A full-time student is defined as a student who takes 12 or more credit hours per semester, which equates to 4 or more classes.
Full-Time Students and Work
Being a full-time student offers little time to work or take care of family responsibilities. Generally speaking, for each class taken, a student spends 2-3 hours per week studying. So, if you’re taking 5 classes, that means you’ll be studying at least 10-15 hours per week to keep up with course material and complete homework.
Full-Time Scholarships and Financial Aid
Taking classes full-time opens the door to more scholarships and federal financial aid. Many scholarships require students to take classes full-time in order to qualify. Federal aid is awarded based on need, but student status is also factored into the award amount.
For example, you could be taking a full-time course load and be offered $5,000 in financial aid. But, as a part-time student taking 2 classes, your financial aid offer could be significantly less aid if you’re awarded any money at all.
The difference is because the financial strain doesn’t seem as much as it would be for a full-time student unable to also hold a full-time job.
Making the decision to attend college full-time is a big commitment. You’ll need to effectively manage your time and stay determined to complete your courses.