I know that when my buddy started school at a tech college here in MN he wasn't able to pay all the money up front.
He comes from a family that is financially stressed (dad is scyzo (SP?)) and the only income at the time was his paper route and pt job bouncing at a night club (he now manages the place) and his mom basically did what she could at home to be there for her husband.
My buddy was told by the school that they never make people pay for everything up front, except in extreme cases. I can't remember exactly how long they allowed for payment, but I know it was well into the semester before it had to be payed up.
Good luck -going back to school is a good choice -just don't ruin your oppertunity with bad choices (i.e. partying and too much time on BC when you should be studying LOL).