While many students (especially those that work) desire it, it’s not that they don’t qualify, but rather are unwilling to cooperate with the regulations for receiving interest-free school loans. What does that mean you ask? In other words, if students (working or not) are willing to somehow pay off their student loans while still in school, they increase the likelihood tenfold that they can pay off their loans and face nearly a 0% interest-rate as long as they stay on top of it.
Private v. Government Loans
While private lenders such as Sallie Mae may completely do away with the possibility altogether of receiving interest-reduced or interest free rates for a school loan, government entities work very differently in comparison.
Government loans, such as subsidized and unsubsidized Stafford loans for example, will allow students to pay off their school loans in advance of facing interest-rates through various platforms or payment agreements. In fact, as a courtesy, and mutually beneficial dynamic, the U.S. government student loan-service often will send its students reminders of how and why they can or should pay off their loans early—explicitly identifying how much money can be saved and how.
The Value of a Co-Signer
Lastly, it’s often missed or not considered that when you apply for private loans in particular with a co-signer or through a different individual altogether on your behalf, the likelihood of receiving interest free or at least reduced interest on your school loans increases substantially.
Many students—especially those in more demanding or advanced programs—cannot psychologically or physically afford to work and study, or be in two places at once. Due to this, the likelihood of them being able to pay off or avoid interest rates effectively is dramatically reduced.
On a final note, and it’s frequently recommended by the U.S. government student-loan lending service, consider minimizing your overall student debt and interest penalties by only taking out what you need each semester—to include or exclude living costs, which is of course ultimately your decision.