Enrollment Requirements

The amount of financial aid you are eligible to receive can be affected by the number of "financial aid eligible" credits you are enrolled in or, in the case of federal student loans, if you are graduating at the end of the fall semester. Depending upon which aid programs you are offered, some awards will be reduced, pro-rated, or canceled if you enroll in fewer than 12 credits. This includes changing a course to audit, dropping a class, withdrawing, or not attending. You may even be required to pay disbursed financial aid back.

Please reach out to the Office of Financial Aid if you do not understand your obligation and the enrollment requirements for your financial aid.

On this page:

By Type of Aid

Federal Programs

Most federal programs require that you are enrolled at least half-time to receive aid. For undergraduate students, half-time enrollment means six or more credits; for graduate students, five or more credits. The following programs fall under the half-time enrollment requirement:

  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG)
  • Federal Work Study Program
  • Federal Direct Student Loans, which include: 
    • Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loan 
    • Federal Parent PLUS Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS)
    • Federal Graduate PLUS Loan for Graduate Students

Federal PELL Grant

Unlike other federal programs, the PELL Grant adjusts the amount of aid you receive by how many credits you are enrolled in each semester:

  • Full-time (12 or more credits): 100% of awarded grant
  • ¾ Time (9–11 credits): approx. 75%
  • ½ Time (6–8 credits): approx. 0–50%
  • Less than 1/2 Time (1–5 credits): approx. 0–25%
Important: Enrollment eligibility for the PELL Grant “locks” on the Add/Drop Deadline at 5:00 pm. Once the Add/Drop Deadline has passed, adding another class will not increase your Pell Grant award. This rule applies even in the summer semester, which has multiple sessions.

UA Scholarships

Some UA Scholarships require full-time (12 or more credits) enrollment to remain eligible. Refer to your scholarship award notification for confirmation. In some cases, special exceptions may be granted. Please contact the Office of Financial Aid if you have questions about eligibility.

Private Scholarships

Each private scholarship has unique eligibility requirements. Please refer to the scholarship instructions established by the donor.


Not Participating or Attending Class

If you do not attend classes, your financial aid may be canceled. College instructors report attendance information to the UAA Office of Financial Aid who are then required to notify the federal government. For more information, see the Return of Title IV Funds.

Dropping Courses or Withdrawing

Enrollment eligibility for federal and state financial aid locks on the Add/Drop Deadline each semester at 5:00 pm. Even though the summer semester has multiple sessions, the Summer Add/Drop Deadline occurs in the first session and is used to determine award amounts across all sessions. Final grant and scholarship award amounts are made the week after the deadline has passed.

Before the Add/Drop Deadline

If you drop one or more classes before the add/drop deadline, you may be eligible for a reduced award if the aid program allows it. This can also affect your future SAP eligibility. If you have already received a disbursement for full-time, you may need to return the funds or you will be in jeopardy of receiving account holds and collections costs. Some aid programs do not allow less than full-time enrollment.

If you drop all of your classes before the add/drop deadline, you are no longer eligible for any financial aid. All federal and state aid initially offered to you will be returned to the government on your behalf. If you have already received a disbursement, you will need to return the funds or you will be in jeopardy of receiving account holds and collections costs.

After the Add/Drop Deadline

If you withdraw or stop attending classes prior to completing 60% of the period of enrollment, your eligibility for aid will be recalculated. You may need to return funds based on how much of the term you completed.

For full details, see the Return of Title IV Funds.

icon of circle with exclamation markIf you are thinking about withdrawing from classes, you should contact the Office of Financial Aid before making any registration decisions to see how it affects your current and future aid eligibility and what you’ll be responsible for repaying.


Other Eligibility Requirements