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Is it better to have a full-time job in your general career path and go to college part-time, or go to college full-time to get my degree first, but have a lower tier job?

Question:

Is it better to have a full-time job in your general career path and go to college part-time, or go to college full-time to get my degree first, but have a lower tier job?

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Answer:

The answer to this question is really more complicated than it ought to be, but with financial aid and so many other contributing factors, is a very important question to consider.

The key benefit of part-time college and full-time work is obvious: less money in loans. Although college is still very expensive and taking out some loans may still be required, they will be significantly less than many other students. But, it's also worth noting that as a part-time student, you are not eligible for as much federal aid as full-time students are and the amount you work will affect this, too.

On the other hand, completing college full-time will make you eligible for more financial assistance and will get you through your degree faster. And some experts say that taking to long to get your degree can hurt you in the long run. So there's some perks and pitfalls for each, and either way, your schedule is going to be very busy, and having the right one picked out can save you a lot of grief in the future.

For more information on factors that can affect degree completion times, check out this article How Many Years Does it Take to Finish a Bachelor's Degree?

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