Courses in Program of Study (CPoS) | Chattanooga State Community College

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Courses in Program of Study (CPoS)

The U.S. Department of Education has established regulations about Title IV (federal) financial aid, including guidelines about paying for specific classes and programs.

Federal aid includes: Pell Grant, Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG), Federal Work Study (FWS), and subsidized and unsubsidized Direct Loans.

Some of these rules apply to state grants and scholarships, but some do not. Other scholarships may have their own rules, and even their own application process. This page is to help you understand how financial aid works for different classes to make it count the most for you.

What does “courses in program of study” (CPoS) mean?
Answer: 

Title IV (federal) guidelines state that federal financial aid will only pay for classes that count towards your program of study – or your degree program or major. Any time you register for classes, add or drop classes, or change your major, then your course registration is evaluated that night to see if all of your classes count towards your program of study as built in Tiger Tracks. If you are taking a class that does not count towards your current degree program, or it is supposed to count towards a future program of study, then that class might not be paid for by financial aid.

Example: You are registered for 12 hours (4 classes), but 3 hours (1 class) are for you to get into a new program at another school. If that class can’t be counted for your current program of study, then your aid may only pay for 9 hours. If your total aid isn’t enough to cover tuition and fees for the full 12 hours, then you will be responsible for paying for that 4th class out of pocket.

Currently, CPoS guidelines only apply to federal financial aid, but they will eventually be applied to TN Promise and TN Reconnect. Chattanooga State scholarships, the TN Student Assistance Award, and the TN Educational Lottery Scholarships (TELS) programs do not follow the same rules about program of study.

Can I repeat classes?
Answer: 

Title IV guidelines also state that you can only receive federal financial aid for one repeat of previously passed class (a grade of “D” is considered passing). All repeated classes are considered, whether taken at Chattanooga State or another school.

Example:

  • Take Composition I and pass with a grade of “D” – counted for financial aid
  • Take Composition I again and fail with a grade of “F” – counted for financial aid (1st repeat attempt)
  • Register for Composition I a 3rd time (2nd repeat) – NOT counted for financial aid (since it was already passed with a “D”)

The guidelines about repeating classes apply to Title IV (federal) aid and the TN Student Assistance Award, but they do not apply to the TELS scholarships, TN Promise, TN Reconnect, or Chattanooga State scholarships.

What about learning support classes?
Answer: 

You are also only allowed to receive Title IV (federal) aid for up to 30 attempted hours of learning support classes. Those attempted hours include any class that is considered a learning support course, taken at Chattanooga State or another school.

Example: you are attending part-time and register for 6 hours (2 classes); one of the classes (3 hours) is a college level math class, and the other class (3 hours) is a learning support math class. You have already attempted 30 hours of remedial/learning support classes, so 1 of your classes will not be counted or paid for by federal financial aid.

Learning support guidelines only apply to Title IV (federal) aid.

How does enrollment affect financial aid?
Answer: 

You may have to be enrolled full time (12 or more hours) for different reasons, or you may want to be enrolled at least half-time (6 or more hours) to keep your student loan payments in deferment. In most cases, your enrollment is based on your actual registration, but for Title IV (federal) aid purposes, your enrollment is based on your hours that are eligible for federal aid. Your financial aid awards are posted each year with the anticipation that you will enroll full-time, so your aid payments each semester may pro-rate lower if you enroll in less than 12 eligible hours.

Registered Hours

Actual Enrollment

Aid Eligible Hours

Enrollment for Aid

 

 

 

 

15 hours

Full time

12 hours

Full time

12+ hours

Full time

9-11 hours

Three-quarter time

9-11 hours

Three-quarter time

6-8 hours

Half time

6-8 hours

Half time

1-5 hours

Less than half time

*If you end up being enrolled part time, or less than half time (5 hours or less), then you may have to begin making student loan payments. If you drop or stop attending all of your classes that are eligible for Title IV (federal) aid, then you are considered a withdrawal, and the Office of Financial Aid will have to calculate how much aid you have earned, and how much has to be returned to the Department of Education. This means that you could end up owing money to Chattanooga State or the Department of Education.

How is Your Aid Impacted?
Answer: 

Type of Aid

Guidelines

Impact on Aid

 

 

 

Pell Grant

CPoS = yes

Repeat = yes

Remedial = yes

If one or more classes can’t be counted for aid, then the Pell Grant will pro-rate lower; depending on your Pell Grant, the lesser amount may still be enough to cover all classes*

SEOG

CPoS = yes

Repeat = Yes

Remedial = Yes

SEOG requires at least half time enrollment in eligible classes, but the amount doesn’t pro-rate

Direct Loans

CPoS = Yes

Repeat = Yes

Remedial = Yes

Your loan payment doesn’t pro-rate, but federal loans require half time enrollment (6+ hours) in eligible classes – your loans won’t pay if in 5 or less eligible hours**

TN Student Assistance Award

CPoS = No

Repeat = Yes

Remedial = No

The award will pro-rate based on actual enrollment, but pays for all remedial courses and courses that might not count towards your major

 

TELS Scholarships

CPoS = No

Repeat = No

Remedial = No

TELS scholarships pay for all classes and pro-rate lower based on actual enrollment; your HOPE scholarship plus other aid may be enough to cover tuition and fees courses that might not count towards your major

TN Promise and Reconnect

CPoS = No

Repeat = No

Remedial = No

Right now, these “last dollar” scholarships may calculate to cover base tuition and mandatory fees not covered by federal aid; you still have to pay out of pocket for books and fees not charged to all students

**If you have an accepted Title IV Fee Authorization on file, then any funds leftover from federal aid after eligible classes have been paid for could possibly pay for classes that don’t count for aid. This would be deducted from your rend after any eligible bookstore charges.

**Because financial aid is awarded based on full-time enrollment, your loans may have to be reduced or canceled if your eligible hours are less than full time.

What does “cost of attendance” mean?
Answer: 

The U.S. Department of Education requires schools to calculate a total, estimated cost of attendance (or budget) for the entire year. This budget is based on full-time enrollment and includes estimated amounts for books and supplies, room and board, transportation costs, and personal expenses. The total amount of financial assistance that you receive cannot be more than your total cost of attendance for the year. We also have to include any fee waivers, tuition discounts, and certain types of outside payments (third party scholarships, veteran benefits, etc.) as part of your total financial assistance. At any time during the school year, if your financial assistance changes, then we may have to update your financial aid awards: we usually have to reduce or cancel your federal subsidized or unsubsidized loans, but sometimes “last dollar” scholarships have to be adjusted, such as TN Promise or TN Reconnect.

If your enrollment changes at any time during the year, then your actual cost of attendance changes – and so does your budget for financial aid awards. For Title IV (federal) aid purposes, your cost of attendance is based on Title IV eligible hours. So, if you are enrolled in less than 12 hours in your program of study, your cost of attendance is lower, and we may have to adjust or cancel your federal aid – usually subsidized or unsubsidized Direct Loans. Your financial need may also be impacted if you take classes that do not count for financial aid, since your cost of attendance is lower (for federal aid).

Financial need is calculated by taking your total Cost of Attendance and subtracting the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) calculated from the FAFSA. If your cost of attendance changes because you are taking classes that do not count for financial aid, then your financial need changes – so we may have to reduce or cancel your subsidized Direct Loans. Since your financial aid awards are posted with the anticipation of full-time enrollment, your financial aid eligibility can change each semester when you are not enrolled in at least 12 hours that count for financial aid. You will be notified at any time that we make changes to your financial aid awards because you are either 1) over your budget, or cost of attendance, or 2) over your financial need.

How do I pay for classes?
Answer: 

You will be notified if the nightly degree audit finds that you have classes that are not being counted towards your program of study. Depending on what type(s) of financial aid you receive, you might have to pay out of pocket to take certain classes. You will be notified if your total amount of financial aid is not enough to pay your account balance for the semester.

Remember: You must go to classes for aid to pay for classes!

What to do if classes do not count?
Answer: 

1. Meet with your Academic Advisor or Academic Completion Specialist for your division to see if classes really are required for your current degree program, or if there are other courses that you need to take. Someone like your Advisor, an instructor, or even the Dean for your division will have to contact the Records or Financial Aid offices if there is any way that the class can be counted for your program of study or to petition for an exception (if appropriate).

2. Review your Financial Aid Awards and Account Information in TigerWeb Self-Service (Self-Service Banner): based on your “Account Balance” and “Authorized Aid” (pending aid), calculate what your “Net Balance” will be after all pending aid payments are applied. Your total of financial aid awards may be enough to cover all of your tuition and fees for the semester, but your refund amount may not be as much, or you may not have enough excess aid for bookstore charges.

3. Make sure you have an accepted Title IV Fee Authorization on file – this only has to be done once while you are at Chattanooga State, and you must contact the Office of Financial Aid (in writing) if you previously declined the Title IV Fee Authorization. If you have enough excess federal financial aid, then classes that don’t count for aid could potentially be paid for like other “non-institutional” charges, such as library fines or parking fees (after eligible tuition and fees is paid).

4. Be prepared to pay: if your financial aid is not enough to cover all your tuition and fees, then you can pay the remaining balance online or through the Bursar’s Office, or set up a deferred fee payment plan. You’re only responsible for your remaining account balance after pending financial aid is applied. If you decide to drop 1 or more classes now to take in a later semester, then you can budget the amount you will need to pay out of pocket, or set aside what you will need out of your current refund for the semester.