Graduate degree seeking students are eligible for federal aid and continued deferment of existing federal loans if they are registered in at least 4.5+ credit hours (half-time).
Students who have a special full-time status cost of attendance will have their tuition adjusted to reflect actual tuition costs. This adjustment will be made after the add/drop deadline and may result in decreased loan eligibility. Students who are forced-to-full time are identified by their department and reported to the Office of the Registrar. The Office of Financial Aid uses the registrar's report to approve all students and adjust financial aid accounts accordingly. This status is not updated until after add/drop.
International students are enrolled in less than the full-time status must apply for full-time equivalency with the International Center here to remain in compliance with SEVIS requirements. International students who meet the International Center's criteria for full-time equivalency are reported as such by the International Center and do not have their actual student enrollment status adjusted on their academic record.
Graduate students registered for less than 4.5 credit hours are only eligible for private loans up to the cost of tuition, fees, and approved education/living expenses. Graduate students who have already utilized a portion of their student loan grace period may see their loans enter the repayment period shortly after the start of the semester in which they are enrolled in fewer than 4.5 credit hours. Co-op courses do not count toward enrollment for the purposes of receiving financial aid. Graduate students enrolled in less than half-time status can file for a forbearance to extend their deferment with their loan servicer. Loan servicer information can be found on nslds.ed.gov.
Full-time enrollment for undergraduates is defined as 12 credit hours or greater. Students enrolling less than full-time (taking between 9-11 credit hours) are considered enrolled at 3/4 time. Please note that students enrolled for 11 credit hours or fewer will become ineligible for Illinois Tech scholarships for that term. Co-op and audited courses do not count toward enrollment for the purposes of receiving financial aid. The Office of Financial Aid will revise a student's account with an enrollment between 7-11 credit hours as follows:
- Illinois Tech scholarships will not disburse to the student account for the term.
- Federal Pell Grant recipients will have their Federal Pell award reduced according to federal regulations.
- IL MAP Grant recipients will have the grant adjusted to match the number of credit hours enrolled.
- The Federal SEOG award is reduced to $500 per semester.
- The Financial Aid Office will revise the student's budget to reflect the reduction in tuition charged and then revise the student's aid to reflect the reduction in need.
Half-time enrollment is defined as enrolling in 6-8 credit hours. In this situation, the Office of Financial Aid will revise the student's account by:
- Adjusting the tuition amount on the Cost of Attendance (budget) for the reduced amount of tuition paid.
- Reducing the student's books and supplies allowance to one half of the standard amount for that term.
- Adjusting the student's aid to reflect the reduced financial aid eligibility.
- Reducing Federal Pell Grant awards for Pell Grant recipients according to federal regulations. The IL MAP Grant is reduced according to the number of credit hours enrolled.
- Reducing the Federal SEOG to $500 per semester.
Less than half-time enrollment is defined as taking 1-5 credit hours. In this situation, the Office of Financial Aid will revise the student account by:
- Adjusting the tuition amount on the budget for the reduced amount of tuition paid.
- Reducing Federal Pell Grant awards for Pell Grant recipients according to federal regulations.
- The IL MAP Grant is reduced according to the number of credit hours enrolled.
- The student is ineligible to receive any other federal grants and the student becomes ineligible for federal loans for that term.
- If the student is enrolled less than half time, the grace period on any student loan (Illinois Tech loans, and Federal Stafford Loan) will begin.
Undergraduate students who have already utilized a portion of the student loan grace period may see their loans enter repayment shortly after the start of the semester in which they are enrolled in fewer than 6 credit hours.
Undergraduate students who are registered for 6 or more credits and are recognized by the Office of Disability to be unable to enroll for full-time for a given semester may receive their institutional scholarships on a prorated basis. Institutional scholarships awarded under this policy will be adjusted on a semester-by-semester basis. Federal awards will be prorated in accordance with the number of credit hours in which the student is enrolled.
In all of the above categories, the Office of Financial Aid will check to see if a student has an outside scholarship that requires continuous full-time enrollment. If a scholarship organization requires full-time enrollment, the Office of Financial Aid is required to return the scholarship award for that given term to the donor. If this occurs, the student is encouraged to contact the organization directly to review and, possibly, appeal the agency's policy.
Students with questions regarding underloads should discuss their individual circumstances with the Office of Financial Aid individually.