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U.S. Department of Education (ED) regulations require that a student must be enrolled in at least one eligible degree or certificate program of study to receive federal financial aid (grants, loans, work-study). A student satisfies this requirement by declaring a CT State degree program or eligible certificate program as their primary course of study (note that not all certificates are financial aid eligible). Funds will only be disbursed for the courses needed to fulfill the program of study requirements, which include general education, electives approved for a program, prerequisite courses, and ESOL coursework.

What is CPoS?

Course Program of Study (CPoS) is a process run by CT State to determine which registered courses do not apply to a student’s program of study. This technology will compare your registered courses in each term with the degree requirements listed on your Degree Works audit.

Courses that do not apply toward a student’s officially declared program of study will be ineligible for federal financial aid. In these cases, students are responsible for the tuition and fees associated with the ineligible course as an out-of-pocket expense.

How will I know if my courses count towards my program of study?

To see if your classes are eligible, check your Degree Works audit. Degree Works is a great way for you to review your program audit to see required courses, as well as any courses remaining to complete your program(s). If a course is listed as “Not Applied to This Program,” it is not eligible for financial aid but may be taken without incurring additional out-of-pocket expenses when combined with at least 12 eligible credits within your program(s).

Your Guided Pathways advisor can also meet with you to map out your program plan.

How will I know if a course doesn’t count for financial aid?

Your Guided Pathways advisor will notify you if you are registered for any courses that do not apply toward your degree program(s). It is highly recommended that you work with your Guided Pathways advisor in these situations, so you do not receive an unexpected bill due to the college.

What should I do if a course doesn’t count for financial aid?

It is important to register early and be familiar with your Degree Works audit so you know which courses are required for your program(s) of study. This way, you can gain an understanding of which courses may not have financial aid applied and avoid receiving an unexpected bill from the college as a result of not receiving financial aid for all of your registered courses.

You will find your program(s) of study in the upper right-hand corner of your degree audit. You can also use the "What If" feature to review other degrees or certificates that you may be considering.

If you are planning on changing your enrollment or program(s) of study, we encourage you to contact your Guided Pathways advisor for assistance. Any changes to your program(s) of study must be completed by the 21st day of the semester to ensure that you receive financial aid for your eligible coursework. 

If you have registered for a course that is not eligible for financial aid, you must make any enrollment adjustments in the required timeframe. Please review the academic calendar for key dates each term.

Can I still take classes that are outside of my program of study?

Yes, you may take courses outside of your program of study. Please be advised that you will need to pay for those courses out-of-pocket.

If you are a full-time student registered for at least 12 credits, however, you may register for courses outside your program of study up to the point of overload without incurring additional tuition and fee charges.

What if I'm taking a course that I need to transfer to a degree at another institution?

Only courses that count towards your program(s) of study at CT State will be eligible for financial aid, even if the course may be needed to transfer to another institution. If you are a full-time student registered for at least 12 credits, however, you may register for courses outside your program of study up to the point of overload without incurring additional tuition and fee charges.

What if I have two programs of study?

The coursework in all programs of study must be officially declared by the 21st day of each semester (see the academic calendar for deadline dates) in order to be considered as part of your enrollment status for financial aid purposes. Note that late-start courses that you may register for after the 21st day of the semester may not be eligible for financial aid.

Do electives, developmental courses and prerequisite courses count for financial aid?

All electives accepted as satisfying requirements in your program(s) of study count for financial aid.

Up to 30 credits worth of developmental coursework is covered by financial aid.

All courses listed as prerequisites for courses required in your program(s) will be eligible.

I need to take ESOL courses. Are these covered by financial aid?

Yes, ESOL courses are covered by financial aid.

How does repeating a course affect my financial aid?

Federal financial aid regulations allow for one repetition of a previously passed course. Any additional repetitions are not covered by financial aid, and the student is responsible for paying all tuition and fees unless the course is added to a load of at least twelve credits of eligible courses. In other words, if a student takes a course for a third time after passing it twice, financial aid will not include the third attempt when calculating enrollment and aid disbursements. "F" grades and course withdrawals do not count as a repetition of a previously passed course since neither represents a passing grade.