Published: July 20, 2021 By

Who Received This Email?
We sent this email at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, July 20, 2021, to incoming and current degree-seeking graduate students who either were enrolled or were eligible to enroll in classes for Fall 2021.

The original subject line was "Enrollment Status Changes and Financial Aid."

Dear [first],

We want to let you know about upcoming changes to the enrollment requirements that determine your status as a full-time or half-time student for financial aid purposes.

Even if you are not a current financial aid recipient, these changes may affect you if you have previously borrowed federal student loans or if you choose to apply for aid in a future term.

Beginning in Fall 2021, graduate student enrollment statuses for aid purposes will change as follows:

  • Full time = 6 or more credit hours (previously 9+ credit hours)
  • Half time = 3–5 credit hours (previously 4–8 credit hours)

Enrollment status for students enrolled in thesis/dissertation/candidate for degree hours:

  • Master's students, pre-comprehensive PhD students, and Doctor of Musical Arts students will be considered full time with 1 thesis, dissertation, music recital/dissertation project, or candidate for degree credit hour as corresponds to your degree program for financial aid purposes (previously no distinction was made for thesis credit hours)
  • Post-comprehensive PhD candidates at D status will be considered full time with 6 dissertation hours and part time with 3–5 dissertation hours for financial aid purposes (previously subject to the 9+ and 4–8 credit hour requirements)

Graduate students enrolled at least half time with 3 coursework credit hours or the appropriate half-time enrollment of dissertation/thesis credit hours will be eligible to borrow federal student loans and defer repayment on previous student loans.

You can check your enrollment status for financial aid purposes through Buff Portal starting on the first day of Fall 2021 classes, and you'll be able to print an updated enrollment verification by mid-September. Should you need this sooner, please contact the Office of the Registrar.

If you have federal student loans and you enroll at least half time for Fall 2021, your loan status will be automatically set to in-school deferment. No action is required on your part.

These changes are intended to more closely align academic load with enrollment requirements for financial aid. Please note that the Graduate School's approved definition of academic full-time status has not changed; these changes impact financial aid enrollment status only. To learn more, carefully review the grid and your degree program/status on the Check Your Enrollment Status webpage.

For questions specific to your coursework, program or advising, please contact your graduate program. The Office of Financial Aid can assist with questions related to aid eligibility and loan deferral. For help with registration or enrollment verification, the Office of the Registrar is happy to assist.