Financial Aid Services Center
Financial Aid Information for Seniors
We have essential information about financial aid eligibility for new seniors or students who are nearing senior class standing.
During your senior year you must apply to graduate. The Registrar's Office will prepare an Official Degree Evaluation showing the courses you need to complete the graduation requirements for your program. Only the courses listed on the Official Degree Evaluation may be used to determine financial aid eligibility.
Two processes may reduce your financial aid eligibility after the Degree Evaluation is complete:
- Fundable Enrollment
- Loan proration
1. Fundable Enrollment
Generally, coursework required for graduation and listed on the Official Degree Evaluation is eligible for financial aid funding. While financial aid does not restrict your enrollment in additional coursework, non-required courses will not be eligible for funding. Planning your course schedule in advance can prevent you from receiving an unexpected bill!
Fundable coursework includes:
- All of the common requirements listed in the catalog including minimum of 180 credits, 60 upper division credits, writing proficiency coursework, and GURs.
- Declared major requirements, including more than one major
- Declared minor requirements, including more than one minor
- Teaching certificates and endorsements or TESOL certificate (most other undergraduate certificates are not fundable -- contact the Financial Aid Services Center for details).
Less Than Full-Time Enrollment
Many types of financial aid are enrollment sensitive, meaning financial aid is subject to change at different enrollment levels. In general, students must be enrolled at least half-time (6 or more credits for undergraduates) to be eligible for many types of financial aid. If your required coursework allows for full-time enrollment (12 or more credits for undergraduates) there will likely not be any change to your fundable credits. If your required coursework is less than full-time during a quarter, you can expect a reduction in financial aid from the full-time amount.
Less Than Half-Time Enrollment
If your required coursework is less than half-time during one of your last quarters, you may need to prepare to pay more out of pocket! Here are some examples of financial aid limitations at the less than half-time enrollment (fewer than six credits for undergraduate students):
- Federal Direct Loans -- not eligible
- Tuition waiver -- not eligible
- State Need Grant and College Bound Scholarship -- very limited amount of funding at 3-5 credits; not eligible at fewer than 3 credits
- Federal Pell Grant -- very limited amount of funding
- Scholarships -- generally not eligible (contact the Scholarship Center for details)
- Work study -- generally not eligible (contact the Student Employment Center for details)
2. Loan Proration
Undergraduate students in their graduating year with fewer than three quarters of remaining study in their degree program, must have the Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans prorated. Required coursework of fewer than three quarters fewer 12 credits in a quarter may bring lower loan eligibility.
Loan Proration Examples
- Annual loan eligibility is prorated to $2,500 from $7,500 for one quarter of 12 credits of remaining study.
- The loan eligibility is further prorated to $1,250 from $2,500 if only 6 credits in one quarter is needed to graduate.
- More proration examples are included below for your review.
Loan proration can introduce significant affordability problems just as you prepare to graduate. We encourage students visit a financial aid counselor before submitting a degree application to get an estimate of financial aid eligibility in the last year of attendance.
Special Note on Degree Applications Made After the Priority Deadline
If you apply to graduate in a quarter for which you have already received financial aid, you may need to return some or all of the aid. The Official Degree Evaluation may show that you need fewer courses than on which your paid financial aid is based. We urge you to meet with a financial aid counselor to get details about how your financial aid may be impacted.
Congratulations on your pending graduation!
Additional Loan Proration Examples
A student applies for graduation and the degree evaluation shows that the student requires 12 credits fall quarter and 6 credits winter quarter for a total of 18 credits to complete the program requirements. Federal direct subsidized and unsubsidized loan eligibility must be prorated as follows:
- 18/36 = 0.5. $5,500 subsidized loan * 0.5 = $2,750 prorated maximum for Dependent and Independent students.
- 18/36 = 0.5. $2,000 unsubsidized loan * 0.5 = $1,000 prorated maximum for Dependent students.
- 18/36 = 0.5. $7,000 unsubsidized loan * 0.5 = $3,500 prorated maximum for Independent students only.
A student requires 10 credits fall quarter and 6 credits spring quarter to complete the program requirements. The student is not attending winter quarter.
- 16/36 = 0.444. $5,500 subsidized loan * 0.444 = $2,442 prorated maximum for Dependent and Independent students.
- 16/36 = 0.444. $2,000 unsubsidized loan * 0.444 = $888 prorated maximum for Dependent students.
- 16/36 = 0.444. $7,000 unsubsidized loan * 0.444 = $3,108 prorated maximum for Independent students only.
Exceptions: Loan proration requirements do not apply to loans made to students taking preparatory coursework or to postbaccalaureate students enrolled in courses solely for teacher certification.