Course Program of Study (CPOS)
There is an important emphasis in federal financial aid regulations that could cause your grants and work study to be reduced if you enroll in ineligible coursework. Starting in the Fall 2023 semester, only courses that count toward your program of study (your declared major) can be counted toward enrollment status to determine eligibility for federal and most state financial aid programs. For a course to be counted toward enrollment status for financial aid, it must be part of your Course Program of Study (CPOS) or be necessary to help you earn the total units required to complete your degree. Not paying attention to this rule could affect your full-time enrollment status and ultimately your financial aid awards.
Why Is This Important
A program of study consists of courses required to complete a degree, inclusive of required coursework within the major/degree. The specific courses for a student are identified through IVC's degree evaluation tool (DegreeWorks).
Starting in the Fall 2023 semester, taking classes that are not in your Course Program of Study for your officially declared major may result in a reduction to your overall financial aid package.
What Types of Aid are Affected by CPOS?
Disbursement of most financial aid programs (i.e., Pell Grant, SEOG, Work-Study, Cal Grant and Student Success Completion Grant) is based on coursework that counts toward the program of study. The California College Promise Grant (CCPG), which waives course fees for eligible California residents, is not subject to the same regulatory restrictions.
Make it Count! – Utilize IVC's Counseling Services
As a student, counselors are available to you to assist with discussing your short-term and long-term educational goals, the best degree fit for you at IVC, and planning your courses each term to help you complete your declared degree as efficiently and effectively as possible.
Officially Declare Your Major
It is essential that your major is officially declared and noted in your student record. If you have been planning to declare or change your major, but have not yet done so, you should consult a counselor immediately to complete the Major Change Request. Do not register for classes toward the new major until the update to your official major is reflected in WebSTAR and DegreeWorks.
Courses can only be determined to be eligible based on the officially declared major(s) as noted on your student record. Changes cannot be made retroactively.
Assumptions About Financial Aid Awards
Financial aid awards are based on the assumption that students will enroll full-time in eligible coursework during Fall and Winter/Spring terms. Enrollment levels other than full-time will create a recalculation of financial aid awards per term. However, in many cases, a student can enroll in less than the assumed full-time units and still receive financial aid.
|Enrollment Status Types
| Full Time
||12+ credits per semester
| Three Quarter Time
|| 9-11 credits per semester
| Half Time
|| 6-8 credits per semester
| Less than Half Time
|| 1-5 credits per semester
Keep Your Eligibility
Remember that dropping or not attending your courses can negatively impact your eligibility for current and/or future aid. It is important that you discuss your Course Program of Study with a counselor when you enroll each semester. If your degree program is not listed correctly in WebSTAR, work with your counselor to make them aware of your request and ensure they complete the Major Change Request to change your major. Do not register for classes toward the new major until the update to your official degree on records is reflected in WebSTAR.
What and when will the process be run to identify courses not in the program of study?
DegreeWorks will be used to determine if a course is part of the program of study. A process will run prior to the start of the semester to identify students who are impacted. Students enrolled in ineligible coursework will be able to view these ineligible courses in DegreeWorks as well as be notified through their campus email account. The process will again run before the initial financial aid disbursement the week before the semester begins and one final time at the second disbursement when attendance is verified for the term – what IVC refers to as the 'freeze date".
It is imperative that all changes to registration, officially declared program of study, and any adjustments to the degree evaluation affecting courses that count be made before the Financial Aid freeze date.
How will students be notified?
If enrolled in ineligible coursework, students will be notified through campus email. Students can also view DegreeWorks to identify eligible / ineligible coursework.
What about courses that will be substituted and thus become part of a student's program of study?
A counselor must approve and process a course substitution by the freeze date for it to be included as eligible coursework for financial aid.
How will multiple majors be treated?
All majors must be officially declared and reflected in the DegreeWorks by the freeze date to be included as eligible coursework for financial aid.
How will elective courses noted in program of study be treated?
If a program of study has specific courses that can count as electives, then only those will be eligible unless an adjustment is made by the counselor. If there is no specified list, then any course will count as long as open elective credits exist in the program of study to reach the required 60 units for graduation.
What about internships and prerequisite coursework?
These courses count toward enrollment status for financial aid only if they are required in the student's program of study. However, if a student is enrolled as a regular student in an eligible program of study and is required to take a prerequisite course prior to enrolling in a required course for the program, the prerequisite may be included in the financial aid enrollment status. No more than a maximum of 30 attempted units inclusive of remedial / developmental and prerequisite coursework from all post-secondary schools combined can count for financial aid purposes.
What about students who are going to change their program of study?
If you change your program of study beyond the freeze date and the current semester coursework no longer applies toward your new program of study, your previously disbursed financial aid will not be reduced since you were eligible at the time of disbursement or freeze date, as applicable.
Can I change my program of study to receive financial aid for a course that does not apply toward my current program of study?
If you need to take courses that are not in your program of study, it is likely that you are not in the program that best fits your educational goal. You need to meet with a counselor to ensure you are in the correct program of study. Changing your program of study should be done with great caution because it may impact your eligibility for future semesters. Always work with a counselor when you are changing from one program to another as it may cause you to lose financial aid eligibility by reaching the maximum time-frame for completion of degree (150% rule).
What about graduating seniors in their last semester?
Only courses that are part of the program of study as documented in the degree evaluation tool (DegreeWorks) are eligible for financial aid. For example, if you only need 3 units to graduate but you choose to register for 12 units to qualify for PELL, you will not be eligible. Though financial aid does not include ineligible coursework, you may still qualify for the CCPG which will waive your course fees.
What if there are not enough courses in my program available in a given term at a time that I am able to take them to reach full-time enrollment status?
Only courses that are part of the program of study as documented in the degree evaluation tool (DegreeWorks) are eligible for financial aid. Though ineligible coursework is not counting towards your enrollment status for financial aid eligibility, you may still qualify for the CCPG, which will waive your course fees.
What if a course doesn't count towards CPOS but I think it should?
Check DegreeWorks to see if your major(s) are officially declared and that your catalog year is correct. Make an appointment with a counselor if you need to adjust your officially declared program.
I plan to enroll in 17 units, which includes 3 units that doesn't apply towards my requirements in my officially declared program of study. Will financial aid pay for the ineligible 3-unit class?
Financial aid will disburse based on full-time enrollment status (see Enrollment Status Types chart). If at least 12 of your units apply towards outstanding requirements in your officially declared program of study, then you are still considered a full-time student for financial aid purposes. If eligible you may receive a full-time Federal Pell Grant.
Some of the classes in which I'm enrolled do not apply toward my program of study. What do I do next?
Your financial aid is based on coursework that applies toward outstanding requirements in your program of study. Therefore, your financial aid may be reduced. You have two options:
Meet with a counselor to discuss your academic options. If the semester has not started, it may be in your best interest to drop the ineligible course(s) and enroll only in courses in your officially declared program that will be eligible for financial aid.
If the semester has already begun, you will experience a reduction in enrollment status for the courses that do not count towards your program of study. Although your financial aid has been reduced, if eligible, your CCPG will still waive the fees for the ineligible courses.
None of my courses apply toward outstanding requirements in my officially declared program of study, but I want to take them. What does this mean for me?
You are not eligible for financial aid but may still have your course fees waived if eligible for CCPG. If ineligible for CCPG, IVC offers a Payment Plan for students to help ease the burden of paying for college. However, if you plan on receiving financial aid in the future, then it is imperative that you maintain a good GPA and Completion Rate. You may end up on financial aid suspension if you fail to do so.