Course Program of Study

The U.S. Department of Education require that institutions ensure that financial aid funds are used to pay for courses that apply to a student’s degree program.

Course program of Study (CPoS) refers to all courses needed to earn the degree.  Only courses that count toward your program of study can be considered when determining aid eligibility for federal, state and institutional funds. Courses must be required for degree completion in order for those courses to count toward enrollment status requirements for aid.

Taking classes that are not in your Course Program of Study for your officially declared major may result in a reduction or cancellation to your overall financial aid package.

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 ODU, and planning your courses each term to help you complete your declared degree as efficiently and effectively as possible.

It is essential that your major is officially declared and noted in your student record. If you have been planning to declare or change your major, but have not yet done so, you should consult your academic advisor immediately. Do not register for classes toward the new major until the update to your official degree is reflected in Banner and Degree Works.

Courses can only be determined to be eligible based on the officially declared major as noted on 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.

Financial aid awards are based on the assumption that students will enroll full-time in eligible coursework during the Fall and Spring semesters. Enrollment plans less than full time must be reported by submitting the Student Financial Aid Adjustment Form. This will create a recalculation of financial aid awards per term. However, in many cases, a student that enrolls in at least half-time hours may still receive financial aid. When awarding financial aid, ODU is required to calculate a cost of attendance (COA) 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.

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 to change your major. 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 financial aid has been reduced due to enrollment in courses that do not apply towards outstanding requirements in your Course Program of Study.

Students may only receive federal/state financial aid for outstanding coursework that counts towards their officially declared program of study.

Only undergraduate courses may be included in enrollment for degree-seeking undergraduate students for financial aid awarding.

Only graduate courses may be included in enrollment for degree-seeking graduate students for financial aid awarding.

   Undergraduate Graduate
Full Time 12+ credits per semester 9+ credits per semester
3/4 Time 9-11 credits per semester 6-8 credits per semester 
1/2 Time 6-8 credits per semester 4-5 credits per semester
*Less than 1/2 Time 1-5 credits per semester 1-3 credits per semester

 

*Note that students enrolled in less than half time may not be eligible for most aid, loans included.

If your 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 financial aid at FACounseling@odu.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 the 9 hours.
  • Federal Direct Loans require minimum half time enrollment, 6 or more credit hours of enrollment for all undergraduate students and 4 or more credit hours of enrollment for graduate students. If you are enrolled in 6 undergraduate credit 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.

Previously passed courses (grade of D or higher) may only be repeated one time. As such, students repeating previously passed courses for a second time after receiving a grade of D or higher may experience reduced eligibility for financial aid.

Repeated courses also affect satisfactory academic progress standards for financial aid eligibility. A repeated course (along with the original attempt) is counted towards the maximum attempted credits hours and completion rate requirement.

Example

  • Student takes English 101 and earns a “D” = Financial aid disburses for this course (as long as the student is meeting all aid eligibility requirements).
  • Student takes English 101 again and earns an “F” = Financial aid disburses for this course (as long as the student is meeting all aid eligibility requirements).
  • Student takes English 101 again = Since this is the second time the student has repeated this course after receiving a passing grade in the course, the student’s financial aid may be affected because this course is no longer considered an “aid-eligible” course.

Example

  • Student takes ENGL 110 and earns a D for the course = Financial aid disburses for this course (as long as the student is meeting all aid eligibility requirements).
  • Student retakes the course and earns a C. This will be 2nd time after receiving a passing grade and financial aid will disburse for this course (as long as the student is meeting all aid eligibility requirements).
  • Student retakes the course a 3rd time and earns a B. Financial aid will not include this course in the enrollment and aid may be affected.