Your enrollment status is determined based on the number of credits you are enrolled in which are part of your program of study (CPoS). For undergraduate students, full-time is defined as 12 credit hours; 3/4-time is 9 credit hours; half-time is 6 credit hours; and less-than-half-time is less than 6 credit hours. Only courses which are part of your degree program can be included in determining your enrollment status for financial aid. Your enrollment status is used to determine your Cost of Attendance for the award year.
For graduate and professional students, your full-time, half-time, and less-than-half-time status is determined based on the program you are enrolled in and can be found in the University catalog.
Coursework toward Program of Study (CPoS)
Coursework toward Program of Study (CPoS) refers to the courses you are taking toward your degree program. Federal financial aid regulations dictate that only courses that apply to your degree program can be included in calculating your federal aid eligibility. If you enroll in classes that are not part of your eligible Program of Study (degree program), your aid may be reduced.
Only courses required for degree completion can be used to determine your eligibility for federal financial aid programs, such as grants, work-study, and loans, and your enrollment status (full-time, half-time, etc.).
Why is this important?
Taking courses that are not required to complete your degree could result in receiving less or no federal aid or owing money back. Taking classes that are not in your CPoS for your officially declared major or minor (if required for the program) may result in a reduction to your overall financial aid.
**Courses that are not eligible cannot be counted toward your full-time enrollment status.**
The full-time cost of attendance (COA) requirement states that undergraduate students must be enrolled in at least 12 eligible hours for full-time financial aid.
For example, if only 9 of your 12 hours are in your CPoS, your enrollment status will reflect you are not a full-time student (9 hours = 3/4-time enrollment status). Your COA and financial aid will be updated based on your 3/4-time enrollment status, which could reduce your federal, state, and institutional scholarships. Remember, financial aid cannot be awarded in excess of your specific cost of attendance.
- The minor must be required for the degree program; or
- The minor can be completed with general electives; or
- With the student’s permission, a credit from Title IV aid can be used to pay for a minor that is not required for the program.
- For programs with flat tuition rates, minors that are not required for the degree program can be covered over the required 12 hours for full-time status, up to 18 hours.
- NOTE: 12 credit hours MUST be part of your CPoS to meet the full-time enrollment status requirements.
What should you do?
- Check MyMercer to be sure your major and minors are correctly declared and required for your degree program.
- If a minor is outside your degree program, check with the Office of Student Financial Planning for other payment options.
- See your academic advisor to be sure you are registering for classes that fulfill your degree requirements.
- Check your financial aid in MyMercer for messages and updates to your financial aid.