Coursework Toward Program of Study FAQs




Federal regulations require you be enrolled in a bachelor's or master's degree to receive financial aid at Northeastern State University, but the courses you take must also be required for the program. Essentially, only the coursework that counts toward your degree will be used in determining your hours of enrollment for federal aid purposes (grants, loans, and Federal Work-Study).

Q. Will my classes count?
A.To see if your classes are eligible, check your Degree Works audit. Degree Works is a great way for you to review your program audit to see required courses and courses remaining to complete your program. Your advisor can also meet with you to map out your program plan.

Q. How do I know if I have a financial aid issue with my schedule?
A. If we determine one or more of your courses is not aid eligible, you will receive an email notification that will be sent toy our student email account. The notification will clearly identify that there is an issues with aid eligibility for a specific semester.

Q. What can I do if my classes don't count?
A. Start early and be familiar with your Degree Works audit so you can make enrollment adjustments. Your program of study is located on top. You can also use the "What If" feature to check other degrees or certificates that you may be considering. If you are planning on changing your enrollment or program of study, we encourage you to contact your advisor for assistance.

Q. Will my aid pay for courses that don't count?
A.Offered and accepted aid will be applied to your account balance owed when the funds are disbursed. Your balance could include tuition for a course that is not eligible.
For example: let's say you have 9 hours and only 6 are eligible; it's possible for your award to cover tuition for eligible hours and have enough excess to pay for the 3-hour course that is not eligible.  Always review your financial aid offers of your goNSU portal to see the whole picture.

Q. What about electives, developmental courses, and others?
A. Electives, developmental (also called remedial or 0-level), and concentration courses all can count as long as they are required for the program of study.

Q. Can my prerequisite count?
A. If the prerequisite is listed as a required course for your program, the course will be eligible.

Q. Why is Degree Works showing that my course counts, but it is not counting for my financial aid eligible enrollment?
A. Contact your academic advisor. He or she may need to submit a substitution or advise you to replace the course with another course.

Q. What if I am taking courses just to be admitted to another program?
A. We would encourage you to contact financial aid staff for assistance. We may review your situation for consideration as "preparatory coursework". Through preparatory coursework, students may be eligible for federal loans while taking required courses within the approved time frame.

Q. Am I still able to take courses not required for my degree?
A. Yes, you can take a course that is not required. Just know that the course will not count toward your financial aid enrollment status.

Q. Will courses count if I am taking them to transfer to a degree at another institution?
A. No, only courses that count toward your program at NSU can be counted for student aid.

Q. I am double majoring; will all my courses count?
A. Degree Works should properly identify crossover courses, including electives. Even with a double major, to be eligible for federal aid, you must still be enrolled in required courses.

Q. What if I change my schedule and add a required course?
A. Once you make a change, Degree Works will need to update overnight. Then, contact the financial aid office so we can re-evaluate your eligibility. Contacting us will provide you peace of mind and ensure accuracy within your updated audit and financial aid award.

Q. What if I make a change to my schedule after I receive a refund?
A. Our office may need to re-evaluate your financial aid eligibility, depending on when the schedule change occurs. We would encourage you to contact the financial aid office prior to making any schedule changes after a semester begins. Schedule changes could affect the amount of aid awarded or disbursed, causing a student to owe a balance.

Q. Do I have to be enrolled full-time to receive Federal financial aid?
A. In most cases, no you don't. Half-time is required for student loans, and half-time, or even less-than-half-time, may be sufficient for undergraduates to receive federal aid.
Undergraduates:                                                      Graduates:
Full-time = 12 hours or more                                    Full-time = 9 hours or more
Three-Quarter-time = 9-11 hours                              Half-time = 5-8 hours
Half-time = 6-8 hours
Less-than-half-time = <6 hours