A four-year degree can help your career immensely, but everyone can't go to college full-time.

Andrew Rich/Getty Images

Graduating from college can help you achieve the American dream. Armed with a four-year degree, you can land a better job and earn a higher salary [source: Funding Education Beyond High School]. Unfortunately, everyone can't afford a college education, which today can cost upwards of $35,000 a year [source: CollegeBoard]. Fortunately, a number of financial aid programs are available, both from the government and private organizations, to assist students who need help paying for college.

But what if you can only go to college part-time? Just because you can't go to college full-time due to family or work obligations doesn't mean you have to give up on the college dream. Many of the same types of financial aid -- loans, grants, scholarships and work-study programs -- that are available to full-time students are also accessible to part-time students.

However, some restrictions and stipulations apply. Often, students must be enrolled at least half-time (which for many colleges works out to a minimum of six credit hours per term) to qualify for certain loans, grants and other financial-aid programs. They also need to be doing well academically and must demonstrate financial need. Part-time students who are granted financial aid typically won't get as much money as students enrolled full-time. How much they do get depends on the number of credit hours for which they are enrolled.

In this article, you'll learn what financial aid options are available for part-time students, and find some helpful links to get you started on the application process.