Why Students Go to School in the Summer
Some students use the summer to get away from school for a while and get ready for the next semester. Others use summer courses to make up for classes they didn’t do well in, finish up electives, or get ahead so they can graduate earlier. If you graduate early, taking summer classes can help you save money on room and board in the long run. It could also mean that you can start working full-time sooner and make more money.
You already know how much money you’ll need for the fall and spring semesters. Now that you know why you should go to a summer session, you might be wondering what you can do to pay for those extra summer classes. Will you have time to get a job this summer? Can you get money to pay for summer school? Do you know if there are scholarships?
Here are some ways college students can pay for a summer session:
1. Fill out the FAFSA to get money for the summer.
If you are wondering, “Does FAFSA pay for summer classes?” the answer may surprise you in a good way. Yes, you may be able to get federal financial aid for summer classes if you haven’t already taken the most you can for the academic year and if you’ll be taking at least half time during the summer session. Your FAFSA is the first step, and your school decides which FAFSA application they will use for the summer session. If you already filled out an FAFSA for the fall/spring semester, you might not need to fill out a new one for the summer. Just call the financial aid office at your school to find out which FAFSA you need for federal summer aid.
2. Look into jobs and internships for the summer.
If you plan to go to school during the summer, it will be hard to get a full-time job. But since summer sessions are usually less busy than other semesters, you might be able to fit a part-time job into your schedule. As long as you don’t take on too much and it doesn’t get in the way of your studies, a part-time summer job can be a great way to pay for the summer session and get real-world experience at the same time. You might even be able to find a job or work-study position on campus.
You could also look for a paid internship. You will not only get college credit, but you will also make some money. This can help you pay off or even get ahead of your college costs for the summer.
3. Look for summer classes that are free.
Some scholarships are available all year long, and there are no rules about which semesters they can be used for. Whether you’ve gotten money from a scholarship before or this is your first time applying, it’s a good idea to try for one if you’re thinking about a summer session. There are many great online tools that can help you look through thousands of scholarships at once.
4. Find out about summer grants.
There are many ways for students to get money to pay for summer classes. Doing a quick search on the Internet is a great way to see what you can do. Some are given by individual universities, while others are given by the state (Pennsylvania, for instance, has a summer grant program).
5. Think about taking summer classes at another school.
You might want to take summer classes at a different school, like a community college nearby. As long as you can transfer the credits to your full-time school and use them toward your degree, this could help you save money on tuition and finish your degree faster. You could even broaden your search to include online classes. Just make sure you know exactly how the credits will move and what you need to do to make that happen. You don’t want to waste time and money on classes that won’t help you reach your goal of graduating.
6. If you want to take summer classes, apply for a private student loan.
College Ave Student Loans may be able to help you pay for your summer session if you’ve already used up your federal student loan limit for the year. We offer private student loans that you can change to fit your needs. Find out more about the student loans we offer and start the application process right away.
Can you get money to pay for summer school?
Does FAFSA pay for classes in the summer?
Yes, it’s possible that you could get money to pay for your summer classes. Most of the time, federal financial aid (which you can get by filling out the FAFSA) and student loans work the same way during the summer as they do during the school year. No matter what semester it is, there are certain requirements you must meet to be eligible for federal student loans.
Here’s what you need to know about taking summer classes with financial aid:
Using FAFSA for Summer Aid
Filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid is the only way to get federal money for summer school (FAFSA). It’s the most important thing you can do when you’re trying to figure out how to pay for college. The FAFSA will tell you if you qualify for financial aid for the whole school year, including summer classes.
If you already filled out an FAFSA for the fall/spring semester, you might not need to fill out a new one for the summer. Which FAFSA application your school uses for summer classes depends on the school itself. For example, you may have filled out an application for the 2021-2022 school year, but if you start classes in August 2022, that may put you in the 2022-2023 school year, depending on the schedule at your school. It’s best to ask the financial aid office at your school if you’ve already filled out the right form.
If you do need to fill out the FAFSA again, you can check the FAFSA website for information about deadlines, how to fill out the form, and any news.
Deadlines for the federal government in 2022 and 2023: Online applications must be sent in by June 30, 2022, at 11:59 p.m. Central Time (CT). Any changes or corrections must be sent in by Sept. 11, 2022, at 11:59 p.m. CT.
2022-2023 School Year: Online applications must be sent by June 30, 2023, at 11:59 p.m. Central Time (CT). Updates that need to be fixed must be sent in by 11:59 p.m. CT on September 10, 2023.
There might be a different deadline for each college or career school. Ask your school how it decides when an application is due, whether it’s when the school gets your FAFSA form or when it’s processed.
Varies by state.
How to Get Financial Aid for Summer Term
After you fill out the FAFSA, other things that may be more important for the summer session will be used to decide if you are eligible. To be eligible for federal loans for summer classes, you must be taking at least half-time, which is usually six credits. Again, you should check with your school to make sure you have enough credits to be considered half-time.
There are also limits on how much money you can get from the government. When you get your financial aid letter, which will likely be right before the fall semester starts, it will tell you how much money you can get. As a first-year student, most people can borrow between $5,500 and $7,500 per year and up to $31,000 in federal student loans in total. Graduate students can borrow up to $20,500 per year and a total of $138,500 in Unsubsidized Direct loans. If they need more money, they can take out Direct PLUS loans. The amount you can borrow depends on how many years you are in school, how much your school costs, and other things like whether or not you are a dependent. The important thing to remember is that these are annual limits that cover the fall, spring, winter, and summer sessions.
The same rule applies to grants and scholarships. If you already used all of your financial aid for the spring and fall semesters, you might not have any left for the summer. For example, if you qualify for a Pell Grant, the most you can get each year is $6,195. Once you’ve paid for the school year with that amount, you won’t have any left to pay for the summer session.
The National Student Loan Data System is a great way to find out how much federal aid you’ve used in a given year and if you still have any left. The financial aid office at your school is another important place to go. Before you decide to take a summer class, do your research and talk to the right people to figure out how to pay for it. If you do it right, you can get ahead in school without worrying too much about how much it will cost.