Financial Aid

Less Than Full-Time Enrollment Policy

Undergraduate Students

Full-time enrollment for undergraduate students is defined as 12 or more credit hours per semester. Co-op and audited courses do not count toward enrollment for the purposes of receiving financial aid. Please note that students enrolled in fewer than 11 credit hours must submit a Scholarship Proration Request. 

Students enrolled in fewer than 12 credit hours have a lower cost of attendance, which means the total value of financial aid for which a student is eligible will decrease. 

Half-Time and Three-Quarter-Time Enrollment

Half-time enrollment is defined as six to eight hours of enrollment and three-quarter-time enrollment is defined as nine to 11 hours of enrollment. In this situation, the Office of Financial Aid makes the following revisions to student accounts. 

  • The Illinois MAP Grant is reduced to $178 per undergraduate credit hour
  • The Federal Pell Grant is reduced to one-half (half-time enrollees) or three-quarters (three quarter-time enrollees) of a student's full-time award
  • The Federal SEOG award is reduced to $500 per semester
  • The student remains eligible for Federal Parent PLUS and Stafford Loans
  • The student can borrow private student loans

Less Than Half-Time Enrollment

Less than half-time enrollment is defined as one to five credit hours of enrollment. In this situation, the Office of Financial Aid will make the following revisions to a student's account. 

  • The Illinois MAP Grant is reduced to $178 per undergraduate credit hour
  • The Federal Pell Grant is reduced to $0, or for students with the highest levels of financial need, one-quarter of a student's full-time award
  • The student is ineligible for the Federal SEOG Grant
  • The student is ineligible for Federal Parent PLUS and Stafford Loans
  • The student can borrow private loans from select lenders
  • The grace period on student loans—both Illinois Institute of Technology loans and federal parent and student loans—begins

Undergraduate students who have already used a portion of their 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 six credit hours.

Impact on Outside Scholarships

If a student is enrolled in fewer than 12 credit hours, 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 organization. If this occurs, the student is encouraged to contact the organization directly to review and, possibly, appeal the agency's policy.

Graduate Students

Full-time enrollment for graduate students is defined as nine or more credit hours per semester. Graduate degree-seeking students are eligible for federal aid and the continued deferment of existing federal loans if they are registered in 4.5 or more credit hours (half-time).

Students who have a special full-time (“forced to full-time”) status will have their cost of attendance adjusted to reflect actual tuition and fee 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 the add/drop date each semester.

International students who are enrolled with less than full-time status must apply for full-time equivalency with the International Center 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 eligible for private loans up to the cost of tuition, fees, and approved education and living expenses. Graduate students who have already utilized a portion of their 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 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 the Federal Student Aid website.