Coursework Toward Program of Study(CPOS)

Requirements:

You may not be aware, but there is an important emphasis in federal financial aid regulations that could cause federal grants, work study, loans, and some scholarships to be reduced if you enroll in ineligible coursework. Only courses that count toward a student’s program of student (your declared major/minor) can be considered when determining aid eligibility for federal financial aid programs such as grants, work-study, and loans. For federal aid to pay for a course in your major, minor, concentration, or other degree requirement, it must be part of your Course Program of Study (CPOS) or be necessary to help you earn the total hours required to complete your degree. For those depending upon federal aid to attend Albany State University, not paying attention to this rule could affect your full-time enrollment status and ultimately your financial aid awards.

Why This is Important:

Taking courses that are not required to complete your degree could result in you receiving less or no federal aid, or in owing money back that was already paid to your account and/or refunded to you. Taking classes that are not in your Course Program of Study for your officially declared major or minor may result in a reduction to your overall financial aid package.

Make it Count! – Utilize your Academic Advisor:

As a student, academic advisors are available to you to assist with discussing your short-term and long-term educational goals, the best degree fit for you at ASU, and planning which courses to take each term to help you complete your declared degree as efficiently and effectively as possible. 

Officially Declare Your Major:

It is essential that your major, minor, or any concentration are officially declared and noted in your student record. If you have been planning to declare or change a major, minor, or concentration, but have not yet done so, you should consult your academic advisor immediately and complete the Change of Major form located online at: https://secure.jotformpro.com/form/50638853725968. Do not register for classes toward the new major/minor/concentration until the update to your official degree on records is reflected in Banner.

  • Courses can only be determined to be eligible based on the officially declared major, minor, or concentration as noted in your student record. Changes cannot be made retroactively, and most changes will not be approved once a determination is made that a course is not financial aid eligible. 

Assumptions About Financial Aid Awards:

Financial aid awards are based on the assumption that undergraduate students will enroll full-time and graduate students will enroll half-time in eligible coursework during Fall and Spring terms. Any enrollment level different than those assumed above can create a recalculation of financial aid awards per term. However, in many cases, a student can enroll in less than the assumed hours listed above and still receive financial aid. When awarding financial aid, ASU is required to calculate a cost of attendance (COA) each semester and for all terms of enrollment. Students will not be awarded beyond their COA for each term, or for the academic year as a whole. Changes to a student’s COA may result in a change to financial aid awards, since total aid cannot exceed cost of attendance.

Keep Your Eligibility:

Remember that dropping or not attending your courses can negatively impact your eligibility for current and/or future aid. It is important that you discuss your Course Program of Study with your advisor when you enroll each semester. If your degree program is not listed correctly in Banner, work with your advisor to make them aware of your request and ensure you complete the Request for Change your Major/Minor/Concentration. This form can be found online at: https://secure.jotformpro.com/form/50638853725968. Do not register for classes toward the new major/minor/concentration until the update to your official degree on records is reflected in Banner. Do not register for classes toward the new major/minor/concentration until the update to your official degree on records is reflected in Banner.

  • Contact your academic advisor to discuss options if your federal financial aid has been reduced due to enrollment in courses that did not apply towards outstanding requirements in your Course Program of Study.

Enrollment Level and CPOS:

Financial aid is initially awarded based on the assumption that undergraduate students will enroll full-time and graduate students will enroll half-time in eligible coursework during fall and spring semesters. Students may only receive federal financial aid for outstanding coursework that counts towards their officially declared program of study. State, institutional, and private aid requirements may vary when it comes to CPOS requirements. Please check with the agency to ensure you are meeting all requirements for funding. Dropping or not attending your courses can negatively impact your eligibility for current and/or future aid. 

Enrollment Status Types:  Undergraduate: Graduate:
Full Time  12+ credits/semester 9+ credits/semester
Three Quarter Time  9 – 11 credits/semester 7 – 8 credits/semester
Half Time   6 – 8 credits/semester 6 credits/semester
Less Than Half Time  1 – 5 credits/semester   1 – 5 credits/semester

 If your federal financial aid has been reduced due to enrollment in coursework that does not apply towards outstanding requirements in your program of study, you should contact your academic advisor to discuss your academic options. Otherwise, if you have questions regarding financial aid, contact RAM Central located on the first floor of the Cbuilding on the West Campus or by emailing ifinaid@asurams.edu.

Examples:

  • If you are eligible for a Federal Pell Grant and enroll in 12 hours and only 9 of the 12 hours are required towards your officially declared program of study, the Federal Pell Grant will be reduced to a three-quarter time award based on 9 hours. 
  • Federal Direct Loans require 6 hours of enrollment for all student types. If you are enrolled in 6 hours and only 3 of the 6 hours are required for your program of study, you are not eligible to receive a Federal Direct Loan.