The Financial Aid Office of Liberty University is responsible for ensuring that all courses for which a student is enrolled are eligible to be covered with Title IV funding. If a student is enrolled in courses that do not count toward their degree, certificate, or other recognized credential, they cannot be used to determine their financial aid enrollment status unless they are eligible remedial courses. This means a student cannot be awarded aid for classes that do not count toward their degree, certificate, or other recognized credential. All Courses for which a student is registered must lead to degree completion.
All federal and most institutional aid will be affected by course registration that does not fulfill a degree requirement and does not lead to graduation. Funds that will be affected are as listed below:
- Pell Grant
- TEACH Grant
- Direct Student Loans
- Direct PLUS Loans
- Work Study
- Most State Aid (i.e. VTAG)
- Most Liberty Scholarships
If the student’s academic program requires the student to complete core courses as well as a certain number of elective courses to receive a degree or certificate, then those elective courses are considered part of the student’s program. Note, once the student has satisfied the number of elective courses required by his or her program of study, any additional electives in which the student enrolls are not considered part of the student’s program of study, and may not be included when determining the student’s financial aid enrollment status or cost of attendance.
Prerequisite courses can only be covered by Financial Aid if they are a prerequisite for a class required on the DCP. The prerequisite class must lead to degree completion not entrance into the program. If a student cannot gain entrance into a program without a prerequisite it is considered a preparatory course. Prerequisites in this instance are re-classed as remedial and therefore limited to 30 hours of coursework.
Remedial coursework is specifically defined as a course of study to increase the ability of a student to pursue a course of study leading to a certificate or degree. Remedial coursework can be taken at both Undergraduate and Graduate levels and is limited to 30 credit hours. A student must be admitted as a regular student into an eligible program while completing remedial coursework in order for the classes to be covered by financial aid.
Courses that are taken solely to meet state requirements for licensure or certification will not be considered as eligible for aid as they do not fulfill a requirement of a student’s degree completion plan.
Repeat of Courses
The repeat policy applies to all student levels. Once a student has passed a course with a “D” grade or better, it can only be included in the financial aid enrollment status and paid with financial aid one additional time.
Some courses are permitted to be repeated multiple times within a degree. This is most commonly seen for dissertation courses. In the instance that a course is allowed to be repeated multiple times and there is continual progression along with new content in each repeat, the course will remain eligible for financial aid.
If transfer credit is accepted by the University it is assumed that the student previously passed the course and has fulfilled that degree requirement.
Classes Taken at Different Degree Levels
If the student is classified as an undergraduate student, but that student is taking graduate classes, those classes must apply toward completion of the undergraduate degree. If a student enrolled in a baccalaureate program takes a graduate level course and the course counts toward the student's undergraduate degree, it may be counted when computing that student's financial aid enrollment status. If the course does not count toward the baccalaureate degree, it may not be included.
The Department of Education does not differentiate between a masters and doctorate programs. Once a student has received their bachelor’s degree, they are considered to be a graduate or professional student for any additional degree levels they pursue. Their loan eligibility will remain the same throughout the duration of their graduate studies. *Medical students are an exception to this rule.
When a student is admitted as a regular student in two programs their hours can be combined and used for the student's financial aid enrollment status. However, for this to be possible the following criteria must be met:
- The student has been admitted as a regular student in both programs
- Both programs measure academic progress by the same standards (i.e., credit hours)
- Both programs are at the same academic level
Dual Listed Courses
If a course is being applied to two separate degree programs, as long as the class is applying to the degree in which the student is accepted, it is permitted to be covered by financial aid. In scenarios when the course is being applied to two different degree levels, the aid eligibility would be for the level in which the student is accepted.
The purpose of this policy is to establish clear guidance on course eligibility that meets compliance for Title IV aid.
Definition of Glossary Terms
Enrollment Status: A student’s financial aid enrollments status is determined by amount of credit hours for which a student is registered that are eligible for aid. Fulltime, Halftime and Less than Half Time are established by the degree level at which a student is accepted.
Degree Completion Plan (DPC): A comprehensive list of the courses that are approved and required in order to complete a degree.
Degree Completion Plan Audit Tool: A tool available through a student’s myLU portal where they can register for courses, review their DCP and plan their future enrollment.