Website Heading
Skip navigation and go to page content

Enrollment Q & A
Horizontal Rule

Q. Do I have to be enrolled full-time (12 units) to get financial aid?

A. No! Most financial aid programs require at least 6 semester units (half-time status) to receive a payment. Federal Pell Grant allows some students to receive a payment if enrolled in fewer than 6 units.

Q. Do I have to notify the Financial Aid Office if I plan to enroll part-time?

A. No. All financial aid offers shown in your TITAN Online Financial Aid “Award Summary” represent the amount you may receive if you are enrolled full-time. If you are not enrolled full-time, at the time disbursement is processed, your payment is adjusted automatically according to your “enrollment status”. If you are enrolled in 6-8 units, your status is half-time; if you are enrolled in 9-11 units, your status is three-quarter time; if you are enrolled in 12 units, your status is full-time.

Q. Are all types of financial aid adjusted if I am enrolled less than full-time?

A. Federal Pell Grant, Cal Grants A and B, State University Grant (SUG), and EOP Grant are adjusted for part-time status. Federal Stafford Loan, Federal Perkins Loan, Federal SEOG and Federal Work-Study are not affected by part-time status; however, you must be enrolled in at least 6 units to qualify for a payment. ACG and SMART grants require that you be enrolled full-time to receive payment.

Q. What happens if I receive a payment and then drop a class?

A. If you drop a class on or before census date (the 20th day of instruction) and your enrollment status changes as a result, you may be required to repay part or all of the funds received. For example, if you receive a full-time Federal Pell Grant payment (100% of the awarded amount) and you drop to 9 units by the start of the fifth week of the semester, your enrollment status changes from full-time to three-quarter time and you may have to repay 25% of the paid amount.

Your enrollment status is “frozen” on census date and you are expected to earn credit for all classes in which you were enrolled. Therefore, if you drop a class after that date, you may jeopardize your future financial aid for failure to meet satisfactory academic progress requirements. However, your enrollment status is not adjusted and you are not required to repay funds received.

Q. What happens if I receive a part-time payment and then I add a class to increase my enrollment status?

A. It is possible to receive several disbursements at the beginning of the semester if your enrollment status changes. For example, if you are enrolled in 6 units when initial payment is made, you may receive only 50% of your Federal Pell Grant award. If you add a class for a total of 9 units, your eligibility will be recalculated for three-quarter time status and a supplemental payment will be prepared. If you add another class for a total of 12 or more units, you will qualify for a full-time payment and another supplemental payment will be prepared. Payments occur at least twice a week; supplemental payments will be processed in the next disbursement cycle after you add a class.

Q. What happens if I receive financial aid and withdraw from all of my classes?

A. If you do a complete withdrawal from the university or cease attending classes on or before the 60% point in the semester and you received financial aid for the semester, we must determine how much of the financial aid you “earned” based on the number of days you attended classes. You may be required to return part/all of the unearned portion. Refer to the semester Class Schedule, Financial Aid information pages, for specific dates, deadlines and fee refund policies.

Student Financial Services will perform a calculation to determine if part of your fees must be refunded. If a refund is made, it will first be applied toward your “unearned” financial aid.

Q. I am enrolled in graduate classes. Do I have to be in 12 units to be considered full-time?

A. Courses numbered 500 or higher are weighted at 1.5 their unit valued. Therefore, 8 units of 500 level courses are the equivalent of full-time status. Similarly, if you’re enrolled in 6 units of 500 level courses and 3 units of 400 level courses, you are considered full-time (6 x 1.5 = 9 + 3 = 12).

End of content: footer below
University Logo  
This page is maintained by the Cal State Fullerton department of Financial Aid. Report problems to
California State University, Fullerton ©2009. All Rights Reserved.