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Courses Counting Toward Degree

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This page is designed to assist you with your questions on the federal Courses Counting Toward Degree requirements. Your financial aid will be calculated based only on the number of hours for which you are enrolled and count toward your degree.

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What is the Courses Counting requirement?

As a financial aid recipient, the federal government requires that your aid eligibility only be based on those courses that count toward the completion of your degree. So to be considered a full-time student for financial aid purposes, you would want to enroll in 12 credit hours as an undergraduate (or 9 credit hours as a graduate) that count toward your degree. Remember, to be eligible for most financial aid, you only need to be enrolled at least half-time (6 hours for undergraduates and 5 hours for graduates).

In how many hours do I need to enroll?

As a financial aid recipient, we encourage you to only take the courses that count toward the completion of your degree. However, to be considered a full-time student for financial aid purposes, you would want to enroll in at least 12 credit hours as an undergraduate (or 9 credit hours as a graduate) that count toward your degree. Remember, to be eligible for most financial aid, you only need to be enrolled at least half-time (6 hours for undergraduates and 5 hours for graduates).

How does going from full-time to half-time affect my financial aid?

The Cost of Attendance, or COA, is the combination of your expected direct and indirect educational costs. This total is used to determine the maximum amount of aid that you can receive. A COA is required by the federal government to ensure tax-payer funded financial assistance does not exceed a student’s educational costs.

So if you go from full-time to half-time status, you will not be paying as much for certain expenses. Since you are not incurring the full-time costs of tuition and fees as well as books and supplies, that part of your COA is reduced as shown in the example below. However, your other educational costs such as room and board are not adjusted.

2017-2018 Cost of Attendance for Undergraduate, Resident Students
Component Full-time
(12+ Hours)
Half-time
(6 to 8 Hours)
Tuition and Fees $10,620 $6,140
Books and Supplies $770 $384
Room and Board $9,490 $9,490
Personal Items $1,570 $1,570
Transportation $810 $810
Total $23,260 $18,394

What if a course is not being counted for my aid eligibility, but I believe it counts toward my degree?

Your financial aid will be calculated based only on the number of hours for which you are enrolled and count toward your degree. You should always reference your degree audit and course catalog as to what courses count toward your degree. If you believe a course does count toward your degree but is not being counted as a financial aid eligible course, contact your academic advising center as follows:

What if I don’t know whether a course counts toward my degree?

You should always reference your degree audit and course catalog as to what courses count toward your degree. For specific questions about whether a course counts toward your degree, contact your academic advising center as follows:

Are the courses in an exploratory major aid eligible?

Yes, but only those courses within the Uniform Undergraduate Degree requirements listed in the catalog or your core curriculum requirements (as defined in your degree audit) are considered aid eligible.

Do minor courses count toward my degree?

Yes. However, for your minor to be aid eligible, you must declare your minor prior to completing all of the coursework required for your degree.

Is my prerequisite course aid eligible?

Even if the prerequisite course is not defined as a remedial course by the institution, the prerequisite course could be considered remedial on a case-by-case basis depending on whether you need the course to progress toward your degree. If so, the course would be aid eligible.

Is a remedial course eligible for aid?

Courses such as remedial math and English that prepare you for college can be considered aid eligible if you are enrolled as a regular student in an eligible program.

What if I am retaking a course?

You are allowed to repeat a previously passed course that counts towards your degree once. Second and subsequent repeats of previously passed course are not financial aid eligible. The only exception is for courses that are required to be taken multiple times (using the same course number throughout a degree program) and where the content is different each time it is taken.

What about a study abroad or independent study course?

As with any other course, the study abroad or independent study course must count toward your degree to be aid eligible.

What if I drop all the courses counting toward my degree but remain enrolled in other courses?

Only courses that count toward your degree are considered aid eligible. If you drop all the courses that count toward your degree and remain enrolled in only courses that do not count toward your degree, you may be required to repay all or a portion of your financial aid.