Courses in Program of Study for Financial Aid

Your enrollment does affect your eligibility for federal financial aid.


Federal Regulations require you to be “degree” or “eligible certificate” seeking to receive financial aid, but the courses you take must also be required for the program. Essentially, only the coursework that counts towards your degree will be used in determining your hours of enrollment for federal aid purposes (grants, loans, and Federal Work-Study).

Want to know if they count?

To see if your classes are eligible, check your DegreeCheck audit. DegreeCheck is a great way for you to review your program audit to see required courses and courses remaining to complete your program! Our Counselors in the Counseling department can also meet with you one-on-one to map out your program plan.

What can I do if my classes don’t count?

Start early and be familiar with your DegreeCheck audit, so you can make enrollment adjustments. You can also use the “What If” feature to check other degrees or certificates you may be considering. If you are planning on changing your enrollment or program of study, we encourage you to contact a Counselor for assistance. Please allow 24 hours for financial aid eligibility adjustments to be made after any schedule changes.

What about electives and developmental courses?

Electives can be eligible, provided they are specified for your program and you still need them. Developmental or remedial courses will be eligible, as required, up to the maximum 30 credit hour limit. English as a Second Language (ESL) courses are considered remedial, but do not count in this limit.

Can my prerequisite count?

If the prerequisite is listed as a required course for your program, the course will be eligible.

What if I am taking courses just to be admitted to another program or institution?

We would encourage you to contact a Counselor for assistance. We may review your situation for consideration as “preparatory coursework.” Through preparatory coursework, students may be eligible for federal loans while taking required courses within the approved timeframe.

Am I still able to take courses not required for my degree?

Yes, you can take a course that is not required. Just know that the course will not count toward your financial aid enrollment status.

What if I make a change to my schedule after I receive my refund?

Our office may need to re-evaluate your financial aid file, depending on when the schedule change occurs. We would encourage you to contact a Counselor and our office prior to making any schedule changes after a semester begins. Schedule changes could affect the amount awarded or disbursed, causing a student to owe a balance.

Eligibility Examples:

If you are eligible for the Pell Grant and are enrolled in 12 credit hours, but only 9 are required for your program, you will receive federal aid for only those 9 eligible hours.
If you are enrolled in 6 credit hours, but only 3 are required for your program, you will not be eligible for the student loan. Students must be enrolled in a minimum of 6 eligible hours for Federal Direct loans.

Prepare and register early to ensure your courses will be eligible for federal aid!