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Home » Federal Aid, Saving for College

Advice for Full-Time College Students

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Plan ahead. The Pell Grant is paid on a pro-rated basis.

If you are attending a four-year college or university, they may require you to attend full-time, but most community colleges leave the enrollment decision to the individual students.

Research has shown that students who attend full-time are usually more successful in their studies. This may be the result of seeing quicker progress toward their academic goal or being more engaged in the academic community. Whatever the reason there are a couple of important caveats.

  1. Don’t enroll full-time if you are working full-time.
  2. Don’t lose hundreds of dollars because you didn’t read the chart!

College students are expected to complete one to three hours of homework for every hour they are in class. That means if you do the average two hours of homework and you are enrolled full-time (12 units at most schools) you should be doing 24 hours of homework a week in addition to the 12 hours of class time.  That is a full-time job. Sit down and complete a time management budget, just like you would do a monetary budget.

Number of hours in a week = 7 days a week * 24= 168 hours. That is ALL you have to spend. Here is an example of how to calculate your time budget. Adjust it accordingly if you sleep more or travel longer.

7×8 hours of sleep = 56 hours

Class time = 12 hours

Homework = 24 hours minimum

Eating .5 x 3 x 7 = 10.5 hours

Shower/teeth = 7 hours

Transportation = 10.5 hours

MISC. = 7 hours (grocery shopping, pumping gas, hair cut etc)

Total Hours 127

These are the bare minimums for many of these activities. If you add in going to church, taking a walk or playing with your children you can see how the hours add up. If you add a 40 hour a week job to the list you will have no time for a movie, a leisurely cup of coffee or a video game-unless of course you take time from the homework hours or the sleep hours. Cutting either of those activities will put your college grades in jeopardy.

There are a couple of ways to supplement your income without working full-time. You can request a work study job. You could borrow a student loan. I’ll give you more on that in the next blog. Take a serious look at the time you have.

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