Full-time, Part-time Student Status

Statement of Policy

Financial Aid regulations require colleges to define the status of attendance (i.e. financial aid eligibility) for students at the undergraduate and graduate-levels of study. This policy defines full-time, ¾-time, half-time and less than half-time statuses for students at Excelsior College.

Procedure

Undergraduate-Level Programs

 The U. S. Department of Education defines a standard academic year as 28-34 weeks of instruction. At Excelsior the standard academic year is two of the College’s 16-week Trimesters. Full-time status for each trimester at the undergraduate level must have a minimum of 12 credit hours. Three-quarter time would then be defined at 9 credit hours, half-time status as 6 credit hours, and less than half-time status as less than 6 credit hours over the same period of instruction (one 16-week trimester).

The Excelsior College academic calendar is divided in to trimesters. Each trimester is 16-weeks in length and consists of one 15-week term (module) and two consecutive 8-week terms (modules). Excelsior schedules three trimesters in an academic year: fall, spring, and summer.

In order for students to qualify for half-time status they are required to register for at least 6 credits of Excelsior College credits in the same trimester. Students may take 6 credits in any combination of terms (modules) within a trimester to meet the half-time definition. The total number of credits taken by a student during a trimester will determine the attendance status (i.e., financial aid eligibility) for the student. The student’s attendance status is reported monthly to the Clearinghouse for Federal Student Aid (Title IV) purposes.

The following chart will be used to define student status for the trimester that Excelsior College offers undergraduate students.

Undergraduate Status 16-Week Trimester
  Minimum Credits Maximum Credits
Full-time 12 18
¾-time 9 11
Half-time 6 8
Less than
half-time
1 5

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 six-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.

Graduate-Level Programs   

The U. S. Department of Education defines a standard academic year as 28 -34 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 each trimester at the graduate level, as a minimum of 6 credit hours. Three-quarter time would then be defined at 4 credit hours, half-time status as 3 credit hours, and less than half-time status as less than 3 credit hours over the same period of instruction.

The total number of credits taken by a graduate student during a trimester will determine the attendance status (i.e., financial aid eligibility) for the student. The student’s attendance status is reported monthly to the Clearinghouse for Federal Student Aid (Title IV) purposes.

In order for students to qualify for half-time status they are required to register for at least 3 credits of Excelsior College credits in the trimester. Any credit load less than 3 credits in any combination of terms (modules) within a trimester will be considered less than half-time and the student would not be eligible for federal student financial aid.

The following chart will be used to define student status for the Trimester that Excelsior College offers graduate students.

Graduate Status 16-Week Trimester
  Minimum Credits Maximum Credits
Full-time 6 12
¾-time 4 5
Half-time 3 3
Less than
half-time
1 2

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