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Full-time student benefits, even for part-time students

Students switching from full- to part-time are more likely to graduate in timely manner
University Business, June 2017

It’s known that full-time students graduate more quickly and more often than do their part-time counterparts. But what about students who fluctuate between full- and part-time status? A new report shares the positive effects of attending community college full-time, even if only for one semester.

Students who do so are more likely to use campus services, create and maintain peer relationships, and graduate in a timely manner (even if they later switch to part-time status), according to a report from the Center for Community College Engagement at The University of Texas at Austin.

While many post-traditional students would like to enroll full-time, family and work obligations often convince them they cannot, says Evelyn Waiwaiole, the center’s executive director.

“It’s important to ask how we can help with momentum and the credit hours needed to graduate on time,” she says.

This may include encouraging students to attempt even one semester of full-time coursework—particularly their first semester. These students may be more apt to use advisors and other support services while acclimating to campus life and academic expectations, says Waiwaiole.

States also incentivize students to attempt a full-time course load. West Virginia now charges a flat fee for full-time tuition, whether students take 12 credits or more.

CUNY’s Accelerated Study in Associate Programs offers structured course enrollment and comprehensive supports for full-time students. Participants can access high-touch advising and tutoring, and receive additional financial aid through tuition waivers, textbook vouchers and monthly MetroCards for transportation.

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