Courses in Program of Study for Financial Aid

Course Program of Study

Federal and state financial aid regulations allow courses which are required to complete a student’s program of study to be included when determining financial aid eligibility.  Courses which are not needed to complete the requirements of a student’s academic program must be excluded when determining financial aid eligibility. 

For aid to pay for a course in your major, minor, or other degree requirement, it must be part of your graduation requirements or be necessary to help you earn the total hours required for your program. For those depending upon financial aid to attend MCC, not paying attention to this rule could affect your full-time enrollment status, which could impact eligibility for federal, state and MCC funded grants.

How does this impact Financial Aid?

Courses that do not fulfill graduation requirements cannot be counted toward your financial aid enrollment status, eligibility or cost of attendance and may ultimately affect your overall financial aid standing (please see maximum timeframe as explained here). Taking courses that are not required to complete your program of study, which includes your officially declared major or minor, could result in you receiving less or no financial aid. 

For example, an undergraduate student enrolled in 12 credit hours, where only 9 credit hours apply to graduation requirements, financial aid will be based on 9 credit hours, but tuition charges will be based on 12 credits.

Enrollment Standards

Financial aid programs have varying enrollment requirements. The information below applies specifically to determining financial aid eligibility and cost of attendance for financial aid purposes.

Below are the credit hours which determine whether a student is less than half-time, three quarters time or full-time.

Undergraduate Students

Enrollment Status

Fall/Spring/Summer (in credit hours)


12 or more

3/4 Time

9 to 11


6 to 8

Less Than Half-Time

1 to 5

Should you have any additional questions related to your Financial Aid please contact us by email at or phone 781-280-3650 or 978-656-3242.

Last Modified: 5/17/24