Enrollment Status


The Texas Southmost College Financial Aid Office defines enrollment statuses as follows:

Undergraduate Students


Enrollment Status Total Credit Hours
Less than 1/2 time 1 to 5 credit hours
1/2 time 6 to 8 credit hours
3/4 time 9 to 11 credit hours
Full-time 12 or more credit hours

NOTE: These enrollment standards are applied to the specific award period, which includes related sessions, terms, and/or semesters. For example, all session(s) offered after the end of the spring semester and before the start of the fall semester are considered part of the summer award period for financial aid purposes.

Students enrolling for non-traditional sessions or terms should contact the TSC Financial Aid Office for more information about the types of available financial aid and anticipated disbursement dates.

Financial Aid awards will be adjusted to exclude the following hours from enrollment status:

  • Hours from courses that are not part of the program of study
  • Hours from repeated courses that have been taken twice
  • Hours from developmental courses that exceed the 30 maximum allowable credits for developmental coursework
  • Hours from courses for which students register after census day

How enrollment status affects your student financial aid

TSC students are initially offered financial aid for enrollment at full-time status. Before disbursing awards, and at the end of the official record date, the Financial Aid Office recalculates the cost of attendance and award amount for students enrolling at other than full-time status.

Recalculations are processed for schedule changes initiated by the student (in the form of adds/drops) or by the college (in the form of canceled courses and/or other administrative changes). Students who drop courses with a later start date (8-week courses) are also subject to an adjustment and may owe financial aid.

Some awards, including Pell Grants, are adjusted based on the number of hours students are enrolled in at the end of the official record date. Other awards, including federal student loans, may no longer be disbursed after a student drops below half-time status within the loan period. Students should also be aware that changes to enrollment status for a specific semester may impact program participation and/or eligibility for future semesters.

If financial aid eligibility is increased and credit remains after the revised tuition and fees are determined, the available balance will be promptly mailed to the student by the Accounting and Finance Office. If the financial aid package is reduced and an account balance remains after the Accounting and Finance Office recalculates tuition and fees, the student is responsible for promptly paying this amount in full. Students may review the refund policy and tuition and fees information published in the TSC course schedule.

In general, students dropping below half-time status on or before the official record date are ineligible for most forms of financial aid and, similar to students completely withdrawing from TSC, may be required to repay awards and/or tuition balances, as per the Title IV Returns policy.

NOTE: Students reducing enrollment status after the official record date should refer to the Federal Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards. Students completely withdrawing from the institution, before or after the official record date, should also refer to the Procedures for Return of Title IV Funds.

How repeated coursework affects your student financial aid – repeated coursework restrictions on Title IV Aid

Students may only receive federal financial aid funding for one repetition of a previously passed course. This change in regulations became effective through the Program Integrity Rules adopted by the U. S. Department of Education effective July 1, 2011.

A course may be repeated with Title IV eligibility one time after a successful attempt. The third attempt of a completed course cannot be included in the enrollment status for Title IV funding. The semester budget will be adjusted to exclude the repeated course, and Title IV funds will be reduced in accordance with the adjusted enrollment status. Affected students will be notified via email of the change in enrollment status and the corresponding reduction in aid.

All repeated courses will affect financial aid satisfactory academic progress calculations. A repeated course and the original attempt must be counted as attempted credits.

Examples of repeated coursework that may count for financial aid eligibility:

  • Repeated coursework may be included if the student received an unsatisfactory or failing grade. There is no limit on the number of attempts allowable if the student does not receive a passing grade.
  • Repeated coursework due to the academic requirements of the program. Degree plans may require repetition of specific coursework, which involves different or more advanced course content each time they are taken. Examples include but are not limited to, music performance, thesis and dissertation courses, independent study, special topics and seminars, and developmental coursework.

Examples of repeated coursework that may not count for financial aid eligibility:

  • Repeated coursework requires a minimum grade to be applied to the student’s degree plan. Students may repeat the course once in an attempt to attain the minimum grade.
  • Any course attempted for the third time if the course has received a passing grade of D or better.

Treatment of repeated coursework:

  • No Impact: Student is enrolled in 15 credit hours, including three credits repeating a previously passed course. Because the student is enrolled in a minimum of 12 credits that are not repeated, the student’s financial aid eligibility is not impacted by the repeat.
  • Impact: Student receives a D in a course and decides to repeat the course to improve his/her GPA. The student may repeat this passed course one time, but if the student wants to repeat it a second time, the second repeat will not count for financial aid eligibility. In this example, the student is enrolled in 12 credits, including the 3-credit second repeat, so only nine credits will count for financial aid eligibility.

How developmental credits affect enrollment status

Students cannot receive financial aid consideration for more than the equivalent of one year of developmental courses, or 30 semester credit hours. This limit pertains to courses below the 1000 level. ESL courses do not count towards the developmental cap. Any developmental credit hours attempted after reaching 30 hours will not be counted in the student’s enrollment status used in determining financial aid eligibility. For example, students who have already completed or attempted 30 developmental credit hours but then enroll for 12 credit hours with three of the hours as developmental credits will only receive financial aid for nine credit hours (three-quarter-time status).