Full-time and Half-time Status for Students

Statement of Policy

The purpose of this policy is to define full-time and half-time status for students at Excelsior College for both undergraduate and graduate-level programs of study.

Procedure

The U. S. Department of Education defines a standard academic year as 30 weeks of instruction.

  • Full-time status for an academic year, undergraduate-level program, must have a minimum of 24 credit hours.
  • Half-time status would then be defined as 12 credit hours over the same period of instruction (30 weeks).

Excelsior College academic calendar is divided in trimesters.  The trimesters at Excelsior College are Fall, Spring and Summer; each are 16 weeks in length and consist of one 15-week term and 2 consecutive 8-week terms.

In order for students to qualify for half-time status they are required to register for at least 6 credits of Excelsior College courses in the same trimester. Students may take 6 credits of courses in any combination of terms within a trimester to meet the half-time definition.

The following chart will be used to define full-time and half-time status for the many different Periods of Enrollment (POE) or terms that Excelsior College offers undergraduate students:
 

Weeks of
Instruction
Number of Credits for
Full-Time Status
Number of Credits for
Half-Time Status
30 24 12
16 (trimester) 12 6
15 12 6
8 6 Less than half-time

Exception to this policy: The New York State Tuition Assistance Program (TAP).
Excelsior College is written into New York State regulations to administer the TAP awards twice a year for the accumulation of credits a student earns over a 6 month period from July 1 to December 31 and January 1 to June 30 each year. A student must earn a minimum of 12 credits to be considered full-time in one or both of these time periods to be eligible for a TAP grant.

The U. S. Department of Education defines a standard academic year as 30 weeks of instruction. However, because full-time status for an academic year in a graduate-level program is not defined by the Department of Education, it needs to be defined by the college.

Excelsior College has defined full-time status for an academic year, graduate-level program, as a minimum of 12 credit hours for 30 weeks of instruction.

Half-time status is defined as 6 credit hours over the same period of instruction (30 weeks).

In order for students to qualify for half-time status they are required to register for at least 3 credits of Excelsior College courses in any term or trimester. Any course load less than 3 credits in a period of enrollment (POE) will be considered less than half–time and the student would not be eligible for federal student financial aid. 

Note: See Maximum Credit Hour Policy - Undergraduate and Graduate for limitations on maximum credit load.

The following chart will be used to define full-time and half-time status for the different periods of enrollment or terms that Excelsior College offers graduate students:
 

Weeks of
Instruction
Number of Credits for
Full-Time Status
Number of Credits for
Half-Time Status
30 12 6
16 (trimester) 6 3
15 6 3
8 3 N/A