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Full Time vs Part Time Enrollment

A student’s enrollment status is dependent on the level at which they are currently enrolled.  Undergraduate student’s course load is significantly different from that of a graduate student and that is reflected in the definitions of full time versus part time.

Undergraduate Students

Full-time status for an undergraduate student is 12 semester hours during each semester, for fall spring and summer semesters. Students must have at least 6 hours during the fall, spring, or summer sessions to be eligible for financial aid. The summer mini sessions are evaluated as one term, so if you register for a 3 hour class in Maymester and a 3 hour class in Summer 1, that is a total of 6 hours and your application would be reviewed for aid eligibility.

Classes taken for Audit do not count in the total semester hours in determining financial aid eligibility.

Financial assistance shall be available to eligible full-time and part-time undergraduate students only as follows: 

  • For federally sponsored campus-based financial assistance programs, eligible full-time (12 hours or more) students will be considered first when awarding financial aid. 
  • The Federal Pell Grant program and the Federal Direct Loan program allow any student enrolled at least half-time to apply for assistance. Less than full-time students, when eligible, will receive a pro-rated award.
  • State financial assistance programs are available to full-time and part-time students.
  • Recent law changes allow limited financial aid to students attending less than half-time.

Graduate Students

Full-time status for a graduate student is 9 semester hours during each semester, for fall, spring and summer semesters. Students must have at least 5 hours during the fall, spring, or summer sessions to be eligible for financial aid. The summer mini sessions are evaluated as one term, so if you register for a 3 hour class in Maymester and a 2 hour class in Summer 1, that is a total of 5 hours and your application would be reviewed for aid eligibility.

This definition applies to all federal financial aid programs. Some Graduate Assistantship programs administered through the Graduate College define full-time status for these students as 6 hours. However, this does not apply to the federal financial aid programs.

Classes taken for Audit do not count in the total semester hours in determining financial aid eligibility.

Financial assistance shall be available to eligible full-time and part-time graduate students.  For federally sponsored campus-based financial assistance programs, eligible full-time (9 hours or more) students will be considered first when awarding financial aid.