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Eligible Programs & Courses

Aid eligible programs and courses

Federal regulations require a student seeking federal financial aid be enrolled in an eligible certificate or degree program.

Financial Aid eligibility can be found with program descriptions. In addition to being enrolled in an eligible program, federal financial aid can be disbursed only for coursework required for that program of study.

Essentially, only developmental (remedial) coursework and coursework that counts towards a student’s program will be used in determining the student’s enrollment status for federal financial aid.

Developmental/Remedial coursework

Developmental (remedial) coursework is defined at Pima Community College as coursework numbered 001-099 in Math (MAT), Reading (REA), Writing (WRT), English as a Second Language (ESL) and Integrated College Skills (ICS). A remedial course must be taught at the high school level to be eligible for federal student aid (courses that do not meet this requirement are labeled in the schedule of classes as not eligible for federal financial aid).

  • A student may receive federal financial aid for up to 30 credits in remedial MAT, REA, WRT and ICS courses.
  • ESL courses do not have such a limit, however the courses must be part of the ESL pathway and not an ESL elective

Eligible coursework

Eligible coursework is listed in the program of study in the student’s catalog and is needed by the student to complete the program requirements.

 Will a course that is being audited count count?

No, a student must be registered in a graded course that counts for credit (clock hours) toward his/her program of study. 

 Will a course be counted if that course meets a program requirement that has already been met by a previous course?

  • It depends
    • The course will not be counted in the federal financial calculation because the program requirement has already been satisfied by the previous course.
    • However, the course may be counted if the student’s program allows for elective credits and the student has room for more electives.

 Will an elective course count?

  • It depends
    • The course will not be counted in the federal financial calculation if the program requirement for electives has already been satisfied by the previous courses.
    • However, the course may be counted if the student’s program allows for elective credits and the student has room for more electives.

 Will a repeated course count?

  • It depends
    • The course will not be counted in the federal financial calculation if the course has already met the program requirement (generally if the course grade is a ‘C’ or better).
    • However, the course may be counted if the student’s prior attempt didn’t meet the program requirement and the number of attempts does not meet the federal repeat rule.

 Will a prerequisite course count?

  • It depends
    • The course will be counted in the federal financial calculation if the course is also listed as a program requirement.
    • However, the course will not be counted in the federal financial calculation if the course is not listed as a program requirement and is not a remedial course.

 What if a student has already met all program requirements?

  • If a student has met all program requirements the student is not eligible for further federal financial aid under that program of study.
  • In this scenario, the college recommends students apply for graduation.

 How does a student know if their course or courses count?

Students have many options to determine if a course is eligible. It is important to know which version of the catalog you are unrolled under and use that catalog for reference.

MyDegreePlan to tracks student progress towards graduation. Also, the College recommends students meet with an Academic Advisor periodically and toward the end of the program for an unofficial graduation check.

 What can a student do if their courses don’t count?

Students can make registration changes as needed before classes start. Registering and planning early helps ensure students have time to make changes if needed. If students plan to change registration or program of study, they should contact an Academic Advisor for assistance. Student should also refer to the important financial aid dates listed for each term or payment period.

 What if a student changes registration after receiving a refund?

The financial aid office may need to reevaluate the financial aid eligibility, depending what the change was and when the schedule change occurs. Students should contact an Academic Advisor prior to making any schedule changes. Schedule changes could affect the eligibility potentially resulting in the student owing a balance.

 Can a student register for courses that are not required for the chosen degree?

Yes, a student may register for a course that is not required. However, that course will not count toward the student’s financial aid enrollment status.

Eligibility Examples

If a student enrolls in 12 credit hours but only 9 credit hours apply to the program of study or are financial aid eligible, financial aid will cover only the 9 credit hours. Financial Aid will determine the student’s Pell Grant eligibility using the enrollment status of ¾ time.

If a student enrolls in 6 credit hours but only 3 credit hours apply to the program of study, the student will not be eligible for a student loan. Students must be enrolled in at least 6 financial aid eligible credits to receive a Direct loan.

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