Coursework toward Program of Study (CPoS)

Financial aid is initially awarded based on the assumption that undergraduate students will enroll full-time and graduate students will enroll half-time in eligible coursework during fall and spring semesters.  Students may only receive federal financial aid for outstanding coursework that counts towards their officially declared program of study.  State and Institutional Aid are not currently subject to the same federal regulatory restrictions.  The cost of attendance (COA) will be based on outstanding coursework that applies toward the officially declared program of study.  This may result in a lower amount of state and institutional aid a student may receive, since total aid cannot exceed cost of attendance.  Dropping or not attending your courses can negatively impact your eligibility for current and or future aid.

Enrollment Status Types Undergraduate Graduate
Full Time 12+ credits/semester 9+ credits/semester
Three Quarter Time 9 – 11 credits/semester 7 – 8 credits/semester
Half Time 6 – 8 credits/semester 5 – 6 credits/semester
Less Than Half Time 1 – 5 credits/semester 1 – 4 credits/semester


If your federal 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 the MT One Stop located on the second floor of the SSAC or by emailing


  • 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 9 hours. However, you may be eligible to receive a full-time institutional scholarship and/or TN state grant / scholarships.
  • Federal Direct Loans for undergraduate students require 6 hours of enrollment or 5 hours of enrollment for graduate students. If you are enrolled in 6 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. 
Your Checklist
Check Pipeline to be sure your major and minors are correctly declared.
See your advisor to be sure you're registering for classes that fulfill an outstanding requirement.
Check your Financial Aid Tab in Pipeline for messages and updates to your financial aid.