Course Program of Study (CPoS)

Enrollment, Attendance, and Financial Aid Eligibility

Not all students enroll in a fulltime schedule of 12 or more credit hours, and not all classes count for financial aid eligibility. This page will help you understand how financial aid eligibility can change depending on the number and type of classes you take.

Course Program of Study (CPoS)

Students can only receive financial aid for classes that are required for their current program of study. Students cannot receive payments for classes that are not specifically listed in their major. This means that you might not qualify for some or all of your Pell Grant, Hope Scholarship, Loans, Promise, and most other types of financial aid.

If you enroll in a class that is not required in your current major, even if you think this class is required for a future major that you want to begin next semester, such as Nursing, you will not receive financial aid for that course.

This rule applies to federal aid and state aid, so it is important that you verify with your advisor that all of your classes are required for your current program of study.

Example: If you register for 12 credit hours but 3 credits are in a course that is required for a degree at a university you want to transfer to in the future, you will only qualify for 75% of your financial aid. You will only receive aid for 9 credit hours and you will be responsible for paying a balance if there is one.


Attendance & Engagement

Students must attend and engage in their classes to qualify for financial aid. Instructors report attendance in all courses and document if students never attend or if students stop attending.

Students who never attend one or more courses will not qualify for some or all of their financial aid. If you receive financial aid as part of the college’s early disbursement and then you fail to attend your courses, your account will be charged for some or all of your financial aid and you will be required to repay it.

Students who stop attending one or more courses during the semester might forfeit their future aid eligibility and they might be required to repay a portion of their aid.


Change of Eligibility

If you receive a failing grade, withdraw from, or stop attending courses, they no longer count towards your program of study. You may or may not receive an email notification about the change of eligibility for specific classes. However, if you actually attended or completed the class, you earned the financial aid payment(s), even if you failed the course. You lose eligibility for aid payment(s) if you never attend any course.


Repeat Courses

Students can receive aid for up to one additional attempt of a previously passed class. If you attempt a class and make a grade of D or higher, you can receive aid for one additional attempt of that class, regardless of whether you pass, fail, or withdraw from it.

This rule applies to courses that require a C for graduation. If you make a D or better in a course and you need a C or better for your major or for a future program of study, you will only receive aid for one additional attempt of that class.

This rule applies to all federal and state financial aid.


Learning Support Courses

Students can receive aid for up to 30 attempted hours of learning support classes. Those attempted hours include any class that is considered a learning support course taken at Chattanooga State or another school.

This rule applies to all federal and state financial aid.


Part-Time Proration of Aid

Students are only qualified to receive fulltime financial aid if they are enrolled in at least 12 credit hours that count for financial aid eligibility.

We assume that all students will enroll in 12 or more eligible hours each semester and package financial aid based on fulltime enrollment. Your aid eligibility will change as you add or drop classes from your schedule.

Some financial aid requires a minimum number of hours to pay anything at all. Loans will only disburse to students who are enrolled in and attend at least 6 eligible credit hours. TN Promise will not pay anything to students who register or attend fewer than 12 credit hours.

Below is a breakdown of how financial aid will prorate (increase or decrease) depending on your overall enrollment. Note that only classes that qualify under CPoS will count for your financial aid eligibility. There are exceptions to the breakdown below depending on the resource you are receiving. For instance, Loans pay at 100% for students in 6 or more eligible hours.

If you drop, stop attending, or withdraw from one or more of your courses, you might forfeit future eligibility and be required to repay some or all of your financial aid.

Registered Hours

Actual Enrollment

Enrollment for Aid

Amount of Aid Eligibility

12+ hours




9-11 hours

Three-quarter time

Three-quarter time


6-8 hours




< 6 hours

Less-than Halftime

Less-than Halftime

0% to 25%

NOTE: if you are registered for at least 12 credit hours, and not all those hours are counting in your program of study, the TN Promise scholarship can pay towards the eligible credit hours. You would still be responsible for paying the balance for any ineligible classes. The same is true for the TN Reconnect Grant, as long as you are registered for at least 6 credit hours.


Cost of Attendance

Cost of Attendance is not how much you are being charged to attend ChattState. The Bursar’s Office website provides a tuition schedule and various fee rates for each semester to show students how much each credit hour might cost.

Cost of Attendance is the overall estimate of how much it will cost you to go to college, including housing, food, living expenses, transportation, and other expenses. You have to pay most of these expenses regardless of whether you are in college or not. Chattanooga State is not charging you anything for your housing or living expenses. Chattanooga State only charges you for tuition.

Your Cost of Attendance and your financial aid award depend on your FAFSA, the number of credits you enroll in, the cost of your tuition, and the amount of aid you receive. These are all subject to change during the year.

Cost of Attendance determines the maximum amount of financial aid that you can receive. If the United States Department of Education determines that it will cost you $12,000 to attend two fulltime semesters at ChattState this year, then the maximum amount of financial aid you can receive from all sources will be $12,000. You cannot receive more financial aid than what it would cost you to live and attend college within one year.

Students who drop classes, enroll in part-time classes, or receive tuition waivers will qualify for a lower Cost of Attendance. Therefore, those students would not need as much financial aid and their maximum award might be reduced.

Cost of Attendance also determines your financial need. Students can only receive a certain amount of need-based financial aid each year. You might have your Subsidized Loan or other need-based aid reduced if you are not fulltime or if you receive other types of financial aid.


Advising, Account Balances, and Aid Eligibility

  • Students should check with their advisor to ensure that all classes count for their current program of study. Remember, there is no possibility that students can receive aid for classes that are required for a future program of study if those classes are not also required for their current program of study.
  • Course substitutions must be approved by academic division representatives and those substitutions must be communicated to the Financial Aid Office to determine if they qualify for aid.
  • Some students will have to accept that they do not qualify for aid for the classes they want or need to take, and they will need to pay for part of their tuition or identify another source of funding.
  • It is the responsibility of students to ensure that their tuition balance has been paid if their enrollment does not qualify for enough financial aid. Students whose balance exceeds their financial aid eligibility will be deleted from classes.