alumna studied abroad during her junior year at the University of Cape Town in South Africa, where she volunteered with a debate league for South African township youth.
Tamdji returned to South Africa after graduation through the Princeton in Africa Fellowship, which allowed her to work with a Johannesburg nonprofit that helps academically talented, low-income students gain access to high quality public and private high schools.
“I’m honored to contribute to the diversity of the Foreign Service and hope to recruit and encourage others from underrepresented backgrounds to join,” Tamdji says.
FOCUS ON CONFLICT ZONESJozwik received her Master of Science in Foreign Service from Georgetown last spring. She plans to use her fellowship to obtain another master’s degree – this time in Middle East studies with a focus on U.S. foreign policy at The George Washington University.
“My interest and background in foreign service is what attracted me to Georgetown,” Jozwik says. “I appreciated the chance to meet professors and classmates who are internationally aware and understand that we are part of an increasingly global society.”
Jozwik, who was born in Poland and grew up near Chicago, says she became interested in international affairs while studying political science and languages as an undergraduate at Northwestern University.
Before she began her graduate studies, she went back to Poland using a Fulbright Fellowship to study the country’s democratic transitions as an intern with the Polish Constitutional Tribunal.
“Foreign service interests me because I value the opportunities I have enjoyed as an American,” she says. “I would like to share that good fortune by empowering those who have not had the same advantages. I am especially passionate about improving educational opportunities for survivors of conflicts.”
AMBASSADOR CAREER GOALJozwik has studied in the United Arab Emirates as a Rotary Foundation Ambassadorial Scholar and interned with the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees in Syria. The Georgetown alumna later extended her time in Syria to work as a local magazine editor and English language teacher and translator before the outbreak of civil war.
She moved to Lebanon at the end of 2012 to work as a protection officer with the International Rescue Committee’s women’s protection and empowerment program.
“I look forward to starting a career as a public diplomacy foreign service officer to engage with civil society in Arab countries to foster peaceful, democratic transitions and help repair the rifts between the U.S. and the Arab World,” she explains. “My long-term career goal is to become an ambassador.”
CONTINUING THE TRADITIONLast year, Hermila Yifter (SFS’15) received the Pickering Graduate Fellowship and Khadija Mohamud (SFS’17) received the Pickering Undergraduate Fellowship.
“The Pickering Fellowship is essential to attract the brightest students to Foreign Service and to ensure that our global representatives reflect the fabulous diversity of our nation,” said SFS Dean Joel Hellman. “We are proud that Georgetown and SFS students continue the tradition of being women and men for others.”
AP or Dual Credit? Which is Best for High School Students?
Creating the best schedule in high school can be challenging, especially if you are deciding if you should take AP (advanced placement) or Dual Credit courses.
On one hand, thousands of students take the Advanced Placement exams. At the same time, colleges and universities are saying the number of high school students taking Dual Credit courses is increasing- and say that these classes may be more beneficial than the traditional AP courses to some students.
There are two roads a student can take; the first would be AP classes. AP prepares a student to pass an exam to prove their knowledge in college-level course curriculum. A high test score can qualify for college credit. Similarly, Dual Credit will effectively enroll students in college level courses while they are still in high school, allowing them to earn both high school and college credit. The biggest benefit of course, when done the right way, is that many students can reduce countless college credits before they even get to college, i.e. saving one or more semesters of college tuition. The classes are harder, and probably the biggest additional plus to taking AP or Dual Credit courses, would be that a student is in an environment with other students who want to work as hard. However, one should consider the pros and cons of both before making a decision to move forward with either.
Fastweb lists these pros and cons to either decision:
• EnvironmentSometimes it can be hard to motivate yourself in a regular class simply because of the lack of a dedicate mindset in the classroom.
Taking AP classes or Dual Credit classes can be extremely beneficial for the environment alone, as you will be in class with most of the dedicated and hardworking students in your grade.
• Class Rank/GPATaking advanced classes, at some schools, can also benefit your class rank and G.P.A in a positive way if your school is one that weights classes.
For example, I know that in many high schools, AP/Dual Credit classes add an extra ten points to a G.P.A that calculated class rank, and it certainly helped motivate students to take as many advanced classes as possible.
• College CreditProbably the most important benefit to taking college level classes in high school is the opportunity for college credit.
Whether you get automatic credit through a Dual Credit class, or credit by examination in an AP course, it is usually financially beneficial to you to get as many college hours as possible while in high school.
• Class Rank/GPAAlthough you can look at the weighted G.P.A as a benefit, there is also a chance that it wouldn’t be enough of a grade boost to make a difference.
Sometimes, advanced classes are so hard that a regular student can outscore you even with the weighted addition to your grade. That’s an important aspect to keep in mind when making your decision.
• Additional HomeworkIn high school, the difference between outside homework for a regular class and an advanced class can be substantial. The homework is certainly more plentiful, and you will be expected to do more work in a swift manner.
• Transfer of CreditsAnother issue with Dual Credit classes is the possibility of the credits not transferring. If you end up attending an in-state college, the credits from your Dual Credit class will usually transfer. Some highly selective universities will not honor Dual Credit or AP exam scores for college credit.
Regardless of the pros of cons of each, it is highly recommended to pursue AP or Dual Credit courses in high school. The credit earned will often save you a great deal of money in the long run!
Be sure to contact Cash4College, if you have any more questions.
Nadine Underbrink, M.Ed.
The George and Mary Josephine Hamman Foundation was formed on May 20, 1954. The foundation was established to provide assistance to Houston area students who are pursuing higher education. The foundation has given $74.6 million in grants and scholarships in over its 60 years of service to the Houston community. College Rank has named this scholarship one of the best scholarships in Texas; It’s worth taking a look!
Each Spring, the Foundation gives 70 scholarships to high school seniors in the Houston area. The award is $20,000, which is disbursed over four years, provided the student follows the requirements of the scholarship award.
To be eligible for the scholarship:
More guideline information can be found on the scholarship website, including the online application.
The scholarships are awarded based primarily on the applicant’s academic performance and financial need. Those who are selected by the scholarship committee will be contacted and invited for a short, personal interview. Students that were not invited for an interview may assume that they were not chosen.
If you want to talk more about this scholarship, or other scholarship opportunities, please do not hesitate to contact us! At Cash4College, we offer complimentary consultations. All you have to do is ask!
Nadine Underbrink, M. Ed.
Going to college is a huge step in a young adult’s life. It is the step he or she is making into their adulthood, and their success means everything. College is also one of the most expensive ventures she will be making. It could mean many many years of debt, or if you’re diligent, little to no debt at all.
In this blog post we will be focusing on one of the most generous scholarships you can obtain within Texas: The Terry Scholarship
The Terry Scholarship
The Terry Foundation Scholarship is awarded to college freshman who are Texas high school graduates. There is also a scholarship award called the Terry Transfer Foundation Scholarship which is given to non-traditional transfer students from Texas.
What the Terry Scholarship is intended to provide is a scholarship up to a full ride to outstanding students from Texas.
Who are the Terry Foundation?
Howard and Nancy Terry are long-time residents of Houston. Mr. Terry is a successful business man in a variety of industries, including banking, oil and gas. In 1986, the Terry family decided to give back and decided to help young people by setting up a scholarship foundation. Mr. Terry was always grateful for the financial assistance that enabled him to attend college, so to pay it forward, he and Mrs. Terry dedicate their time and resources to help future generations of students in Texas the same opportunity that he had.
The Terry Scholarship comes from Texas Longhorn roots. Howard Terry holds a BBA from the University of Texas, graduating in 1938. Terry is a self-made businessman and had a football scholarship to UT. He once said that receiving this scholarship was one of the most important moments in his life.
In the spirit of paying it forward, the Terry Scholarship offers exceptional Texas high school graduates and transfer students assistance to cover tuition, books and living costs. The goal is to help the students graduate without any debt.
The Terry Foundation’s goal is to foster enterprise by “helping Texas college students to help themselves.”
Terry Scholarship Qualifications
Click here for the full list of requirements.
Like any other scholarship, there is a deadline to apply!
For the next academic year, the deadline to apply for the Terry Scholarship is January 2, 2018.
Click here to read common questions about the Terry Scholarships.
If you want to talk more about this scholarship, or other scholarship opportunities, please do not hesitate to contact us! At Cash4College, we offer complimentary consultations. All you have to do is ask!
Nadine Underbrink, M. Ed.
If you have seen any popular movies in the past two decades about college life, chances are they took place at an Ivy League school. All of them showcase very bright, quirky and strange characters that live inside the walls of the highly respected institutions. Ivy League schools are highly prestigious and considered the highest level of all colleges within the United States.
How the Ivy League Came About
The term “Ivy League” is a bit of a mystery. Although the Ivy League has become known for its rigorous academics, prestige and old, historic buildings, the history of the term is surprisingly unknown.
There are several theories to how this term came about, but it is widely believed that the term was introduced in 1954, when the NCAA athletic conference for Division 1 was formed. And, the term itself simply occurred by accident when a sports writer of the time coined the phrase based on the ivy-covered historic buildings that the majority of universities had!
The eight, highly competitive universities that exist in today’s Ivy League division are:
1. Harvard University
2. Yale University
3. Princeton University
4. Columbia University
5. Brown University
6. Dartmouth College
7. University of Pennsylvania
8. Cornell University
* Stanford, M.I.T. , and Caltech are not techincally Ivy League universities but have the same reputation.
These universities athletic teams, in their competition and achievement generated more endowments, funding and popularity, therefore the admission requirements for the schools became more rigorous and demanding. So, as a result, these schools began to produce graduates of high academic excellence, prestige and very promising careers.
Should You Care About the Ivy League?
Most college applicants are likely to be attracted to the Ivy League based on many reasons. The main reason is that it is no secret that these schools attract the upper echelon of professors, staff and students for professional careers like law, medicine, engineering and business. You can count on many doors to be opened for you should you earn a degree from one of these universities.
However, these schools also tend to be the most expensive schools in the U.S. with their tuition rates per year averaging between $55,000 and $60,000 per year. These universities do offer scholarships, but only to qualified students.
What You Should Know Before You Apply to an Ivy League University
Admission to these schools is extremely competitive. If your goal is to run for office someday, or be the head of a major corporation, then these schools have a history of graduating highly successful and accomplished students.
However, know to be accepted, students must achieve much higher standards than they would of other average universities. You should always first check what the requirements of these schools, including SAT, ACT scores, as well as your GPA, and also extra-curricular activities and achievements. They tend to be VERY competitive!
Finally, keep in mind that there are THOUSANDS of universities in the United States that have high ranks and much lower tuition costs. Though your dream may be to attend an Ivy League university, you should really seek out the perfect fit for your personal needs.
Cash4College offers complimentary consultations. Our consultants will analyze your student profile and help you strategically plan your college admission plan. On your complimentary call, we will give you at least one compatible university with a guaranteed scholarship opportunity.
As you begin the college application process, you might be wondering which test, the ACT and/or the SAT ?
There is a common myth that the elite colleges prefer the SAT over the ACT. This is not true. Colleges that require standardized testing scores will accept the ACT and SAT equally, so picking the test that you will perform the best will be one of, if not the most important factor in your admission chances. If you want to complete a competitive college application, then you will need high test scores. And if you want high scores, you should choose the right test for you or your student.
If you’re not sure which test your child would prefer or perform the best, you should consider the key differences between the two.
However, keep this in mind: You should focus your efforts on taking ONE test. You will not get extra points for taking both tests, and you will only hurt yourself if you try.
The reality is that the SAT and ACT have more in common than they do differences. A new version of the SAT was launched in March 2016 and is essentially a copy of the ACT. Both tests cover the same material, and the formatting is basically the same. You will be tested on math, English, and reading comprehension. The tests will take between 3 and 4 hours to complete.
A few key differences;
Which Test Should You Choose?
As we stated above, almost all colleges will accept either test score. Just remember that college applications are more about how you scored COMPARED to others, not the actual score itself. The tests are graded on a curve. The performance is based on a scale, meaning your final score is based on how you did compared to everyone else.
Green Test Prep gives excellent advice to help you make the decision of which test to take so you can focus on preparing for it:
1. Grab a copy of both tests. You can either buy the Official College Board Manual and the The Official ACT Prep Guide , or you can find a free copies of the New SAT and a free copy of the ACT online.
2. Spend an hour looking at each test (including its rules for each section, its format, and its problems) and see which one you like best. I’ve never had a student that was neutral on this issue. Most students love the SAT and hate the ACT or vice versa.
3. Start prepping and focus on the test you like the most.
Bottom line is you WILL need to decide between the SAT and the ACT. Be sure to do this soon ,so you’ll be on your way to testing greatness!
The Southwestern Experience is different, yet similar for each of our students.
We encourage students to fully embrace the liberal arts and Paideia curriculum, which primes our students to become well-rounded academics and prepares our graduates for a successful career and personal life.
In this video, we introduce you senior Brandon Baker’s Southwestern Story who explains how his Southwestern Experience made for unforgettable college journey that helped him make connections and build strong professor relationships and lifelong friendships.
FAFSA Opens October 1st!
This is the time of year when we talk about is FAFSA.
Have you heard of it? If you’re applying to college, you should know about it.
What is FAFSA?
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a form that can be prepared annually by both current and prospective college students in the United States. This form is mainly used to determine a student’s eligibility for student financial aid. (source)
Federal Student Aid, which is a part of the U.S. Department of Education, is the largest provider of student financial aid in the nation. They provide more than $120 billion in federal student aid each year to help pay for college or other career school(s).
Check out this video and be taken through the basics of FAFSA.
Who is Eligible?
Almost every student can qualify for some form of student aid. You may think that even if your family income is high that you would not have a chance for a scholarship. While this is maybe true of need-based scholarships, you may be eligible for performance based scholarships also known as merit-based scholarships and/or other loans (such as the Stafford Loan) !
Your eligibility for federal grants (grants do not have to be repaid) and loans (loans have to be repaid) is usually based on your financial need. Your need will be based on what information you submit on your FAFSA form.
Most colleges, state scholarship agencies and foundations will use the information on the FAFSA when they are choosing their scholarship recipients, as well as how much they may receive. This means, that even if your family’s income puts you out of reach for a need-based scholarship, it will still be worth completing the form. In fact, many colleges and universities, require the FAFSA to offer even merit-based scholarships.
Important: When you file a FAFSA form, it will automatically qualify you for low cost federal student loans of at least $5,500 a year.
A student who can meet all of the following criteria may be eligible for aid: (Source)
Where Can You Find the FAFSA?
Most families will fill out their FAFSA online. This is the best option because it includes step-by-step instructions and it also contains pre-application worksheets that will help you through the process.
Filing your FAFSA online will offer several benefits like:
How Can I Preview My Eligibility?
FinAid’s Financial Aid Estimation Form may be used to calculate your EFC and an estimate of your eligibility for financial aid. This may help you understand a bit about how the federal need analysis system works. You can also run “what-if” experiments to see how much aid you’ll get under various scenarios. FinAid also has a QuickEFC calculator that uses much fewer questions to yield a ballpark estimate of your EFC. (1)(2)
Where Do You Begin? How Cash4College Can Help.
Understandably, you may worry about the cost of a college education. Many parents believe that their son or daughter will not qualify for a scholarship. However, that is not true. The key is finding the right type of scholarship(s). Some scholarships are given for academic achievement or athletic accomplishments; others are given because of volunteer work, ethnic or religious ties, etc… While most parents are worried about the potential debt, they can manage this challenge. A Cash4College counselor will provide parents all financial information to make good choices to identify institutional, college and foundation scholarships along with grants.
Contact Us Today for a Free Consultation !
Nadine Underbrink, M.Ed.