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The Dividing Line Between Part-Time, Full-Time Students

March 15, 2021

Bell Tower icon surrounded by text that reads Say What? Learning the lingoLearning, of course, is the goal of any college experience. Part of that education means familiarizing yourself with some unfamiliar terms. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

As part of an occasional series, we’ll explain phrases, lingo or topics to add to your college vocabulary. We call it “Say What?” If there’s a topic you’d like to see covered, please send suggestions to

Today we’ll learn the difference between a full-time student and a part-time student.

Whether you are classified as a full-time student or a part-time student at Schoolcraft College comes down to how many credit hours you have.

  • Full-time: Someone enrolled in 12 or more credit hours per semester.
  • Part-time: Someone enrolled in fewer than 12 credit hours per semester.

At Schoolcraft College, about 76% of our students are classified as part-time students, with the remaining 24% classified as full-time students.

What’s a credit hour?

A credit hour is a unit of measurement for the instruction you receive. In general, students receive one hour of credit for each hour required in class per week during a 15-week semester. Keep in mind that classes with labs, such as sciences, or other courses may require additional in-class or out-of-class hours. Check with your academic advisor for more information.

Why is my status important?

Just about all financial aid is tied to whether a student is considered full-time or part-time. So if you’re a full-time student and you’re receiving financial aid based on that, it’s important to maintain that status for the semester. Otherwise, your aid could be reduced.