Full-time Status Requirement
In order to receive most NYS scholarships, you must be a full-time student. The Regulations of the Commissioner of Education define full-time and part-time study for financial aid purposes. To be a full-time student, you must enroll for at least 12 semester hours in a semester of not less than 15 weeks, including examination periods and the courses must satisfy requirements for the program in which you are matriculated.
If you want to take courses that are not required for your program and cannot be included as required elective courses, such courses must be taken in addition to the minimum full-time 12 semester-hour course load to be eligible for full-time student financial aid. This is also important when determining whether you have maintained good academic standing, as only courses that apply to your program of study —as a general requirement, a major requirement, or an elective -- may be considered.
In the early semesters of your academic career, nearly every course you take can be counted towards your degree. You will generally be taking courses in the Major and Core required for most programs and can usually take a number of elective courses as part of your program of study if your major allows them. However, as you near the end of your program, you may “run out” of electives.
If you take an unneeded elective course as part of the 12 credits required to be full time, you are not eligible for a NYS scholarship. You may, however, enroll in an elective course if you take more than 12 credits and carry a 15-credit course load.
You may repeat a course and have the course count as part of the minimum full-time course load for financial aid purposes if you did not previously earn credit for the course.
If you receive an F or a W in a course, you do not earn credit for the course. Therefore, you may repeat courses in which you earned F or W grades and have them count towards full-time or part-time study requirements.
There are certain other circumstances when you may repeat a course and have it count as part of the minimum course load:
- The grade earned is passing at the college but not considered passing in a particular curriculum. For example, you receive a D in an education course; D is a passing grade; however, any grade lower than a C+ in an education course is considered a failing grade. Thus, the education course in which you earned the D may be repeated as part of the minimum full-time or part-time course load.
- The course can be repeated and credit earned each time, such as certain physical education or music courses.
If you earned a passing grade (D or higher) in a course but want to repeat the course in an effort to improve your grade and overall grade point average, the repeated course may not be counted as part of the minimum course load since you already earned credit for the course. Therefore, repeating a course in which you previously received a passing grade, could make you ineligilbe for NYS scholarships if you do not have at 12 other applicable credits.
In addition, with regard to the effect on full-time and part-time status, a repeated course in which you earned a passing grade may not be used to meet the pursuit of program requirement (completing a certain percentage of the minimum full-time or part-time course load in each term an award is received) for maintaining good academic standing. In other words, a course that the college does not require you to repeat in order for you to earn credit toward a degree cannot be considered in determining whether you have satisfied the pursuit requirement for a New York State award.