Government programs aren't the only source of financial aid for college. Schools and private organizations also offer programs to help part-time students afford higher education.
- Scholarships and awards. Many colleges and universities have their own scholarships and special awards. Corporations, associations and foundations have also established scholarship programs to reward deserving students. Scholarships are awarded for academics, athletics, disabilities, essays and many other qualifications. A number of these programs are available to part-time students who demonstrate financial need or merit in a particular area. Part-time students are usually required to enroll in a minimum number of hours per term (which can vary based on the scholarship). Interested students can search for scholarships online to find out which ones are available to part-timers.
- Private loans. If students can't find the right government loan, grant or scholarship, they can look into getting a private loan through a bank or other lending institution. These consumer loans can be used to pay for tuition, room and board, books and other college expenses. Unlike federal student loans, the interest rates on private loans are variable, which means they can go up. Private loans also typically require a credit check and co-signer. However, they usually have higher borrowing limits than government loans.
- Employer reimbursement. Some companies will pay all or part of tuition costs for their employees. The company benefits from increasing the knowledge and skills of its employees. Sometimes colleges will allow students who are being reimbursed to defer their tuition payments until they receive payment from their employer.