It will come as no surprise to academic advisors that enrollment matters. It matters for degree progress, matters for loan deferment, and it really matters for maintaining eligibility for many types of financial aid. Enrollment requirements vary by financial aid program (e.g., Minnesota State Grant, Pell, Direct loans, etc.).
Prior to the first disbursement of financial aid, which typically occurs 10 days prior to the start of the term, student enrollment is reviewed and aid is adjusted accordingly. Student enrollment is reviewed and aid is adjusted again at the end of the cancel/add period. At this time, additional aid may be paid if classes were added or aid may be reduced if classes were dropped. If aid is reduced, a student's account will be billed for any aid that a student is no longer eligible for.
Please direct students to One Stop for guidance if they are considering making changes to their enrollment after the drop/add period.
Minnesota State Grant and the federal Pell Grant program have unique enrollment requirements which are important to understand. They are described below.
The MN State Grant
The Minnesota State Grant award listed on a student's Financial Aid Award Notice is the maximum amount that the student may receive each term based on 15 credits of enrollment. If a student registers for fewer than 15 credits, the award will be reduced or pro-rated based on actual enrollment. Students may still receive Minnesota State Grant if they have at least 3 credits. A student will typically lose $394 per credit.
An example based on one semester for a student with 12 or more credits:
- 15 credits = $2,989
- 14 credits = $2,575
- 13 credits = $2,188
- 12 credits = $1,794
State grant awards will be adjusted to a student's actual enrollment before it is disbursed to the student's account. At the end of the second week of each term, a student's credit level will be reviewed. If it has changed, the state grant for the term will change.
If a student withdraws from a class or classes after the cancel/add period, the state grant award will be reviewed and adjusted according to the Office of Student Finance's refund policy. Typically, if a student will receive a refund after withdrawing from a class, the state grant award is reduced by the amount of the refund. The student will most likely NOT receive the refund.
Students are eligible to receive the Minnesota State Grant award the equivalent of 8 semesters of full-time attendance at any post-secondary institution.
The Federal Pell Grant
The Pell amount listed on the original financial aid offer is based on the assumption of full-time enrollment for the school year. The Pell grant will be adjusted to the following enrollment levels:
- Full time: 12+ credits
- ¾ time: 9 – 11 credits
- Half time: 6 – 8 credits
- Less than half time: 1 – 5 credits
An example based on one semester:
- 12 credits = $2,833
- 9-11 credits = $2,125
- 6-8 credits = $1,417
- 1-5 credits = $721
Enrollment will be reviewed for the final time each term at the end of the cancel/add period. At this time, the Pell grant is final and cannot change for the term, even if a student adds credits throughout the term.
Pell Grant eligibility totals 12 semesters or roughly the equivalent of 6 full time years of attendance at any post-secondary institution.
Students must be enrolled for at least 6 credits to be eligible for Ford Federal Direct student loans.
Federal Perkins Loans and University Trust Fund Loans require a minimum of 12 credits for disbursement.
Most grant and scholarship programs, including U Promise, require full-time (12 credits) enrollment.