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Program of Study FAQ

What is a program of study (as defined for financial aid purposes)?
A program of study are the courses used to complete an approved degree. This can also apply to a financial aid eligible certificate.  The specific courses for a student are noted in their degree evaluation.  A course must count in the evaluation of their degree using the degree evaluation tool to be counted as part of the student’s program of study. 
What types of Aid are affected by this?
Federal Aid (Examples: Pell Grant, Teach Grant, Direct Loans, Perkins Loan, Work Study and FSEOG) may only be paid for eligible courses that count towards the program of study.  State and Institutional Aid (Examples: Texas Grant, TPEG and Alternative Loans) are not subject to the same regulatory restrictions.  However, the cost of attendance for students will be reduced for courses that are not counting to the program of study; which can result in a lower amount of state and institutional aid a student could receive.
How does this affect Cost of Attendance?
Cost of Attendance is an estimate of the cost for students to go to school for a specific amount of time (semester or year) and is based on the student’s enrollment status. Enrollment status for financial aid is based on eligible courses only. If a student is in 12 hours that count towards their program of study they will be considered a full time student for cost of attendance purposes.
What and when will the process be run to identify courses not in the program of study?
The degree evaluation tool will be used to determine if a course is part of the program of study.  We will run the program to identify students who are impacted and notify them before the start of the semester. We will then run the process before disbursement of financial aid (10 days prior to class). We will continue to run the process through the census date (the official 12th class day in the long terms and 4th class day in summer terms). After this point no further adjustments will be made. It is imperative that all changes to the degree evaluation affecting courses that count be made before the census date. Refer to the My Record tab (Degree Evaluation channel) in Howdy to review which courses are counting.
How will students be notified?
Students will be notified by email. In addition, students can view their courses using the degree evaluation tool. Go to the My Record tab (Degree Evaluation channel) in Howdy and click the link that says Courses Counting for Financial Aid. Academic Advisors are student’s points of contact on courses included in the program of study.
What about courses that will be adjusted and thus become part of a student’s program of study?
If a course is used as an adjustment, it must be submitted in the University Adjustment System (UAS) by the Academic Advisor prior to the census date (official 12th class day or 4th class day for summer).
How will courses needed for completion of minors be treated?
Minors must be officially declared and reflected in the degree evaluation prior to the census date (12th day of class, 4th class date for summer).  Courses counting toward undeclared minors will not be included in the program of study.
How will courses needed for double majors be treated?
Double majors must be officially declared and reflected in the degree evaluation prior to the census date (12th day of class, 4th class day for summer). Courses counting toward undeclared majors will not be included in the program of study.
How will elective courses noted in program of study be treated?
If a program of study has listed specific courses that can count as electives then only those will be eligible unless an adjustment is made by the academic advisor.  If there is no specified list, then any course will count as long as open elective hours exist for the student in their program of study.
What about capstone courses, internships, honors courses, prerequisites for majors or professional schools?
These courses can only be covered if they are included in the student’s program of study as documented within the degree evaluation tool.  This is based on their current program of study at the time of payment up to the census date (12th class day, 4th class day for summer).  If they are “extra” courses to get the student into a major and not part of their current program of study, then they are not eligible.
How will coops be treated?
If the student is in a university recognized coop it will count for financial aid purposes.
What about students who are going to change majors (closet majors)?
Only the current semester major will be used when evaluating the courses. Courses counting only toward future majors will not count toward the program of study.
How will courses used to earn certificates be treated?

Certificates that are Gainful Employment Eligible and Teacher Certifications (with other limiting factors) will be eligible for Federal Aid.  Gainful Employment Certificates are approved for federal aid by the Department of Education and noted on the financial aid website.  Teacher Certification is a special program that is offered through the College of Education and has additional factors that affect student’s aid eligibility. View our gainful employment certificates here.

Courses taken for certificates (not listed in the link above) must also count towards major or minor in the degree evaluation to be counted for Federal Financial Aid eligibility.

What about Degree Candidates in their last semester?
Only courses that are part of the program of study as documented in the degree evaluation are eligible for federal aid.
How will this affect Blinn Team and Blinn Bryan Engineering Academies?
All courses taken at the community college will count in the program of study. Courses taken at Texas A&M University have to count toward the student's listed intended major to be included in the program of study.
How will this affect Transitional Academic Programs (General Studies) students?
Courses must count toward the student's intended major to be included in the program of study.
How will this affect study abroad?
All SABR courses will count for federal financial aid.
How will this affect Corps of Cadets requirements?
Only courses that are part of the program of study as documented in the degree evaluation are eligible for federal aid.
How are scholarships affected?
Scholarships do not require your courses to count. However, students with scholarships that are need-based could be adjusted due to the adjustment of the cost of attendance. (ex. Regent’s Scholarship and Differential Tuition Scholarships). Other institutional or private (outside scholarships) scholarships will not be adjusted.
How will Repeated Coursework be affected?
There are two separate process that will affect these courses.  The first is the program of study evaluation and the second is the repeated coursework evaluation.  The repeated course will count for the program of study evaluation if it is in the program of study as documented by the degree evaluation, regardless of the presence of a previously taken same course.  The course would still then need to pass repeated coursework evaluation to be eligible for federal aid. Visit the Repeated Coursework page for more information.
How will this affect Satisfactory Academic Progress (GPR, Deficit Hours, and Excessive Hours)?
Satisfactory Academic Progress is based on total hours taken and not federal aid eligible hours taken.  All hours will continue to count towards this as noted at Maintaining Eligibility.
How will this affect Athletic Scholarships?
Athletes are required to enroll full-time, unless certified to be in final hours before graduation or granted a Progress Toward Degree Waiver. If an athlete has federal aid in their aid package and does not have full-time hours (12 for undergraduates or 9 for graduate students) that count in their program of study, we will reduce cost of attendance. Aid may be impacted, depending on individual aid packages and source of funds.
How will this affect Grad students?
Prior to the degree plan being filed, all graduate and upper level undergraduate courses will count. After a degree plan is filed, only courses counting towards the degree evaluation will count.
How will this affect Professional students?
Only courses that are part of the program of study as documented in the degree evaluation are eligible for federal aid