Don't Quit Your Day Job -- Study Part Time

By Susan Aaron, The Learning Coach

September 03, 2008

Don't Quit Your Day Job -- Study Part Time Don't Quit Your Day Job -- Study Part Time

Less Financial Strain

Paying tuition and other educational expenses is tough. Covering living expenses too is even tougher. Part-time students:

  • Don’t have such hefty loans. Working students don’t have to add cost of living to their loan debt. That’s less money to pay back with interest.
  • Don’t have to make drastic lifestyle changes. Once you’ve allowed yourself to eat something other than peanut butter sandwiches every night, it’s hard to go back to the student lifestyle.
  • Have funds to cover the surprises. Need new software for a statistics class? Need a better computer? Need to attend a conference 3,000 miles away? Unplanned expenses are always a risk when figuring a semester’s finances.

Less Taxing

There are loads of tax incentives to support continued education. If you go back to school full-time, however, you won’t have as much income to tax, and therefore less ability to take advantage of tax savings, such as:

  • Can reduce the amount of taxes you pay in a year by up to $1,500 during the first two years of study in recognized programs.
  • Allows qualified individuals to receive a tax credit for up to 20 percent of the first $10,000 of qualified education expenses for a potential maximum credit of $2,000.
  • Work-related educational expenses are not taxed so long as what you are learning supports the work you are currently doing. To earn the deduction you must be working.

  • Working students have always been a part of the education market, and learning institutions now serve their needs as never before. Night and weekend programs are plentiful, and it’s often the best option — financially and educationally.

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