Part-Time Enrollment

Your financial aid will be awarded based on full-time enrollment which is 12 or more credit hours (10 hours for graduate students). However, you may choose to enroll in fewer courses each term of your entire academic career or simply find yourself as a part-time student for an occasional term.

Enrollment Eligibility

Ten days prior to the term, your aid eligibility will be determined based on enrollment. It will then be evaluated at other points to match your your registration through the 15th day of the term.

In addition to aid disbursement, your total aid eligibility may adjust with a part-time budget adjustment based on your enrollment for the term as determined through the 15th day.

Fund Eligibility

Students attending less than full-time are categorized broadly as part-time for that term. For financial aid purposes, sub-categories of half-time and less than half-time are used to define financial aid fund eligibility.

The chart below can assist you in planning how your aid funds will adjust based on your enrollment. Use it with the term breakdown of your financial aid award offer to view the full-time (or 100%) amount. Calculate how your aid will decrease for non-full-time terms and, as always, project your tuition costs for those same terms to anticipate any out-of-pocket expenses you may have.

While your aid may not adjust immediately with a specific enrollment change, all aid will be re-evaluated by the 15th day of the term to determine your term aid eligibility.

Enrollment classification based on hours for the term is different for undergraduate and graduate/professional students. 

  Full-Time  Co-op Part-Time
Less than Half-Time
Undergraduate Students
& Law
12+ hours co-op registration 9-11 hours 6-8 hours < 6 hours
Graduate Students 10+ hours co-op registration 8-9 hours 5-7 hours < 5 hours
Scholarships  100% n/a n/a n/a n/a
Pell  100% 100%  75%  50%  25%
SEOG  100% n/a  100%  100%  n/a
TEACH 100% n/a 75% 50% 25%
OCOG  100% n/a 75% 50% 25%
University Need Grant  100% n/a 100%  100% n/a
Cincinnati Pride Grant  100% n/a n/a n/a n/a
 yes  yes  yes  yes  yes
Nursing & Health Professions Loans  100%  n/a 100% 100% n/a
Subsidized, Unsubsidized & PLUS Loans  100%  100% 100% 100% n/a
Alternative Loans  100%  100% 100% 100% varies


  • n/a = Not available.
  • Check terms of scholarships awarded to you; while most are for full-time, a limited number allow or are designed for part-time enrollment.
  • Students who do not use their full Pell Grant eligibility during fall and spring due to part-time enrollment can access their untapped annual eligibility in summer.
  • Some higher EFCs within the Federal Pell Grant-eligible range for full-time attendance do not allow for funding when registered at part-time, half-time or less than half-time; if your full-time term Pell is less than $500, you may not be eligible for funds when enrolled less than full-time.
  • Federal Work-Study summer employment does not require summer enrollment as long as the student is enrolled for the following fall.
  • Students who are on co-op should review information specific to co-op so as to understand how Pell and loan awards are treated over the course of each academic year and scholarships are counted over an academic career.
  • Chart information for Alternative Loans is general. 
    • Select alternative loans will allow less than half-time enrollment.
    • Alternative loans may limit eligibility based on academic program or standing.
    • Availability and eligibility for any alternative loan can change as lenders continually review their loan products.

Part-Time Budgets

Because financial aid awards are initially made with the assumption that students will be enrolled full time, adjustments will have to occur upon verification that a student is enrolling part-time. The cost of attendance or financial aid budget for part-time students is adjusted to reflect the lower amount of tuition and other educational expenses typically incurred by less than full time students.

Student Financial Aid will review all part-time students both before the beginning of each term and after the first two weeks (15th day) to ensure the amount of aid received in the term does not exceed the adjusted part-time budget.

In rare cases where aid eligibility is reduced due to a smaller aid budget, a student may have a balance due following the aid adjustment if refund checks were processed in advance of the adjustment. Student Financial Aid will notify students of any aid eligibility adjustment due to part-time status via their UConnect email account.

Class Group Activity

While many loan funds are available at 100% even when part-time, students should consider their indebtedness when choosing their loan amount.

It can be easy to accept loans at full value and attend at part-time only to reach your life-time borrowing limit more quickly.